Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans said government icebreakers were too far from the area to smash the ice to free the whales, Inukjuak Mayor Peter Inukpuk said Wednesday.
After that, Palliser said, locals had agreed to try to enlarge the breathing hole in the ice and cut a second opening using chainsaws and drills.
"We certainly had our prayers with them last night during our meeting," he said.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a statement Thursday saying two scientists were en route to gather information and will monitor the situation. Ice-trapped marine mammals are not unusual in the region.
Pete Ewins, an expert in Arctic wildlife at the World Wildlife Fund Canada, said the orca were still 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from where they should be at this time of year.
"They got stuck (in Hudson Bay) and they're unlikely to get out," said Ewins, adding that killer whales are not accustomed to ice.
"These guys are on the edge and they might not make it through."