Kugaaruk means “little steam” and it was one of the last places to have contact with European explorers. Since ice conditions do not allow for many traders, missionaries and explorers to reach the Inuit People of Kugaaruk. In the past, the Inuit People hunted caribou, sea mammals, and lived off the land. It became a permanent settlement to the European explorers with the addition of the Distant Early Warning Line Station in 1955. This was part of an early warning system to Canada and the States for alerts of air travel over North America’s polar region. It was later updated to the CAM-4. Today there is still an active settlement here with around 1000 people living here. They still hunt and live off the land but mining activity has increased with diamond and gold exploration camps located around Kugaaruk.