Canada's Tentative List

Qajartalik, Nunavut

Qajartalik’s petroglyphs, which depict almost 180 stylized faces, are an impressive example of the creative genius of the Dorset people. The site is a remarkable cultural focal point where Dorset “artists” expressed themselves on a grand scale by carving faces into the rock mass to communicate their vision of the world—a vision that was very likely connected to the magico-religious universe of the Dorset people and the iconic representations of the Palaeo-Eskimo shamans. The Dorset people lived along the coasts of Nunavik from 2,200 to 1,000 years ago and disappeared before the arrival of the Thule Inuit approximately 800 years ago. Qajartalik is not only the most northerly rock-art site on the continent; it is also one of a kind.

The World Heritage criterion that best supports this site is:

  • (iii) The Qajartalik petroglyph site is a unique archaeological site in the Canadian Arctic, providing a tangible link to the cultural tradition of the Dorset people.