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Sirmilik National Park of Canada


Sirmilik National Park of Canada © Parks Canada

Sirmilik National Park is part of Canada's internationally recognized system of national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas. The park was established in 2001. The word "Sirmilik" means Place of Glaciers in Inuktitut and is one of the most spectacular and biologically diverse areas in Nunavut. At 22,200 km2, Sirmilik is the third largest national park in Canada. This park includes four separate terrestrial sections as well as marine components in the area of Lancaster Sound and the north end of Baffin Island.

The park represents the Eastern Arctic Lowlands Natural Region and the Northern Davis Region in Canada's National Parks Systems Plan. The park's natural diversity reflects its varied landscapes, which are dominated by spectacular mountains, icecaps and glaciers. The area supports the most diverse avian community in the Canadian Arctic north of 70 N, with more than 50 bird species recorded and 30 confirmed as breeding. The park includes the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a haven for seabirds and other wildlife.

The earliest traces of human activity in the park region date as far back as 4,000 years and may hold important clues to understanding the oldest occupations in the Eastern Arctic. Inuit now living in the North Baffin region are descended from Thule people, who arrived in the area about 1,000 years ago. Today, Inuit continue traditional activities within Nunavut national parks, including harvesting resources such as eggs, carving stone, berries and wildlife.