|• Total||989,879.35 km2 (382,194.55 sq mi)|
|• Density||0.019/km2 (0.050/sq mi)|
The Qikiqtaaluk Region, Qikiqtani Region (Inuktitut syllabics: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ pronounced [qikiqtaːˈluk]) or Baffin Region is the easternmost, northernmost, and southernmost administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. Qikiqtaaluk is the traditional Inuktitut name for Baffin Island. Although the Qikiqtaaluk Region is the most commonly used name in official contexts, several notable public organizations, including Statistics Canada prefer the older term Baffin Region.
With a population of 18,988 and an area of 989,879.35 km2 (382,194.55 sq mi), it is the largest and most populated of the three regions. It is the largest second level subdivision of any country in the world, larger than all but 27 of the world's countries.
The region consists of Baffin Island, the Belcher Islands, Akimiski Island, Mansel Island, Prince Charles Island, Bylot Island, Devon Island, Baillie-Hamilton Island, Cornwallis Island, Bathurst Island, Amund Ringnes Island, Ellef Ringnes Island, Axel Heiberg Island, Ellesmere Island, the Melville Peninsula, the eastern part of Melville Island, and the northern parts of both Prince of Wales Island and Somerset Island, plus smaller islands in between. The regional centre, and territorial capital, is Iqaluit (population 7,740). The Qikiqtaaluk Region spans the northernmost, easternmost, and southernmost areas of Nunavut.
Before 1999, the Qikiqtaaluk Region existed under slightly different boundaries as the Baffin Region, District of Keewatin, Northwest Territories.
The western half of the nearby Hans Island part of the Qikiqtaaluk, while the eastern half is part of the Greenlandic municipality of Avannaata.
All of Qikiqtaaluk's thirteen communities are located on tidal water and just under half of its residents live in Nunavut's capital and only city, Iqaluit (7,740.). The majority of the rest live in twelve hamlets—Arctic Bay (868), Kinngait (1,441), Clyde River (1,053), Grise Fiord (129), Sanirajak (848), Igloolik (1,682), Kimmirut (389), Pangnirtung (1,481), Pond Inlet (1,617), Qikiqtarjuaq (598), Resolute (198) and Sanikiluaq (882). Alert (CFS Alert) and Eureka are part of the Baffin, Unorganized (62) areas in the Qikiqtaaluk.
Formerly there was a mining town at Nanisivik. However, it and the Nanisivik Mine closed in 2002, with Nanisivik Airport closing in 2010 and all flights transferred to Arctic Bay Airport.
Like the majority of Canada's Inuit communities, the region's traditional foods include seal, Arctic char, walrus, polar bear, and caribou.
Inhabitants of the Qikiqtaaluk Region are called Qikiqtaalungmiut.
Iqaluit has the Astro Hill Complex, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Legislative Building of Nunavut and the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre.
According to anthropologists and historians, the Inuit are the descendants of the Thule people who displaced the Dorset culture (in Inuktitut, the Tuniit). By 1300 the Inuit had trade routes with more southern cultures.
About 1910 Europeans markets increased their interest in white fox pelts. The distribution and mobility of Inuit changed as the expanded their traditional hunting and fishing routes to participate in the white fox fur trade. Traditional food staples—such as seal and caribou—were not always found in the same regions as white fox. The Hudson's Bay Company—which was chartered in 1670—had been opening fur trading posts throughout Inuit and First Nations territory. By 1910, the HBC was restructured into a lands sales department, retail and fur trade. The HBC dominated the fur trade under minimal supervision from the Canadian government, and some Anglican and Catholic missionaries who lived near remote northern hamlets. By 1922 most of imported goods acquired by Inuit were from the HBC.
Between 1950 and 1975 thirteen northern communities were relocated.[further explanation needed]
In the 1950s and 1960s the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and others in authority undertook "the widespread killing of sled dogs".
The Qikigtani Truth Commission—which was commissioned, conducted, and paid for by an Aboriginal organization, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and took place from 2007 to 2010—brought together historians and Inuit to revisit the history of the Qikigtaaluk Region.
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Qikiqtaaluk Region had a population of 19,355 living in 5,530 of its 6,573 total private dwellings, a change of 1.9% from its 2016 population of 18,988. With a land area of 970,554.61 km2 (374,733.23 sq mi), it had a population density of 0.0/km2 (0.1/sq mi) in 2021.