A hard-to-reach region
In the 1980s many Inuit resided in a remote and inaccessible region. Kuujjjuaq, the largest community in the Nunavik region (or Nouveau Quebec as it was called in French). It is located 1,528 kilometers from Montreal. In 1980, the Inuit mainly used shortwave radios to communicate with each other. Community radio stations broadcast information in Inuktitut to the villages. TV shows were also starting to be produced.
Since there are no roads between communities in northern Quebec, transportation in this region, even locally, is done by plane or boat. Aircraft can quickly cover large distances and receive regular mail, light goods, and fresh foods. Planes were also used to transport the sick and wounded to the nearest hospital. In 1978, Inuit Air was founded to serve all communities.
Maritime transport plays an important role in Northern Quebec. During the three months when it is warmer, boats can travel because waterways are no longer frozen. It is then that cargoes of food, building materials, furniture, and other heavy goods are delivered to serve as reserves during the year.
The costs of transportation by boat or plane increases the cost of products shipped from the South. In addition, store-bought food costs double and triple what it does elsewhere.
From dog sleds to snowmobiles
Inuit communities are isolated from each other by hundreds of miles. Movements between villages are done using a snowmobile, a motorboat, an all-terrain vehicle, or a truck. The traditional means of transportation, such as kayaks and dogsleds are still occasionally used by the Inuit. However, snowmobiles frequently replace sled dogs for pulling goods and for hunting.
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Based on texts from the Récit de l’univers social. Adapted and updated by LEARN.