Aklavik was founded by the Pokiak and Greenland families around the Hudson Bay Company's small trading post, established in 1912. The price of furs rapidly increased from the turn of the century to 1920, which served to accelerate the growth of the Aklavik community

Significant twentieth century developments in Aklavik included:

1919 Establishment of an Anglican mission

1922 Opening of the western Arctic headquarters of Royal Canadian Mounted Police

1925 Immaculate Conception Hospital opened by the Roman Catholic Church; Royal Canadian Corps of Signals station opened

1925 All Saints Anglican Hospital built; Roman Catholic mission opens

1929 C. H. Dickens lands first airplane in Aklavik; air mail service begins

1931-1932 The hunt for the Mad Trapper of Rat River, Aklavik receives world wide attention. Click here to learn more about the Mad Trapper.

1939 Dr. Leslie Livingstone arrives to practice medicine and start a small experimental farm that produces wheat, barley and vegetables, as well as dairy products from a small dairy herd

1940-1950s Aklavik continues to grow. The major arctic center included: two hospitals, several churches, trading posts, Anglican and Roman Catholic mission schools, a Royal Canadian Legion, a bakery, post office, sawmill, Native hall and theatre. By 1953 Aklavik was serving a population of roughly 1600 people.

1953 The Federal Government of Canada recommends the relocation of Aklavik due to severe flooding and land erosion. The present site of Inuvik was chosen and Inuvik, "the model northern town", was established by 1958.

1958-1960s Much of the Aklavik population repositions in Inuvik however many do stay; living up to their motto, Never Say Die.

1974 Aklavik gains hamlet status

Present Aklavik continues to flourish as a modern town, one located far away from the hustle and bustle of Inuvik. Aklavik is accessible from Inuvik by air, by boat during the summer and by ice in the winter.

Source: Alunik, Kolausok & Morrison. (2003). Across time and tundra: the Inuvialuit of the western arctic. Vancouver: Raincoast Books.