Home > North meets South > Inuit Recollections on the Military Presence in Iqaluit > The American weather stations; memories of Kimmirut (Lake Harbour) and Clyde River

The melting of the sea ice near Broughton Island.

Caribou in the Koroc River Valley, Torngat Mountains.

The American weather stations; memories of Kimmirut (Lake Harbour) and Clyde River

Anugaaq Arnaqquq

"After the Americans went to Iqaluit, they visited Kimmirut. I think that there were seven or eight of them. They went there to work, to observe the weather […]. They built houses there."
In Chapter Three, the Elders share their memories of the presence of the Americans in Kimmirut and Clyde River. Jimmy Nooshoota tells us that there were five or six Americans in Kimmirut in the 1940’s; they were mounting guard. The Inuit were not afraid of the qallunaat, according to him, because they always went to welcome them when a ship arrived. He recalls that the various qallunaat (missionaries, Americans, RCMP officers and HBC managers) did not associate, and that they only gathered together for celebrations. Peter Atsitaq, who was born near Kimmirut, talks about the war, the surveillance aircraft and the planes that refuelled in mid-air. He tells about an event during which the members of his family were convinced they would all be killed and of the fear they felt at that time. He also says that the Americans did not want the Inuit to use their dogs, because they were using them to mount guard, so some people went hunting on foot. Akaka Sataa and Jimmy Nooshoota talk about the possible presence of German prisoners in Kimmirut, which Bill MacKenzie, however, denies. Jimmy Nooshoota tells us that there was only one family living with the Americans in Kimmirut, the family of Mikijjuk, who worked for them. Anugaaq Arnaqquq also talks about Mikijjuk, and tells us how this man saved his life when he was a child. Tomassie Naglingniq recalls the Americans’ celebrations following the victory of the allies over Germany. Pallu Nowdlak, on the other hand, talks about the presence of the Americans in Clyde River, as well as about their departure; they came there to build houses and to keep watch over the territory. He tells us about his reaction to seeing his first movie and the records he listened to when he went to visit the Americans. Uqi Kunuk also talks about her life in Clyde River when the Americans were there and describes the houses they built. There were not many of them compared to the group in Iqaluit. She recalls that an Inuit and his wife worked for them.