Husky Lakes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Husky Lakes
Eskimo Lakes
Liverpool Bay and Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula labelled.jpg
Image of Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula and surrounding bodies of water (north is to the upper right), including the lower Husky Lakes near the top left corner. Both "finger" areas can be seen; the eastern area is labelled.
Husky Lakes is located in Northwest Territories
Husky Lakes
Husky Lakes
Location in the Northwest Territories
LocationNorthwest Territories, Canada
Coordinates69°15′N 132°17′W / 69.25°N 132.29°W / 69.25; -132.29Coordinates: 69°15′N 132°17′W / 69.25°N 132.29°W / 69.25; -132.29
Native nameImaryuk  (Inuktitut)
Primary inflowsSitidgi Creek
Primary outflowsLiverpool Bay, Beaufort Sea
Catchment area9,543 km2 (3,685 sq mi)
Basin countriesCanada
Surface area1,933 km2 (746 sq mi)
Average depth13 m (43 ft)
Max. depth100 m (330 ft)

The Husky Lakes are a system of brackish estuarine basins in the Northwest Territories of Canada.[1][2] Formerly known as the Eskimo Lakes,[3] they are called Imaryuk in Inuvialuktun, the language of the Inuvialuit, the original inhabitants of the area.[2]

The Husky Lakes form a chain of five basins[1] draining toward the northeast and roughly coinciding with the Eskimo Lakes fault zone, which runs along a southwest–northeast axis through the region.[4] The two lower basins are bracketed on either side by inundated tunnel valleys lying between "fingers" (narrow peninsulas) of land. Through the eastern "finger" region (Singiit in Inuvialuktun), the lakes empty into Liverpool Bay, an arm of the Beaufort Sea.[2] Sitidgi Lake, a freshwater lake south of the Husky Lakes, drains into the southernmost basin through a shallow 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) channel called Sitidgi Creek.[1] Together the basins cover an area of 1,933 square kilometres (746 sq mi) and drain an area of 9,543 square kilometres (3,685 sq mi).[1] They average 13 metres (43 ft) in depth with maximum depths not exceeding 100 metres (330 ft).[1] The Husky Lakes lie north of the tree line[5] and vegetation in the area is that of typical Arctic tundra.[2]

At Saunaktuk ("place of bones"),[6] a site in the western "finger" area,[7] remains of at least 35 Inuvialuit women, elderly and children were found dating to the 14th or 15th century. The remains exhibited signs of violence and possibly cannibalism, and are consistent with Inuvialuit oral histories describing a Dene attack at that site.[8]

Today the area around the Husky Lakes remains culturally and economically important to the Inuvialuit of Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik.[1] In the spring, fishing for lake trout, lake whitefish, cod and pike is a major traditional source of food for the Inuvialuit.[9] Bear, goose and duck are also hunted in the spring, but caribou hunting has recently been banned. Access to the area is more difficult in the summer after spring thaw,[9] but this is likely to change after the opening of the extension of the Dempster Highway to Tuktoyaktuk,[10] which passes near the western side of the southern lakes. Berry picking (cloudberry, crowberry, blueberry, cranberry) and ptarmigan hunting are popular activities in the fall, and trapping is practiced from late fall through early spring. Cabins have been built around the lakes and there is an outfitter lodge at Saunaktuk.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Roux, M.-J.; Sparling, P.; Felix, J.; Harwood, L. A. (2014). Ecological Assessment of Husky Lakes and Sitidgi Lake, Northwest Territories, 2000-2004 (PDF) (Technical report). Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 3071. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Hoyt, Andrea Johanne (2001). Opportunities for integrated management: a perspective on Inuvialuit attitudes towards development and subsistence land use in the Husky Lakes area (PDF) (M.N.R.M.). University of Manitoba. pp. 1–5. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "Eskimo Lakes". Canadian Geographical Names Data Base. October 6, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  4. ^ Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 1549. Natural Resources Canada. August 1987. p. 26. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  5. ^ "14.2 Position of treeline". NWT State of the Environment Report. Environment and Natural Resources, GNWT. May 29, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  6. ^ Kocho-Schellenberg, John-Erik (2010). Understanding the Evolution of Beluga Entrapment Co-Management in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Using Social Network Analysis (PDF) (M.N.R.M.). University of Manitoba. p. 8. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  7. ^ Betts, Matthew W. (2009). "Chronicling Siglit identities: economy, practice, and ethnicity in the Canadian Western Arctic" (PDF). Alaska Journal of Anthropology. 7 (2): 7. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  8. ^ Melbye, Jerry; Fairgrieve, Scott I. (1994). "A Massacre and Possible Cannibalism in the Canadian Arctic: New Evidence from the Saunaktuk Site (NgTn-1)". Arctic Anthropology. 31 (2): 57–77. JSTOR 40316364.
  9. ^ a b c "Husky Lakes Special Cultural Area Criteria" (PDF). Inuvialuit Land Administration. June 2011. p. 6. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  10. ^ Gordon Jr., James (April 24, 2012). "Husky Lakes Survey 2012" (PDF). Environmental Impact Review Board, Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Retrieved April 25, 2017.