- Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park
Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park [http://www.newparksnorth.org/bloody.htm New Parks North - Kugluk (Bloody Falls) Park, "Newsletter 14" March 2005] ] [ [http://www.nunavutparks.com/parks-special-places/kugluk-bloody-falls-territorial-park/overview.aspx Nunavut Parks - Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park, About the park] ] is located about 15 km southwest of Kugluktuk,
Nunavut, Canada. The 10 hectarepark is situated around the "Bloody Falls" on the Coppermine Riverand was listed as a national historic sitein 1978. [ [http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/lhn-nhs/det_E.asp?oqSID=0326&oqeName=Bloody+Falls&oqfName=Bloody+Falls Bloody Falls National Historic Site of Canada] ]
The park is probably best known as the site of the
Bloody Falls Massacrethat occurred when Samuel Hearne's Chipewyanguides massacred a group of Copper Inuitthey found camped at the falls. [ [http://www.youthlinks.org/article.do?articleID=1979&sl=e Youth Links - The Story of Bloody Falls] Short article written by three Kugluktuk students.]
The area, both inside and outside the current park boundaries, was used by both Inuit and
First Nationspeople stretching back over thousands of years. Although the park today lies outside of the modern range of the Bathurst caribou herd (named for Bathurst Inlet) the area was a major hunting ground. [http://wildlife.enr.gov.nt.ca/NWTWildlife/caribou/bathurstdist.htm Bathurst Caribou - Government of the NWT] ] Evidence, such as antlerhuts, show that it was used by both groups as a major Barren-ground Caribouhunting region. [ [http://www.civilization.ca/archeo/nadlok/nadcompe.html Nadlok and the Origin of the Copper Inuit at Civiliztion.ca] ] The river and falls were also a major fishing area and remain so today.
Taltheilei Shale Tradition, pre-historic ancestors of the Dene, campsites about 1,500 years old, may be found in the area. There is also evidence of 7,000 year old Indian campsites. [New Parks North "Newsletter 15" March 2006]
Early Paleoeskimo(pre- Dorset culture) sites are found here and have been dated to over 3,500 years. Within the last 500 years the Thule peoplebuilt stone houses in the park.
With the division of the
Northwest Territoriesin 1999 the area is less used by the Dene than in previous times. Inuit from Kugluktuk still travel to the area to fish and hunt but the park is mainly a tourist attraction. The park can be reached by motorboat, about 45 minutes, all-terrain vehicle, about two hours or by a 4 to 5 hour walk. The park also provides a camping spot for canoeists travelling along the river and a special portagetrail has been constructed. The campsite is situated just below the falls and is called "Onoagahiovik" in Inuinnaqtun. There are plans to build an information booth in the park and a "comfort station" is already in place.
The area is typical
Arctic tundraand along the sides of the river are the cliffs that lead to the falls. Rocky escarpments can be found and it is possible to see the Arctic Oceanfrom hills within the park. The fast flowing river, normally fairly wide, is forced through the cliffs in the park and create the falls before spreading out again.
Besides caribou a visitor to the park may observe barren-ground grizzly bears and
wolverine. Bird species such as the Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Buzzard(Rough-legged Hawk), Peregrine Falcon, Gyrfalconand Swallows may be observed in the park. The last are found in large numbers and nest in the cliffs around the falls.
Although the park falls within the
tree linethe trees are fairly stunted and the most common is the Dwarf Willow. The black-tipped groundsel ("senecio lugens") is found in the park. The plant was named by John Richardson while travelling the river with John Franklinin 1821 during his first expedition. The word "lugens" is derived from the Latinword "to mourn" and is supposed to commemorate the massacre.
List of Nunavut parks
* [http://184.108.40.206/on_the_land/kugluk_bloodyfalls.cfm Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park]
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