The Diocese of the Arctic was formed in 1933 and incorporated in 1961. The territory of the diocese spans the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik (Northern Quebec). Originally the See city was in Aklavik with All Saints as the Pro-Cathedral, but in 1972 the See city became Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit), because the Mackenzie River area had become its own Episcopal District. St. Jude's Cathedral was built in Iqaluit especially to be the Cathedral for the Diocese of the Arctic. The diocese ministers primarily among Inuit people, but has also included First Nations and Caucasians in its mission stations. From the earliest days the missionaries in the Arctic were involved in translation, medical services and education.
The Diocese of the Arctic has had five diocesan bishops - Archibald Lang Fleming (1933-1949), Donald Ben Marsh (1950-1973), John Reginald Sperry (1974-1990), John Christopher Richard Williams (1991-2002 ), Andrew Philip Atagotaaluk (2002-2012), David Parsons (2012- ).
Suffragan Bishops were introduced in 1963 with Henry George Cook (1963-1966). Since then others have followed - James Charles MacLeod Clarke (1979-1986), J.C.R. Williams (1987-1990), Terrence Owen Buckle (1993-1995), Paul Oodleteta Idlout (1996-2004), Andrew Philip Atagotaaluk (1999-2002), Larry David Robertson (1999-2010), and Benjamin Tatigat Arreak (2002-2010), Darren McCartney (2012-2019), Joey Royal, (2019- ), Annie Ittoshat (2019- ), Lucy Netser (2019- ).
The diocese was formed from the northern portions of four diocese - Yukon (formerly Selkirk), Keewatin, Moosonee, and Mackenzie River. In 1955 the diocese was expanded to include the Mackenzie River area, until 1966 when it was transferred to the spiritual jurisdiction of the diocese of Athabasca. In 1971 the Mackenzie River area became the Episcopal District of the Mackenzie with the Rt. Rev. Henry Cook as Bishop. The district rejoined the diocese of the Arctic in 1974.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records created or accumulated by the Diocese of the Arctic. The records cover missionary work in the Arctic and include missions that were originally administered by the dioceses of the Yukon (formerly Selkirk), Keewatin, Moosonee, and Mackenzie River (1884-1970).
The fonds is arranged in series which include:
Administration records, bishops records, parish records, translation records, hospital records, financial records, audio-visual records, graphic records, cartographic records, printed material, and collected material from various Arctic missionaries.
The bishops' records include clergy files, women workers, catechists and lay workers, mission station files, diocesan files, pastoral letters, executive committee files, Arthur Turner Training School and catechist schools files.
Gabriel Eldon Merritt (1888-1940) left St. John, NB for the north in 1914. He served at Inman River and Bernard Harbour until 1929 and at Cambridge Bay from 1929-1930. He left the north due to illness in 1930 and settled in Ottawa, ON. He was ordained deacon in 1924.
Scope and Content
Microfilm consists of 8 diaries kept during period of service in Yukon and Arctic, April 1914 to July 1930.
Finding aid available. See: Microfilm collections- Gabriel Eldon Merritt Diaries