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Nunavik’s fourth national park

Qamanialuk lake, ulittaniujalik national park. © Alain Thibault

Under the direction of Nunavik Parks, Ulittaniujalik National Park was officially created after six years of collaboration. Covering an area of 5,293 km2 and offering protection to a large portion of the majestic George River Plateau, Ulittaniujalik is the second-largest national park in the province of Québec. The Inuit communities of Kangiqsualujjuaq and Kuujjuaq, as well as the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach work jointly with the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and the Kativik Regional Government to make the Park a reality. Through regular Working Group meetings with them as well as the Land Holding Corporation, outfitters and Makivik Corporation, the Park project unifies the interests and concerns of all land users. Renowned for its vast landscapes, ancestral culture and welcoming inhabitants, Nunavik’s new park helps celebrate its rich heritage.

To support the Park, a Harmonization Committee has been established with representatives from each of the organizations and local stakeholders of the Working Group. Its role is to share information on the development of activities and services, to study proposals for scientific research projects to be conducted in the Park, and receive comments. The committee also plays an important role in maintaining the harvesting rights of The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Québec Agreement beneficiaries.

Camping in ulittaniujalik national park. © Alain Thibault

Our Great Land

Encompassing the valleys of the George River and the Ford River, on the surrounding high plateaus, the Ulittaniujalik National Park has a fascinating history in terms of human occupancy, geology and biology. Its mountains were worked by the gradual retreat of an ancient glacial lake; the positions of former shorelines are still visibly etched across the landscape. It is these rock streaks that have lent the Park its name, known by Inuit and Naskapi as ‘the place where there are shorelines’.

The George River once witnessed the migrations of hundreds of thousands of caribou, and also served as a travel route for Inuit and Naskapi, as well as explorers and adventurers. Located just upstream from the mouth of the Ford River, the Chutes Helen act as an impassable natural barrier for some species of fish, in particular Arctic char. The Lac Tasirlaq and Lac Qamanialuk sector nurtures a varied fauna and flora, including species that are rare, at risk or unique to northern environments.

The territory offers a wide array of landscapes that are easily explored thanks to the low relief and open terrain. Visitors may choose an organized package with Nunavik Parks, an authorized outfitter (Pyramid Mountain Camp, Hellen Falls Camp), tour operator (Inuit Adventures) or decide to conduct an independent and self- organized expedition. Since the George River is the main focus of the Park, nautical activities and sport fishing is highlighted during the summer. Hiking is also a prized intermediate-level activity that quickly gives access to an exceptional view of the region. In winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and dogsledding will make for unforgettable excursions over frozen lakes and valleys where snow accumulates.

White water paddling in
ulittaniujalik national park.
© France Brindamour

The George River historically served as a transportation route and for human occupation. It continues to this day to be used frequently, in particularly by the owners and clients of the Pyramid Mountain Camp, located on the river bank opposite to Pic Pyramide. Indeed, the territory is used by outfitters, who offer fishing activities in the Park along with accommodations.

Following the creation of the Pingualuit National Park (2004), Kuururjuaq National Park (2009) and Parc National Tursujuq (2013), the region’s attention now focuses on Ulittaniujalik National Park. In accordance with the mission of national parks in Québec, this Park will facilitate the discovery of this protected territory, as well as its natural and cultural heritage. The creation of Ulittaniujalik National Park opens new ways for nature, historical, outdoor and genuine-experience enthusiasts.

Like all Nunavik parks, the pristine natural environment of Ulittaniujalik National Park makes it a unique destination in the modern world to discover its exceptional territory accompanied by local guides who still today travel and use this land for their traditional activities. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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