If you drive all the way to the Arctic coast, there are now two signs announcing the end of the highway and the beginning of the ocean.
An Inuvialuktun translation of Arctic Ocean – Nunaryuam Qaangani Tariuq – has been added beneath the existing, famous blue Arctic Ocean sign, to which visitors from across the world have flocked since the highway to Tuktoyaktuk opened in 2017, making the community of just under 1,000 much more accessible.
A spokesperson for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, or IRC, said Nunaryuam Qaangani Tariuq translates to “ocean at the top of the world.” Tariuq means sea or ocean in Inuvialuktun.
The NWT’s Department of Infrastructure said the sign was added following consultation with the IRC.
“This is part of the ongoing work by the Department of Infrastructure to ensure more NWT official languages are represented in signage,” said spokesperson Sonia Idir by email.
Communities across the NWT have added Indigenous languages to signage in recent years, including Yellowknife, as a step toward reconciliation.