Goods can only reach the communities by air or – when the Arctic Ocean thaws – by sea, making the free year-round shipping vital
Thomas Rohner in Iqaluit
Fri 13 Dec 2019 05.00 EST
Iguptaq Autut, a comedian from Canada’s Arctic territory of Nunavut, knew he had truly arrived in the territory’s capital the day he walked out of the post office with an Amazon box under his arm.
“Walking down the street, I thought: ‘I’m from Iqaluit now,’” joked Autut, 47.
Iguptaq had grown up in Igluligaarjuk, a town of just 500 people on the north-western coast of the Hudson Bay, so for him Iqaluit – with a population of almost 8,000 – was the big city.
And among its perks was access to Amazon Prime, whose free shipping deal has become crucial to many in Canada’s remotest territorial capital.
There are no roads or rail lines into Nunavut, where 40,000 mostly Inuit inhabitants live largely in coastal communities separated by immense stretches of tundra and ocean. The closest urban centres lie thousands of kilometres to the south.