Nunatsiavut is a vast but sparsely-populated rural area in northern Labrador which comprises five widely-scattered native villages (Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet) and three abandoned ghost towns (Hebron, Okak and Nutak) spread across over 72,000 square kilometres of land.
This is Inuit land, vast, expansive, remote, sparsely-populated and bitterly cold in winter. Nunatsiavut is Arctic or sub-Arctic and governed by natives.
- Nunatsiavut Marine, Lewisporte. Seasonal coastal ferry from Goose Bay to the various individual coastal villages, terminating in Nain.
- Air Labrador, ☎ +1 709 896-6730, fax: +1 709 896-8510. Various bush planes fly north from Goose Bay.
- Wanderbird Expedition Cruises, Belfast, Maine, USA, toll-free: +1-866-SEA-BIRD (732-2473). Three week sea journey departs Saint Pierre and Miquelon for Nain once in July and again in August. $8000/person.
In winter, the best way to get around is by snowmobile. In summer, there is a limited road network within each village; intercity transport is by coastal boat.
- Torngâsok Cultural Centre, 25 Ikajuktauvik Road, Nain, ☎ +1 709 922-2942. Museum and community centre.
A few national historic sites commemorate the early Moravian Mission Presence in the region:
- Hebron Mission Station, a ghost town founded 1831, abandoned 1959
- Hopedale Mission Complex, a group of seven historic buildings from the 1800s
- Okak Mission Station
- Torngat Mountains National Park, ☎ +1 709 922-1290 (English), +1 709 458-2417 (French), toll-free: +1-888-922-1290, fax: +1 709 922-1294. 9,700 km² of mountains and wilderness extend from Saglek Fjord in the south to the northern tip of Labrador, eastward to the Labrador Sea and west to Nunavik in Québec. Icebergs, migratory caribou herds, polar bears and the highest mountain peaks east of the Rockies.
Various native crafts (such as stone and caribou antler carvings, handmade slippers, seal skins, woven baskets and bowls) are available in the villages.
Traditionally hunting was the main source of food in this area; ptarmigan and grouse, hare, caribou, moose, ducks, goose, and seal are all harvested locally. Fishers catch salmon, arctic char, trout, smelt, cod, and snow crab. Wild birds eggs are gathered locally, along with berries such as bakeapples/cloudberry, blueberry, and partridgeberry (redberry or lingonberry).
The few grocery stores bring in a limited selection of non-local foods (starches, fruits, vegetables and meats); as costs are higher, these items normally complement (but not replace) local foodstuffs.
Each native community is able to establish an "alcohol committee" with the power to impose restrictions within its respective village.
Natuashish voted by referendum to ban alcohol from the village entirely in 2008, due to ongoing issues with substance abuse.
There is one bar (a hotel lounge) in Nain.
Beer can be purchased in Nain or Hopedale. Hard liquor can’t be purchased locally, but can be ordered from Goose Bay.
- Amaguk Inn, Hopedale, ☎ +1 709 933-3750, fax: +1 709 933-3764, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel with lounge and dining room, airport transportation, fax/photocopy service, Internet, room service.
- Adlavik Inn, ☎ +1 709 923-2389, fax: +1 709 923-2388, e-mail: email@example.com. Five-room inn with small restaurant serving traditional cuisines and local harvest.
- Atsanik Lodge, Sand Banks Road, Nain, ☎ +1 709 922-2910, fax: +1 709 922-2815, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full-service hotel with lounge, dining room/restaurant, banquet/meeting facilities, room service, airport transportation, Internet.
- North Coast Hospitality, Postville, ☎ +1 709 479-9766, fax: +1 709 479-9755, e-mail: email@example.com. Hotel accommodation, office space, TV and internet.
- Jayda's Place B&B, Postville, ☎ +1 709 479-9741. Breakfast, lunch, supper, TV and Internet in rooms.
- Blake's Efficiency Units, Rigolet, ☎ +1 709 947-3307. Four efficiency units with one or two double beds, kitchenette/living room, Internet.
- Sinittavik Bed & Breakfast, Rigolet, ☎ +1 709 947-3459, fax: +1 709 947-3308, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Four rooms with TV, telephone, wi-fi. Airport transportation, vehicle rental, licensed guide for boat and snowmobile tours.
- Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station, toll-free: +1-855-TORNGAT (8676428), e-mail: email@example.com. Seasonal tent camp outside park, operated by Nunatsiavut Group of Companies (Labrador Inuit Development Corporation). Boat tours, hiking guides and one helicopter.
The one token GSM cellular telephone site in the region (at Natuashish, near Davis Inlet) is operated by Lynx Mobility (a small, specialist carrier serving remote native communities).
Anywhere else in Nunatsiavut, there is no signal.
- Back south to Goose Bay. Nunavik (Québec's Ungava Peninsula) and Greenland are also relatively close, but not easy to access.