Anirniq (“ah-NIL-nik”) is an Inuktun word meaning “breath of life” or “spirit.”
From 1950 to 1960, tuberculosis ravaged Northern Indigenous populations. Many were flown to Edmonton for treatment in facilities like the Charles Camsell Hospital, which was located in the ward.
Those who survived returned home after an average stay in the hospital of two and a half years. But many Inuit died, buried far from their home, often without their families being notified.
Inuit Elders recommended the name Anirniq (ᐊᓂᕐᓂᖅ) to honour those Indigenous people who lost their breath of life or spirit to disease.