Hopedale, NL, incorporated as a community in 2006, population 556 (2011c), 530 (2006c). Hopedale is an Inuit community located on a small peninsula jutting into the North Atlantic north of Deep Inlet on the Labrador coast. The area had been long used by the Labrador Inuit who call it Agvituk, meaning "a place where there are whales," but the site was also important for its variety of land and marine resources.

Moravian Presence

The community was established in 1782 as a mission station of the Moravian Church. Its name reflected the optimism for a more successful mission than an earlier attempt in 1752 when 6 missionaries were killed by the Inuit. It was indeed successful and the Moravians built and maintained commercial premises, churches and schools for the Inuit and a slowly growing number of European settlers. They began to scale back the mission in the 1950s, and closed all their missions in Labrador by 1990. Today, a Moravian congregation remains. The Hopedale Mission, consisting of 7 buildings, was designated as a national historic site in 1970.


In 1926 the Hudson's Bay Company became the principal commercial operator until succeeded by Newfoundland government agencies in the 1940s. During the early 1950s a DEW Line radar station (see Early-Warning Radar) was constructed at Hopedale; it was closed in the early 1990s. Many people practice a traditional lifestyle of fishing and hunting. A fish processing plant and ecotourism are other economic activities.

Inuit Government

Most residents are beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement, signed in 2005, and Hopedale is the legislative centre of the Nunatsiavut Government. Hopedale Inuit Community Government is the local government. (See also Labrador Inuit (Labradormiut).