The territory was established by the Nunavut Act of June 1993 and became a constitutional entity on 1 April 1999. Its INUIT population became beneficiaries under the Nunavut Land Settlement Agreement, also of June 1993. That Agreement subdivides Nunavut into 3 designations of land: 1) CROWN LANDS over which Inuit have the right to hunt, trap, fish and participate in management; 2) 318 084 km2 of land that is Inuit freehold property as far as surface rights are concerned; and 3) 37 883 km2 of land on which subsurface rights are included with the surface freehold. Inuit were invited to select the parcels of land for each designation. In compensation for the Crown lands that are not to be Inuit property, the federal government agreed to pay to recognized Inuit organizations $1.17 billion over 15 years.
In 2006, Nunavut had a population of 29 474. Between 2001 and 2006, its population increased 10.2%; a similar trend as between the years 1996 and 2001 and gave it one of the highest increases in population among the provinces and territories during those time periods. Over three-quarters of the population is Inuit and 4 official languages are recognized: Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English and French. It has the youngest population in Canada with a median age of 23.1 (Canadian median age, 39.5). The largest community and its capital is IQALUIT.
Government and Politics
Politically, Nunavut has its own legislative assembly, which has powers equivalent to those of any other federal territory, and its own Supreme Court. There are no political parties and candidates run as individuals. A premier is selected from the 19 elected MLAs. The first premier of Nunavut was Paul OKALIK (1999-2008). Eva Aariak is the territory's second premier (2008-). Similar to the NWT, Nunavut has consensus government, a system that blends the principles of parliamentary democracy with the Aboriginal values of maximum cooperation, effective use of leadership resources and common accountability.
Author MICHAEL CRAUFURD-LEWIS
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge
The website for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge, which features Canada's largest essay writing competition for Aboriginal youth (ages 14-29) and a companion program for those who prefer to work through painting, drawing and photography. See their guidelines, teacher resources, profiles of winners, and more. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
Government of Nunavut
Your source for information about Government of Nunavut programs, regional tourism and local business opportunities. Also check out the links to Inuktitut language resources.
Symbols of Canada
An illustrated guide to national and provincial symbols of Canada, our national anthem, national and provincial holidays, and more. Click on "Historical Flags of Canada" and then "Posters of Historical Flags of Canada" for additional images. From the Canadian Heritage website.
A map of Statistics Canada's North-line which delineates the North from the South of Canada.
Watch the Heritage Minute about Inuit stone figures referred to as Inukshuk. From the Historica-Dominion Institute. See also related online learning resources.
Maps of provinces and territories from "The Atlas of Canada," Natural Resources Canada.
Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board
View one of the very informative maps from this online atlas devoted to the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou range. Includes maps of caribou populations within the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary and discussion papers about implementing measures that would protect local caribou herds. From the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board.
Geographical Names of Canada
Search the "Canadian Geographical Names Data Base" for the official name of a city, town, lake (or any other geographical feature) in any province or territory in Canada. See also the real story of how Toronto got its name. A Natural Resources Canada website.
City of Iqaluit
This is the website for the City of Iqaluit, the Capital City of Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut.
A biography of Nunavut MLA Tagak Curley. From the website for the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
An overview of the major issues and events leading up to Nunavut's entry into Confederation. Includes biographies of prominent personalities, old photos and related archival material. From Library and Archives Canada.
An interactive guide to "Geologic Journey," a CBC documentary series which traces the extraordinary geologic history of the North America continent.
Eva Aariak topples incumbent to become Nunavut's 2nd premier
A 2008 CBC News article about Eva Aariak, the northern territory's first female premier.
A history of the "census" in Canada. Check the menu on the left for data on small groups (such as lone-parent families, ethnic groups, industrial and occupational categories and immigrants) and for information about areas as small as a city neighbourhood or as large as the entire country. From the website for Statistics Canada.
Aboriginal Place Names
This site highlights Aboriginal place names found across Canada. From the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
Angulalik Kitikmeot Fur Trader
Learn about Inuit fur traders, the Hudson's Bay Company, and more at this multimedia website from the Kitikmeot Heritage Society.
Plan your next Arctic adventure at this Nunavut Tourism website. Offers information about local communities, history and culture, recreational opportunities, and much more.
The Nunavut Literacy Council
The Nunavut Literacy Council promotes literacy and supports literacy initiatives in the four official languages of Nunavut - Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English, and French.
Nunavut Arctic College
The website for Nunavut Arctic College, a major contributor to the development of Nunavut and the premiere provider of quality adult learning opportunities for all Nunavummiut. A PDF file.
Journal of Glaciology
This site offers free access to selected articles from the "Journal of Glaciology." From the International Glaciological Society.
An illustrated website about archaeological research and prehistoric culture in the Canadian Arctic. From the University of Waterloo.
A brief article about the growth and development of theatre and related cultural events in Canada’s North. Includes the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. From the Encyclopedia of Canadian Theatre.
Take a helicopter flight over the Barnes ice cap, part of the visual tour of Southwest Baffin Island. From the website for the Tukilik Foundation.
Names of the provinces and territories
Abbreviations and symbols for the names of the provinces and territories. From the website for Natural Resources Canada.
A nicley illustrated online feature about muskox biology, harvesting, and products. From the Nunavut Development Corporation.
Oceans North Canada
This website examines conservation strategies that address the impact of climate change in the Arctic. Programs include identification of marine conservation areas, land claims agreements, fisheries management plans, ecosystem studies, and related initiatives. Features maps and striking photographs of local landscapes.
Apology for Inuit High Arctic Relocation
A backgrounder about the Canadian government's apology to Inuit families who were forcibly moved from northern Quebec to barren High Arctic territory in the 1950s. From the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
Check out Sikunews for daily coverage of the top stories around the circumpolar world. Search for news items about specific issues and locations in the Canadian Arctic.
The trials of Nunavut: Lament for an Arctic nation
This feature probes pressing social, economic, and cultural challenges currently facing Nunavut communities and their residents. From theglobeandmail.com website.
State of the Arctic Coast 2010
A detailed, well-illustrated report that provides a comprehensive picture of the status and current and anticipated changes in the most sensitive Arctic coastal areas. Note: very large files.
Inuktitut Living Dictionary
A searchable online dictionary of the Inuktitut language.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...