TCT is thrilled to announce the official inclusion of Nunavut’s Itijjagiaq Trail as part of The Great Trail. This makes Nunavut Canada’s sixth province or territory — after Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick — to celebrate its connection to The Great Trail’s countrywide network.
The announcement was made at a celebratory luncheon at the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit on November 25, 2016, and was attended by TCT partners, volunteers, and government supporters, including The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, who spoke at the event.
“Today we celebrate the completion of the Nunavut connection to The Great Trail, which not only connects Canadians from coast to coast to coast but is also a shining example of our country’s breathtaking beauty and resolute spirit,” said Minister Chagger. “I look forward to the full connection of the Trail in 2017 as we walk, bike or paddle our way to Canada’s 150th.”
Nunavut’s Itijjagiaq Trail stretches 177 kilometres along the southern coast of Baffin Island. The route is a single, mostly unmarked nature trail used by hikers in the Arctic summer and snowmobilers and dogsledders in winter. The Itijjagiaq Trail adds a rich history and spectacular tundra landscapes to the country-wide mosaic that is The Great Trail.
“The Great Trail showcases the history of the land and its peoples, which is especially true in the case of Nunavut’s Itijjagiaq Trail,” says Deborah Apps, TCT president & CEO. “This historic trail is an esteemed addition to our national Trail network, which we are working toward connecting country-wide for Canada 150 celebrations in 2017, with the tremendous support of donors, volunteers, partners and all levels of government. We are proud of this new addition, and grateful to the Government of Nunavut for their many years of support.”
Every Canadian province and territory is home to its own section of The Great Trail, which is owned and operated at the local level. The Itijjagiaq Trail in Nunavut has been part of Canada’s landscape for hundreds of years as a primarily winter corridor used as the main pathway connecting the communities of Kimmirut and Iqaluit. While this historic trail has been in existence for generations, its remoteness has made it difficult for those wishing to explore this isolated region.
For this reason, TCT is proud to have partnered with the Government of Nunavut to promote the Trail, but even more importantly, to enhance the safety of Trail users by posting navigation signage on warming huts along the route. The Honourable Monica Ell-Kanayuk — Deputy Premier, Minister of Economic Development and Transportation, Minister responsible for Mines, Minister responsible for the Nunavut Business Credit Corporation, Minister responsible for the Nunavut Development Corporation, Minister responsible for the Utility Rates Review Council, and Minister responsible for the Status of Women — also spoke at the event. “It was an honour to participate in the celebration of the 100% connection of The Great Trail in Nunavut,” she said. “Having our historic trail registered and therefore connected to the 24,000 kilometres of Trail across Canada is a wonderful initiative. Thank you to the hard-working volunteers and staff who help maintain this beautiful trail.”