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    Nunavut / ˈ n ʊ n ə ˌ v ʊ t, ˈ n uː n ə ˌ v uː t / (Inuktitut: ᓄᓇᕗᑦ; French: ) is the largest and northernmost territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, which provided this territory to the Inuit for independent government.

    • 1st
    • Canada
    • April 1, 1999 (13th)
    • Inuktut, (Inuit languages: Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut), English, French
  2. Jan 10, 2022 · Nunavut, vast territory of northern Canada that stretches across most of the Canadian Arctic. Created in 1999 out of the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut encompasses the traditional lands of the Inuit, the indigenous peoples of Arctic Canada. Its capital is Iqaluit.

    • Geography
    • History
    • Demographics
    • Communities
    • Economy
    • Territorial Government
    • Health Care
    • Education
    • Transportation
    • Arts and Culture

    Nunavut covers 1,936,113 km2 of land and 157,077 km2 of water in Northern Canada, representing 21 per cent of the country’s total area. The territory includes part of the mainland, most of the Arctic Archipelago, and all of the islands in Hudson Bay, James Bay and Ungava Bay. Nunavut is divided by three of Canada’s seven physiographic regions. These regions are the Hudson Bay Lowlands, the Canadian Shield and the Arctic Lands. The Hudson Bay Lowlands are a sedimentary basin in the middle of the Canadian Shield. The Canadian Shield comprises much of the mainland, certain islands around Hudson Bay and parts of the Arctic Archipelago. The lowlands of the Canadian Shield rest on a bed of rock that is at least 1 billion years old. They are covered by a thin layer of soil, and are often poorly drained and flat. A defining characteristic of this physiographic region are the thousands of lakes and rivers that dot the surface. The Arctic Lands physiographic region extends throughout the nort...

    Pre-Dorset and Dorset Culture During the last Ice Age, much of Nunavut was covered by a thick sheet of glacial ice. Between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago the glaciers covering Nunavut melted, and shortly afterward the landscape filled with caribou and muskoxen, while walrus, seals and whalesmoved into the channels between the islands. While Indigenous peoples followed migrating caribou to the edge of the treeline on the mainland, they never ventured to the Arctic coastline or the islands beyond. Around 5,000 years ago, however, the first people began to explore the lands and sea that now make up Nunavut. In a wave of migration that likely started in Siberia, the Palaeoeskimos of the Pre-Dorset culture moved in small groups across the Arctic coastline and Archipelago, pushing through to Greenland and Labrador. As they encountered the different ecosystems and geography of the Arctic, they adapted their hunting techniques and tool technology. In Nunavut, they hunted muskoxen and caribou...

    Until 2016, Nunavut was the least inhabited province or territory in Canada, a title it has since lost to Yukon. Currently, the territory has the strongest population growth in the country, reporting a 12.7 per cent increase between the 2011 and 2016 censuses (the population rose from 31,906 to 35,944). Most of this population increase is the result of Nunavut possessing the highest fertility rate in Canada — an average of 2.9 children per women, well past the national average of 1.5. This rapid growth has earned Nunavut another important distinction: it has the youngest population in Canada, with about 30 per cent of Nunavummiut being under the age of 14 in 2016. Language and Ethnicity There are four official languages spoken in Nunavut —Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun (a dialect of Inuktitut spoken in Kitikmeot), English and French. Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun is the mother tongue of 65.1 per cent of Nunavummiut. While English is spoken throughout the territory, Iqaluit is also home to a lar...

    List of Nunavut’s 10 Largest Communities Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census Nunavut’s population of 35,944 residents is spread out across 25 communities, ranging in size from a couple of hundred people to 7,740 in Iqaluit, the territory’s capital. Most of these communities are geographically isolated and accessible only by air and sea. These communities are split into three administrative regions: Qikiqtaaluk, Kivalliq and Kitikmeot. Qikiqtaaluk is the most populated and spans the northernmost, easternmost and southernmost areas of Nunavut. There are 13 communities in Qikiqtaaluk: Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Hall Beach , Igloolik, Arctic Bay , Resolute, Pond Inlet, Grise Fiord, Clyde River, Pangnirtung , Sanikiluaq, Qikiqtarjuaq and Kimmirut. The Kivalliq region consists of all the territory on the mainland west of Hudson Bay , along with Southampton and Coats Islands. It is made up of seven communities: Rankin Inlet , Chesterfield Inlet, Baker Lake, Coral Harbour , Whale Cove, Naujaa...

    Resource extraction has always formed the foundation of Nunavut’s wage economy. After the decline of the whaling industry at the end of the 19th century and the end of the fur trade in the 1930s, little economic development occurred in Nunavut. In the decades that followed the Second World War, however, Nunavut experienced a wave of mineral and oil exploration. The Canadian government and private companies explored the natural resources of the region with little consultation with the Inuit who lived on the land. As communities expanded in the 1960s, the Canadian government assisted with the development of cooperative businesses (an example is the cooperative fishery established in Cambridge Bay) to help provide employment opportunities to Inuit. Since the 1960s, Nunavut’s economy has expanded to include commercial inshore and offshore fisheries, renewable resource harvesting, arts and crafts, tourism and an expanding service sector. In general, Inuit welcome development, so long as...

    Nunavut’s unicameral Legislative Assembly currently has 22 seats. There are no political parties at the territorial level, and candidates run as individuals. Following a general election, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) gather together as the “Nunavut Leadership Forum” to select the speaker, premier and Cabinet — the territory’s executive branch — in a secret ballot election. Paul Okalik served as the territory’s first premier from 1999 to 2008, Eva Ariak its second from 2008 to 2013, and Peter Taptuna its third from 2013 to 2017. Paul Quassa held the office for less than a year from 2017 to 20 18 before losing a vote of non-confidence. He was replaced by Joe Savikataaq in June 2018. (See also Table: Premiers of Nunavut.) Nunavut has a consensus government system, which blends the principles of parliamentary democracy with Inuit values of cooperation, egalitarianism and communal decision-making — different from the system of party politics that exists everywhere else in C...

    Currently, Nunavut has one hospital, the Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit, and two larger health centres in the regional centres of Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay, which are also staffed by physicians. Health services in the remaining communities are provided by community health nurses, while physicians visit them throughout the year. These centres are administered by the Department of Health of the Government of Nunavut. To receive specialized or advanced care, Nunavummiut often must travel to tertiary care facilities in places like Yellowknife, Edmonton, Winnipeg or Ottawa. The Government of Nunavut also provides many public health services and health promotion initiatives, including maternal-child health supports, immunization clinics, chronic disease management, sexual health, anti-tobacco-use programs, oral health, nutrition and food security initiatives. Throughout Nunavut, traditional medicines and healing continue to play a vital role in the health of Nunavummiut. Nunav...

    Starting in the 1970s, Inuit have taken ever greater control of education in Nunavut. In the 1980s, the Eastern Arctic operated under the mandate of three Inuit school boards, responsible for staffing, policies and programs. With the creation of Nunavut, the territory’s Department of Education dissolved the boards, replacing them with regional offices, although it still used legislation inherited from the Northwest Territories. In 2008, Nunavut passed its own education act, which called for bilingual education for all students by 2020 (an Inuit language and either English or French), incorporation of Inuit culture into all aspects of the education system (including consultation with communities and elders) and additional support for students to stay engaged in the educational process. Progress toward the goals set in the Nunavut Education Acthas been slow, and the Department of Education has been subject to a great deal of criticism over the effectiveness of the education system, le...

    Much of the transportation infrastructure in Nunavut was constructed in the 1970s, although parts of the system were built in the 1940s and 1950s. There are no roads connecting Nunavut to the rest of Canada, nor are the territory’s communities connected by roads. Roads exist in and around communities, although these are not extensive. In Nunavut, the Community Transportation Initiatives Program is slowly expanding road access to important harvesting, recreational and cultural sites. Many of the necessities of life in Nunavut arrive by air or ship. In Nunavut, the airport system is centred on regional hubs, Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay, which can accommodate jet aircraft and provide access to other communities. Smaller aircraft then move people and goods, including mail, fresh food and other supplies, from the hubs to the other communities. During the short summer months, large ships and barges bring building materials, vehicles, fuel and non-perishable goods to Nunavut’s...

    Although Inuit life changed significantly over the course of the 20th century, traditional values and cultural practices remain strong amongst Nunavummiut. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or traditional knowledge, which includes storytelling, mythology, music and dancing, remains an essential part of cultural life in Nunavut. Inuit continue to embrace the land and sea as integral to their cultural identity and community health. As such, going out on the land, harvesting its resources and sharing this bounty with family and community also remain important elements of Nunavummiut cultural life. Inuit cultural institutes and heritage societies have been established in most of Nunavut’s communities, and they are very active in recording the knowledge of elders, preserving Inuit languages, teaching traditional skills and culture, and promoting Inuit societal values. Many communities also have museums or cultural displays that explain their histories and the culture of their people. Art is thriv...

  3. THE HONOURABLE PJ AKEEAGOK. P.J. Akeeagok was elected in the general election held on October 25, 2021, to represent the constituency of Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu in the 6th Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. Mr. Akeeagok was elected as Premier of Nunavut during the Nunavut Leadership Forum’s proceedings of November 17, 2021.

  4. Nunavut is Canada's largest and most lightly populated subdivision, a mythical assortment of uninhabited islands and frigid ocean that exists on the planet's climatic and geographic extremes. Visitors here face multiple obstacles, not least perennial blizzards, no roads and massive travel costs.

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