The Inuit of Kimmirut are the descendents of ancient culture that dates back thousands of years. Evidence of Inuit settlement goes back to the Paleo-Eskimo and Pre-Dorset cultures that existed in the North between 2500 and 500 BC. This was followed by the Dorset cultures that flourished from 500 BC to 1500 AD. The first contact between Inuit and Europeans probably occurred around 1000 AD, during a time when both Dorset and Thule cultures were present. Further encounters between Norse sailors from Greenland and the inhabitants of the north continued over the next 500 years.
A Timeline of Inuit Cultures:
- Paleo-Eskimo Culture: 2500 BC to 1500 BC
- Pre-Dorset Culture ('Saqqaq'): 2500 BC to 500 BC
- Dorset Culture ('Tuniit' or 'Sivullirmiut'): 500 BC to 1500 AD
- Thule Culture (Proto-Inuit): 1000 AD to 1600 AD
- Inuit Culture (Eskimo): 1600 AD to present-day
Contact between Inuit and Europeans increased after the Hudson Bay Company was formed in 1670.Fur traders began to come through the region, and later, Scottish and American whalers who were in pursuit of bowhead whales would visit the Hudson Strait. The Tay Whale Fishing Company of Dundee Scotland also established a mica mine in Lake Harbour (what is today Kimmirut)and many Inuit worked there as miners, bringing more Inuit into the region.
An Anglican mission was founded in 1900, followed by a Hudson Bay Company trading post in 1911 – the first such trading post on Baffin Island. By 1927, the Royal Canadiam Mounted Police had a permanent presence in Kimmirut. By the 1950s, many Inuit began to settle permanently in the town and both a federal school and a medical clinic were constructed. Three years before the creation of Nunavut, the hamlet changed its name from Lake Harbour to Kimmirut.