There are a couple of theories as to the place name origin of 'Makkovik.' 'Vik' is an Inuktitut word meaning 'place,' while 'Makko' may be a corruption of the name Marcoux. Pierre Marcoux was a French trader in labrador in the late 1700's. Another theory states that Makko refers to the Inuktitut word 'maggok,' translated to mean 'two.' Around Makkovik, there are two main inlets, named Makkovik Harbour and Makkovik Bay respectively. There are also two primary freshwater brooks that run into these two inlets.
Makkovik is rich in natural and cultural heritage. The extended region, which includes both Hopedale and Cape Harrison, is immeasurably rich in natural heritage features, including many offshore islands, large, deep bays and several major rivers, some of which traverse the Labrador wilderness to their headlands near the Quebec border.
The town has a rich combination of Inuit and settler tradition. The Inuit people and their ancestors, have occupied the region for thousands of years, and have a cultural heritage that's intertwined with the land and sea.
During the late 1800's the settler and Inuit population of the area increased, and in 1896, the Moravians chose Makkovik as the site of their most southerly mission station. They built a church and mission house and, in 1916, a boarding school. Unfortunately, these historic structures were destroyed by fire in 1948.
The first permanent settlers came to the area as craftsmen or sailors, but settled as hunters, trappers and fishermen. The rich fishing grounds off Makkovik attracted schooners from Newfoundland and contributed to the community's early growth as a supply and service centre.