Umiyaqtutt is Inuktitut for shipwreck, but each year, when the community of Gjoa Haven comes together to host this special event, the Umiyaqtutt Festival means so much more.
This locally organized and coordinated festival schedule is Canada’s only Northwest Passage celebration event. With a schedule that is unique each year, it is guaranteed to showcase a diversity of Inuit games, art and music that makes the greater Netsilik region of Western Nunavut a unique and vibrant part of Nunavut.
The Hamlet of Gjoa Haven, the Government of Nunavut, the Nattilik Heritage Society, Parks Canada and the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee were proud to host the first-annual Umiyaqtutt Festival in 2017. That inaugural celebration focused on the recent milestone discoveries of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in 2014 and 2016, as well as the important role Inuit knowledge and the community of Gjoa Haven played in their discovery, and the preservation of Inuit traditional knowledge surrounding the wrecks held by the greater Netsilik peoples. The Festival is now an annual event that takes place from late August to early September and features community feasts, cultural performances, artistic programming, artifact showings and presentations related to the two shipwrecks, Inuit knowledge and the national historic site.