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Nunavut ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ; ) is the largest and northernmost
territory A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. In most country, countries, a ''territory'' is an organized division of an area that is controlled by a country but is not formally ...
of Canada. It was separated officially from the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
on April 1, 1999, via the ''
Nunavut Act The history of Nunavut covers the period from the arrival of the Paleo-Eskimo thousands of years ago to present day. Prior to the colonization of the continent by Europeans, the lands encompassing present-day Nunavut were inhabited by several hi ...
'' and the '' Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act'', which provided this territory to the
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
for independent government. The boundaries had been drawn in 1993. The creation of Nunavut resulted in the first major change to Canada's political map since the province of
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland and the continental ...
was admitted in 1949. Nunavut comprises a major portion of
Northern Canada Northern Canada, colloquially the North or the Territories, is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. Politically, the term refers to the three territories of Canada The provinces and territories of ...

Northern Canada
and most of the
Arctic Archipelago The Arctic Archipelago, also known as the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a smal ...
. Its vast territory makes it the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world, as well as North America's second-largest (after
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
). The capital
Iqaluit Iqaluit ( ; Inuktitut syllabics Inuktitut syllabics (Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Canada. It is spoken ...

Iqaluit
(formerly Frobisher Bay), on
Baffin Island Baffin Island ( iu, ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ, , french: Île de Baffin, Terre de Baffin, formerly Baffin Land), in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian territory of Nunavut, is the list of Canadian islands by area, largest island in Can ...

Baffin Island
in the east, was chosen by a capital plebiscite in 1995. Other major communities include the regional centres of
Rankin Inlet Rankin Inlet ( iu, Kangiqliniq; Inuktitut syllabics Inuktitut syllabics (Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Ca ...
and
Cambridge Bay Cambridge Bay (Inuinnaqtun: ''Iqaluktuuttiaq'' Inuktitut syllabics, Inuktitut: ᐃᖃᓗᒃᑑᑦᑎᐊᖅ; Canada 2016 Census, 2016 population 1,766; Census geographic units of Canada#Population centres, population centre 1,619) is a Hamlet (pl ...

Cambridge Bay
. Nunavut also includes
Ellesmere Island Ellesmere Island (Inuktitut: ''Umingmak Nuna'', meaning "land of muskoxen"; french: Île d'Ellesmere) is Canada's northernmost and third largest island, and the tenth largest in the world. It comprises an area of , slightly smaller than Great ...

Ellesmere Island
to the far north, as well as the eastern and southern portions of
Victoria IslandMost of the Victoria Islands are named for Queen Victoria by British explorers or by others in honour of the popular monarch and may refer to: Argentina * Victoria Island (Argentina), in the Nahuel Huapi National Park Canada * Victoria Island (Can ...
in the west, and all islands in Hudson, James and Ungava bays, including
Akimiski Island Akimiski Island is the largest island in James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, Wînipekw) is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay ...
far to the southeast of the rest of the territory. It is Canada's only geo-political region that is not connected to the rest of North America by highway. Nunavut is the least populous of Canada's provinces and territories. One of the world's most remote, sparsely settled regions, Nunavut has a population of 39,589 (2021 figure, up from 35,944 in 2016), consisting mostly of
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
people. These people occupy a land area of just over , or slightly smaller than Mexico (excluding water surface area). Nunavut is also home to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert.
Eureka Eureka often refers to: * Eureka (word) file:Eureka! Archimede.jpg, Archimedes exclaiming ''Eureka''. In his excitement, he forgets to dress and runs nude in the streets straight out of his bath ''Eureka'' ( grc, εὕρηκα) is an interjection ...
, a weather station on Ellesmere Island, has the lowest average annual temperature of any Canadian weather station.


Etymology

Nunavut means "our land" in the native language
Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , Inuktitut syllabics, syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Canada. It is spoken in all areas north of the tree line, including part ...

Inuktitut
.


History


Early history

The region, which is now mainland Nunavut, was first populated approximately 4500 years ago by the
Pre-Dorset The Pre-Dorset is a loosely defined term for a Paleo-Eskimo The Paleo-Eskimo (also pre-Thule or pre-Inuit) were the peoples who inhabited the Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar regions of Earth, polar region located at the northernmost par ...
, a diverse
Paleo-Eskimo The Paleo-Eskimo (also pre-Thule or pre-Inuit) were the peoples who inhabited the Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar regions of Earth, polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adj ...
culture that migrated eastward from the
Bering Strait The Bering Strait (russian: Берингов пролив) is a strait of the Pacific, which separates Russia and the United States slightly south of the Arctic Circle at about 65° 40' N latitude. The present Russia-US east–west boundary is a ...
region. The Pre-Dorset culture was succeeded by the
Dorset culture The Dorset was a Paleo-Eskimo The Paleo-Eskimo (also pre-Thule or pre-Inuit) were the peoples who inhabited the Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar regions of Earth, polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic con ...
about 2800 years ago. Anthropologists and historians believe that the Dorset culture developed from the Pre-Dorset; however, the relationship between the two remains unclear.
HellulandHelluland is the name given to one of the three lands, the others being Vinland and Markland, seen by Bjarni Herjólfsson, encountered by Leif Erikson and further explored by Þorfinnr "Karlsefni" Þórðarson around AD 1000 on the North Atlanti ...
, which Norse explorers described visiting in their
Sagas of Icelanders The sagas of Icelanders ( is, Íslendingasögur), also known as family sagas, are one genre of Icelandic Saga, sagas. They are prose narratives mostly based on historical events that mostly took place in Iceland in the ninth, tenth, and early e ...
, has been associated to Nunavut's
Baffin Island Baffin Island ( iu, ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ, , french: Île de Baffin, Terre de Baffin, formerly Baffin Land), in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian territory of Nunavut, is the list of Canadian islands by area, largest island in Can ...

Baffin Island
. Claims of contact between the Dorset and Norse, however, remain controversial. The
Thule people The Thule (, , ) or proto-Inuit were the ancestors of all modern Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to a ...
, ancestors of the modern
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
, began migrating from Alaska in the 11th century into the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
and Nunavut. By 1300, the geographic extent of Thule settlement included most of modern Nunavut. The migration of the Thule people coincides with the decline of the Dorset, who died out between 800 and 1500.


European exploration

The earliest written historical account of the area is dated to 1576, an account by English
explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. With reference to scien ...

explorer
Martin Frobisher Sir Martin Frobisher (; c. 1535 – 22 November 1594) was an England, English sailor, seaman and privateer who made three voyages to the New World looking for the North-west Passage. He probably sighted Resolution Island (Nunavut), Resolution ...

Martin Frobisher
. While leading an expedition to find the
Northwest Passage The Northwest Passage (NWP) is the Sea lane, sea route between the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archi ...

Northwest Passage
, Frobisher thought he had discovered gold ore around the body of water now known as
Frobisher Bay Frobisher Bay is an inlet of the Davis Strait Davis Strait (french: Détroit de Davis) is a northern arm of the Atlantic Ocean that lies north of the Labrador Sea. It lies between mid-western Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; ...
on the coast of
Baffin Island Baffin Island ( iu, ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ, , french: Île de Baffin, Terre de Baffin, formerly Baffin Land), in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian territory of Nunavut, is the list of Canadian islands by area, largest island in Can ...

Baffin Island
. The ore turned out to be worthless, but Frobisher made the first recorded European contact with the
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
. Other explorers in search of the elusive Northwest Passage followed in the 17th century, including
Henry Hudson Henry Hudson ( 1565 – disappeared 23 June 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the pro ...
,
William Baffin William Baffin ( – 23 January 1622) was an English navigator and explorer. He is primarily known for his attempt to discover a Northwest Passage from the North Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the North Pacific Ocean, Pacific, during the cours ...
and
Robert Bylot Robert Bylot () was an English explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and ...
.


20th and 21st centuries

Cornwallis Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, (31 December 1738 – 5 October 1805), styled Viscount Brome between 1753 and 1762 and known as the Earl Cornwallis between 1762 and 1792, was a British Army General officer, general and official. ...
and
Ellesmere Island Ellesmere Island (Inuktitut: ''Umingmak Nuna'', meaning "land of muskoxen"; french: Île d'Ellesmere) is Canada's northernmost and third largest island, and the tenth largest in the world. It comprises an area of , slightly smaller than Great ...

Ellesmere Island
s featured in the history of the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
in the 1950s. Concerned about the area's strategic geopolitical position, the federal government, as part of the High Arctic relocation, relocated Inuit from
Nunavik Nunavik (; ; iu, ᓄᓇᕕᒃ) comprises the northern third of the province of Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New ...
(northern
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
) to Resolute and
Grise Fiord Grise Fiord (; iu, ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ, translit=Aujuittuq, lit=place that never thaws, italics=no) is an Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples ...

Grise Fiord
. In the unfamiliar and hostile conditions, they faced starvation but were forced to stay. Forty years later, the
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or a ...
issued a report titled ''The High Arctic Relocation: A Report on the 1953–55 Relocation''. The government paid compensation to those affected and their descendants. On August 18, 2010, in Inukjuak, the Honourable
John DuncanJohn Duncan may refer to: Arts and entertainment * John Duncan (painter) (1866–1945), Scottish painter * John Duncan (artist) (born 1953), American artist and musician * Big John Duncan (born 1958), Scottish punk musician * John Duncan (harpist) ...
, PC, MP, previous
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians formally apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada for the relocation of Inuit to the High Arctic. Discussions on dividing the Northwest Territories along ethnic lines began in the 1950s, and legislation to achieve this was introduced in 1963. After its failure, a federal commission recommended against such a measure. During the 1970s, activism increased among the
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
,
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
, and
Innu The Innu / Ilnu ("man", "person") or Innut / Innuat / Ilnuatsh ("people"), formerly called Montagnais from the French colonial period (French for "mountain people Hill people, also referred to as mountain people, is a general term for peop ...
peoples to recognition and compensation for abuses of their peoples and cultures by the government. In 1976, as part of the land claims negotiations between the
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, (Inuktitut syllabics Inuktitut syllabics (Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Canada. I ...
(then called the "Inuit Tapirisat of Canada") and the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...
, the parties discussed division of the Northwest Territories to provide a separate territory for the Inuit. On April 14, 1982, a plebiscite on division was held throughout the Northwest Territories. A majority of the residents voted in favour and the federal government gave a conditional agreement seven months later. The land claims agreement was completed in September 1992 and ratified by nearly 85% of the voters in Nunavut in a referendum. On July 9, 1993, the '' Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act'' and the ''Nunavut Act'' were passed by the
Canadian Parliament The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the federal legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patt ...

Canadian Parliament
. The transition to establish Nunavut Territory was completed on April 1, 1999. The creation of Nunavut has been followed by considerable population growth in the capital Iqaluit, from 5,200 in 2001 to 6,600 in 2011, a 27% increase. In 2020, Nunavut imposed strict travel regulations in order to prevent an outbreak of the
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease A contagious disease is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization o ...
pandemic. The government barred entry to almost all non-residents. As of October 2020, it was the only place in North America to have had no cases of COVID-19. On November 6, 2020, Nunavut confirmed its first case in
Sanikiluaq Sanikiluaq ( iu, ᓴᓂᑭᓗᐊᖅ ) is a municipality and Inuit community located on the north coast of Flaherty Island in Hudson Bay, on the Belcher Islands. Despite being geographically much closer to the shores of Ontario and Quebec, the co ...

Sanikiluaq
.


Geography

Nunavut covers of land and of water in Northern Canada. The territory includes part of the mainland, most of the Arctic Archipelago, and all of the islands in
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
,
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
, and
Ungava Bay Ungava Bay (french: baie d'Ungava, ; Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages The Inuit languages are a closely related ...
, including the
Belcher Islands The Belcher Islands (Inuit languages, Inuit: ''Sanikiluaq'') are an archipelago in the southeast part of Hudson Bay. The Belcher Islands are spread out over almost . Administratively, they belong to the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the territory of Nunavu ...
, all of which belonged to the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
from which Nunavut was separated. This makes it the fifth-largest subnational entity (or
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular ...

administrative division
) in the world. If Nunavut were a country, it would rank 15th in area. Nunavut has long land borders with the Northwest Territories on the mainland and a few Arctic islands, and with
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
to the south of the Nunavut mainland; it also meets
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
to the southwest at a
quadripoint A quadripoint is a point on Earth where four distinct territories meet. The territories can be of different types, such as national and provincial. Several examples exist throughout the world that use other names. In North America, several such p ...
, and has a short land border with
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador (; sometimes abbreviated as NL) is the easternmost province of Canada The Province of Canada (or the United Province of Canada or the United Canadas) (french: link=no, Province du Canada) was a British North Am ...
on
Killiniq Island Killiniq Island (English: ''ice floes'') is a small, remote island in southeastern Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North ...
. The boundary with the Northwest Territories roughly approximates the
tree line The tree line is the edge of the habitat at which tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of ...

tree line
in Canada. Nunavut shares maritime borders with
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
and the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. Nunavut's highest point is
Barbeau Peak__NOTOC__ Barbeau Peak is a mountain in Qikiqtaaluk, Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and t ...
() on Ellesmere Island. The population density is 0.019 persons/km2 (0.05 persons/sq mi), one of the lowest in the world. By comparison,
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
has approximately the same area and nearly twice the population.


Climate

Nunavut experiences a
polar climate The polar climate regions are characterized by a lack of warm summer Summer is the hottest of the four temperate In geography, the temperate climates of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astrono ...
in most regions, owing to its high latitude and lower continental summertime influence than areas to the west. In more southerly continental areas, very cold
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, gen ...
s can be found, due to July being slightly milder than the required .


Demography

As of the 2016 Canada Census, the population of Nunavut was 35,944, a 12.7% increase from 2011. In 2006, 24,640 people identified as Inuit (83.6% of the total population), 100 as
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
(0.3%), 130 as
Métis The Métis (; ) are Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous peoples in Canada and parts of the United States who are unique in being of mixed Indigenous and European (primarily French) ancestry. In Canada, they are considered a distinct ...
(0.4%) and 4,410 as non-aboriginal (15.0%). The population growth rate of Nunavut has been well above the Canadian average for several decades, mostly due to birth rates significantly higher than the Canadian average—a trend that continues. Between 2011 and 2016, Nunavut had the highest population growth rate of any Canadian province or territory, at a rate of 12.7%. The second-highest was Alberta, with a growth rate of 11.6%. Nunavut has the highest
smoking Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke Smoke is a collection of airborne and es emitted when a material undergoes or , together with the quantity of air that is or otherwise mixed into the ma ...

smoking
rate in all of Canada, with more than half of its adult population smoking cigarettes. Both men and women smoke regularly. Some 90% of pregnant women are smokers, although studies have shown it has detrimental effects.


Language

Official languages are Inuit (Inuktitut and
Inuinnaqtun Inuinnaqtun (; natively meaning ''like the real human beings/peoples''), is an indigenous Inuit language The Inuit languages are a closely related group of indigenous American languages traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic a ...
) sometimes called Inuktut,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and . and In his 2000 commissioned report ('' Language of Instruction Research Paper'') to the Nunavut Department of Education, Ian Martin of
York University York University (french: Université York), also known as YorkU or simply YU, is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization ...
said that a "long-term threat to
Inuit languages The Inuit languages are a closely related group of indigenous American languages traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic and to some extent in the subarctic in Labrador , nickname = "The Big Land" , ...
from English is found everywhere, and current school language policies and practices on language are contributing to that threat" if Nunavut schools follow the Northwest Territories model. He provided a 20-year language plan to create a "fully functional bilingual society, in Inuktitut and English" by 2020. The plan provided different models, including: * "Qulliq Model", for most Nunavut communities, with Inuktitut to be the main language of instruction. * "Inuinnaqtun Immersion Model", for language reclamation and immersion to revitalize Inuinnaqtun as a living language. * "Mixed Population Model", mainly for Iqaluit (possibly for Rankin Inlet), where the population is 40% , or non-Inuit, and may have different requirements. Of the 34,960 responses to the census question concerning "mother tongue" in the 2016 census, the most commonly reported languages in Nunavut were: At the time of the census, only English and French were counted as official languages. Figures shown are for single-language responses and the percentage of total single-language responses. In the 2016 census it was reported that 2,045 people (5.8%) living in Nunavut had no knowledge of either official language of Canada (English or French). The 2016 census also reported that of the 30,135 Inuit people in Nunavut, 90.7% could speak either Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun.


Religion

In 2011 census, Christianity constitutes 86% of Nunavut's population. About 13% of the population is non-religious, and 0.44% follows Aboriginal spirituality. There are small minorities of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews.


Economy

The economy of Nunavut is driven by the Inuit and Territorial Government, mining, oil, gas, and mineral exploration, arts, crafts, hunting, fishing, whaling, tourism, transportation, housing development, military, research, and education. Presently, one college operates in Nunavut, the
Nunavut Arctic College Nunavut Arctic College ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᓯᓚᑦᑐᖅᓴᕐᕕᒃ, french: Collège de l’Arctique du Nunavut, Inuinnaqtun Inuinnaqtun (; natively meaning ''like the real human beings/peoples''), is an indigenous Inuit language. It is s ...
, as well as several Arctic research stations located within the territory. The new Canadian High Arctic Research Station CHARS is planning for Cambridge Bay and high north Alert Bay Station. Iqaluit hosts the annual Nunavut Mining Symposium every April, a tradeshow that showcases the many economic activities ongoing in Nunavut.


Mining

There are currently three major mines in operation in Nunavut. Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd – Meadowbank Division.
Meadowbank Gold Mine The Meadowbank Gold Mine is an Open-pit mining, open pit Gold mining, gold mine operated by Agnico-Eagle Mines in the Kivalliq district of Nunavut, Canada. Discovery Discoveries of gold-containing Archean greenstone in the Baker Lake, Nunavut, B ...
is an open pit
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
mine with an estimated mine life 2010–2020 and employs 680 persons. The second recently opened mine in production is the operated by Baffinland Iron Mines. It is located close to Pond Inlet on North Baffin Island. They produce a high grade direct ship iron ore. The most recent mine to open is Doris North or the Hope Bay Mine operated near Hope Bay Aerodrome by TMAC Resource Ltd. This new high grade gold mine is the first in a series of potential mines in gold occurrences all along the Hope Bay greenstone belt.


Mining projects


Historic mines

*
Lupin Mine Lupin Mine was a gold mine in Nunavut Territory, Canada. It opened in 1982 and was originally owned and operated by Echo Bay Mines Limited, who in 2003 became a fully owned subsidiary of Kinross Gold Corporation. The mine ceased production briefly ...
1982–2005, gold, current owner Elgin Mining Ltd located near the Northwest Territories boundary near
Contwoyto Lake Contwoyto Lake is a lake in the Kitikmeot Region of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian territory of Nunavut, located near the border with the Northwest Territories. With a total area of , it is the List of lakes of Nunavut, territorie ...
) * Polaris Mine 1982–2002, lead and
zinc Zinc is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

zinc
(located on
Little Cornwallis Island Little Cornwallis Island is one of the Canadian Arctic islands in Nunavut, Canada. It is located at 75°30'N 96°30'W, between Cornwallis Island (Nunavut), Cornwallis Island and Bathurst Island (Canada), Bathurst Island in McDougall Sound, and measu ...

Little Cornwallis Island
, not far from Resolute) * Nanisivik Mine 1976–2002, lead and zinc, prior owner Breakwater Resources Ltd (near
Arctic Bay Arctic Bay (Inuktitut syllabics Inuktitut syllabics (Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Canada. It is spoken in ...
) at Nanisivik * Rankin Nickel Mine 1957–1962, nickel, copper and platinum group metals * Jericho Diamond Mine 2006–2008, diamond (located 400 km, 250 mi, northeast of
Yellowknife Yellowknife (; Dogrib language, Dogrib: ) is the capital, largest community, and only city in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, about south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife ...

Yellowknife
) 2012 produced diamonds from existing stockpile. No new mining; closed. * Doris North Gold Mine
Newmont Mining Newmont Corporation, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, United States, is the world's largest gold mining company. Incorporated in 1921, it has ownership of gold mines in Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United S ...
approx underground drifting/mining, none milled or processed. Newmont closed the mine and sold it to TMAC Resources in 2013. TMAC has now reached commercial production in 2017.


Energy

Nunavut's people rely primarily on
diesel fuel Diesel fuel in general is any liquid fuel Liquid fuels are combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create mechanical energy In physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abi ...
to run generators and heat homes, with
fossil fuel A fossil fuel is a hydrocarbon In , a hydrocarbon is an consisting entirely of and . Hydrocarbons are examples of s. Hydrocarbons are generally colourless and hydrophobic with only weak odours. Because of their diverse molecular structure ...
shipments from southern Canada by plane or boat because there are few to no roads or rail links to the region. There is a government effort to use more
renewable energy Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resource File:Global Vegetation.jpg, Global vegetation A renewable resource, also known as a flow resource, is a natural resource which will replenish to replace the portion resou ...
sources, which is generally supported by the community. This support comes from Nunavut feeling the
effects of global warming The effects of climate change span the physical environment A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is ...
. Former Nunavut Premier
Eva Aariak Eva Qamaniq Aariak ( iu, ᐄᕙ ᐋᕆᐊᒃ, ; born January 10, 1955) is a Canadian Inuk Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples ...
said in 2011, "
Climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
is very much upon us. It is affecting our hunters, the animals, the thinning of the ice is a big concern, as well as erosion from
permafrost Permafrost is ground that continuously remains below 0 °C (32 °F) for two or more years, located on land or under the ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surfa ...

permafrost
melting." The region is about twice as fast as the global average, according to the UN's
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on Attribution of recent climate change, human-induced climate change. It was established in 1988 by the ...
.


Transportation

* Northern Transportation Company Limited, owned by Norterra, a holding company that was, until April 1, 2014, jointly owned by the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories and the Inuit of Nunavut.The NorTerra Group of Companies
, corporate website
* There are no sidewalks in Nunavut.


Tourism

In the second half of 2018 travellers visited Nunavut 134,000 times and spent $436 million. Two-thirds of those visits were by Nunavummiut (residents of Nunavut) travelling within the territory. The remaining came from outside other provinces or territories in Canada, or from abroad and spent $219 million. Travellers from Ontario make up the largest portion of visitors from outside the territory. The majority of visitors from outside of Nunavut are business travellers; in the second half of 2018 only 14% of visitors were in the territory for leisure. Tourism recreation in Nunavut include activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling, cultural festivals, hiking, arctic wildlife safaris and sea kayaking.


Culture


Media

The Inuit Broadcasting Corporation is based in Nunavut. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) serves Nunavut through a radio and television production centre in Iqaluit, and a bureau in Rankin Inlet. Iqaluit is served by private commercial radio stations CKIQ-FM and CKGC-FM, both owned by Northern Lights Entertainment Inc. (CKIQ-FM had a rebroadcaster in Rankin Inlet that was discontinued in 2009.)


Periodicals

Nunavut is served by two regional weekly newspapers, ''Nunatsiaq News'' published by Nortext, and ''News/North, Nunavut News/North'', published by Northern News Services, who also publish the multi-territory regional ''Kivalliq News''.


Film

The film production company Isuma is based in Igloolik. Co-founded by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn (film producer), Norman Cohn in 1990, the company produced the 1999 feature ''Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner'', winner of the Caméra d'Or for Best First Feature Film at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. It was the first feature film written, directed, and acted entirely in
Inuktitut Inuktitut (; , Inuktitut syllabics, syllabics ; from , "person" + , "like", "in the manner of"), also Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, is one of the principal Inuit languages of Canada. It is spoken in all areas north of the tree line, including part ...

Inuktitut
. In November 2006, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation announced the start of the Nunavut Animation Lab, offering animation training to Nunavut artists at workshops in Iqaluit, Cape Dorset and Pangnirtung. Films from the Nunavut Animation Lab include Alethea Arnaquq-Baril's 2010 digital animation short ''Lumaajuuq'', winner of the Best Aboriginal Award at the Golden Sheaf Awards and named Best Canadian Short Drama at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. In November 2011, the Government of Nunavut and the NFB jointly announced the launch of a DVD and online collection entitled ''Unikkausivut'' (Inuktitut: ''Sharing Our Stories''), which will make over 100 NFB films by and about
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
available in Inuktitut,
Inuinnaqtun Inuinnaqtun (; natively meaning ''like the real human beings/peoples''), is an indigenous Inuit language The Inuit languages are a closely related group of indigenous American languages traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic a ...
and other Inuit languages, as well as English and French. The Government of Nunavut is distributing ''Unikkausivut'' to every school in the territory.


Music

The indigenous music of Nunavut includes Inuit throat singing and drum-led dancing, along with country music, Bluegrass music, bluegrass, square dancing, the button accordion and the fiddle, an infusion of European influence.


Performing arts

Artcirq is a collective of
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
circus performers based in Igloolik. The group has performed around the world, including at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Sport

Nunavut competes at the Arctic Winter Games. Iqaluit co-hosted the 2002 Arctic Winter Games, 2002 edition in partnership with Nuuk, Greenland. Hockey Nunavut was founded in 1999 and competes in the Maritime-Hockey North Junior C Championship.


Government and politics

Nunavut has Commissioner#Canadian territories, a Commissioner appointed by the federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. As in the other territories, the commissioner's role is symbolic and is analogous to that of a Lieutenant-Governor (Canada), Lieutenant-Governor. While Commissioners of Nunavut, the Commissioner is not formally a representative of the Monarchy of Canada, Canadian monarch, a role roughly analogous to representing The Crown has accrued to the position. Nunavut elects a single member of the House of Commons of Canada. This makes Nunavut the second largest electoral district in the world by area after Greenland#Government, Greenland. The current MP is Lori Idlout of the New Democratic Party (NDP). The members of the Unicameralism, unicameral Legislative Assembly of Nunavut are elected individually; there are Non-partisan democracy, no parties and the legislature is Consensus government, consensus-based. The head of government, the premier of Nunavut, is elected by, and from the members of the legislative assembly. On June 14, 2018, Joe Savikataaq was elected as the Premier of Nunavut, after his predecessor Paul Quassa lost a non-confidence motion. Former Premier (Canada), Premier Paul Okalik set up an advisory council of eleven elders, whose function it is to help incorporate ''"Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit"'' (Inuit culture and traditional knowledge, often referred to in English as "IQ") into the territory's political and governmental decisions. Due to the territory's small population, and the fact that there are only a few hundred voters in each electoral district, the possibility of two election candidates finishing in an exact tie is significantly higher than in any Canadian province. This has actually happened twice in the five elections to date, with exact ties in Akulliq in the 2008 Nunavut general election and in Rankin Inlet South in the 2013 Nunavut general election. In such an event, Nunavut's practice is to schedule a follow-up by-election rather than choosing the winning candidate by an arbitrary method. The territory has also had numerous instances where MLAs were directly acclamation, acclaimed to office as the only person to register their candidacy by the deadline, as well as one instance where a follow-up by-election had to be held due to no candidates registering for the regular election in their district at all. Owing to Nunavut's vast size, the stated goal of the territorial government has been to decentralize governance beyond the region's capital. Three List of regions of Nunavut, regions—Kitikmeot Region, Nunavut, Kitikmeot, Kivalliq Region, Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk Region, Qikiqtaaluk/Baffin—are the basis for more localized administration, although they lack autonomous governments of their own. The territory has an annual budget of Canadian dollar, C$700 million, provided almost entirely by the federal government. Former Prime Minister Paul Martin designated support for Northern Canada as one of his priorities in 2004, with an extra $500 million to be divided among the three territories. In 2001, the government of New Brunswick collaborated with the federal government and the technology firm SSI Micro to launch Qiniq (company), Qiniq, a unique network that uses satellite delivery to provide broadband Internet access to 24 communities in Nunavut. As a result, the territory was named one of the world's "Smart 25 Communities" in 2006 by the Intelligent Community Forum, a worldwide organization that honours innovation in broadband technologies. The Nunavut Public Library Services, the public library system serving the territory, also provides various information services to the territory. In September 2012, Premier Aariak welcomed Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, to Nunavut as part of the events marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.


Administrative regions

Nunavut is divided into three administrative regions, the Kitikmeot Region, the Kivalliq Region, and the Qikiqtaaluk Region


Licence plates

The first design for Vehicle registration plates of Nunavut, Nunavut's licence plate was originally created for the Northwest Territories in the 1970s. The plate has long been famous worldwide for its unique design in the shape of a polar bear. Nunavut was licensed by the NWT to use the same Vehicle registration plate, licence plate design in 1999 when it became a separate territory, but adopted its own plate design in March 2012 for launch in August 2012—a rectangle that prominently features the northern lights, a polar bear and an inuksuk.


Symbols

The flag and the coat of arms of Nunavut were designed by Andrew Qappik from Pangnirtung.


Territorial dispute

A long-simmering dispute between Canada and the U.S. involves the issue of Canadian sovereignty over the
Northwest Passage The Northwest Passage (NWP) is the Sea lane, sea route between the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archi ...

Northwest Passage
.


Alcohol

Due to prohibition laws influenced by local and traditional beliefs, Nunavut has a highly regulated alcohol market. It is the last outpost of prohibition in Canada, and it is often easier to obtain firearms than alcohol. Every community in Nunavut has slightly differing regulations, but as a whole it is still very restrictive. Seven communities have bans against alcohol and another 14 have orders being restricted by local committees. Because of these laws, a lucrative bootlegging market has appeared where people mark up the prices of bottles by extraordinary amounts. The RCMP estimate Nunavut's bootleg liquor market rakes in some $10 million a year. Despite the restrictions, alcohol's availability leads to widespread alcohol related crime. One lawyer estimated some 95% of police calls are alcohol-related. Alcohol is also believed to be a contributing factor to the territory's high rates of violence, suicide, and homicide. A special task force created in 2010 to study and address the territory's increasing alcohol-related problems recommended the government ease alcohol restrictions. With prohibition shown to be highly ineffective historically, it is believed these laws contribute to the territory's widespread social ills. However, many residents are skeptical about the effectiveness of liquor sale liberalization and want to ban it completely. In 2014, Nunavut's government decided to move towards more legalization. A liquor store has opened in Iqaluit, the capital, for the first time in 38 years as of 2017.


Notable people

Susan Aglukark is an Inuk singer and songwriter. She has released six albums and has won several Juno Awards. She blends the Inuktitut and English languages with contemporary pop music arrangements to tell the stories of her people, the Inuit of the Arctic. On May 3, 2008, the Kronos Quartet premiered a collaborative piece with Inuit throat singing, Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, entitled ''Nunavut'', based on an Inuit folk story. Tagaq is also known internationally for her collaborations with Icelandic pop star Björk, and her 2018 novel ''Split Tooth'' which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Jordin Tootoo, Jordin John Kudluk Tootoo (Inuktitut syllabics: ᔪᐊᑕᓐ ᑐᑐ; born February 2, 1983, in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada) was a professional ice hockey player with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Although born in Manitoba, Tootoo grew up in Rankin Inlet, where he was taught to skate and play hockey by his father, Barney. Hunter Tootoo, Member of Parliament (Canada), Member of Parliament for the Territory of Nunavut, was elected to the Liberal government in 2015. He served as the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard until his resignation from the post on May 31, 2016.


See also

* Archaeology in Nunavut * List of communities in Nunavut * Symbols of Nunavut * Nunatsiavut *
Nunavik Nunavik (; ; iu, ᓄᓇᕕᒃ) comprises the northern third of the province of Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New ...


Footnotes


References


Further reading

* Alia, Valerie (2007).
Names and Nunavut Culture and Identity in Arctic Canada
'. New York: Berghahn Books. . * Henderson, Ailsa (2007).
Nunavut: Rethinking Political Culture
'. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. . * * Kulchyski, Peter Keith (2005).
Like the Sound of a Drum: Aboriginal Cultural Politics in Denendeh and Nunavut
'. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press. . * Sanna, Ellyn, and William Hunter (2008). ''Canada's Modern-Day Aboriginal Peoples Nunavut & Evolving Relationships''. Markham, Ont: Scholastic Canada. .


External links


Nunavut Kavamat / Government of Nunavut
Official site *
Map showing regions of Nunavut
(from Nunavut Government website)
Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

Nunavut Planning Commission

Annual Nunavut Mining Symposium held in April each year

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
Nunavut Land Claims website

* : Martin, Ian. ''Aajiiqatigiingniq Language of Instruction Research Paper''. Nunavut: Dept. of Education, 2000.


Tourism


Explore Nunavut: Travel information and community guides

Nunavut Parks

Nunavut Tourism


Journalism


CBC North Radio
hear Inuktitut and English radio from Nunavut
Territorial newspaper reporting in Inuktitut and English
Nunatsiaq News
Nunavut News
from News/North {{Authority control Nunavut, 1999 establishments in Canada Arctic Ocean Inuit territories States and territories established in 1999