Nunavut (/nuːnəˌvuːt/ (listen);[8] French: [nynavy(t)]; Inuktitut syllabics ᓄᓇᕗᑦ [ˈnunavut]) is the newest, largest, and most northerly territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act[9] and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act,[10] though the boundaries had been drawn in 1993. The creation of Nunavut resulted in the first major change to Canada's political map since the incorporation of the province of Newfoundland in 1949.

Nunavut comprises a major portion of Northern Canada, and most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Its vast territory makes it the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world, as well as North America's second-largest (after Greenland). The capital Iqaluit (formerly "Frobisher Bay"), on Baffin Island in the east, was chosen by the 1995 capital plebiscite. Other major communities include the regional centres of Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay.

Nunavut also includes Ellesmere Island to the far north, as well as the eastern and southern portions of Victoria Island in the west, and all islands in Hudson, James and Ungava Bays, including Akimiski Island 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.[11]

Nunavut is the largest in area and the second-least populous of Canada's provinces and territories. One of the world's most remote, sparsely settled regions, it has a population of 35,944,[1] mostly Inuit, spread over a land area of just over 1,750,000 km2 (680,000 sq mi), or slightly smaller than Mexico (excluding water surface area). Nunavut is also home to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert.[12] Eureka, a weather station also on Ellesmere Island, has the lowest average annual temperature of any Canadian weather station.[13]

Niungvaliruluit Foxe-PI 2002-07-26
Niungvaliruluit ("pointer like a window") inuksuk, Foxe peninsula, Baffin Island

ᓄᓇᕗᑦ (Inuktitut)
ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᓴᙱᓂᕗᑦ (Inuktitut)
"Nunavut Sannginivut"
"Our land, our strength"
"Notre terre, notre force"
Canadian Provinces and Territories
ConfederationApril 1, 1999 (20 years ago) (13th)
Largest cityIqaluit
 • CommissionerNellie Kusugak
 • PremierJoe Savikataaq (consensus government)
LegislatureLegislative Assembly of Nunavut
Federal representation(in Canadian Parliament)
House seats1 of 338 (0.3%)
Senate seats1 of 105 (1%)
 • Total2,093,170 km2 (808,180 sq mi)
 • Land157,077 km2 (60,648 sq mi)
 • Water1,936,113 km2 (747,537 sq mi)  92.5%
Area rankRanked 1st
 21% of Canada
 • Total35,944 [1]
 • Estimate 
(2019 Q1)
38,787 [2]
 • RankRanked 12th
 • Density0.23/km2 (0.6/sq mi)
Official languagesEnglish
Inuit languages (Inuktitut
and Inuinnaqtun)[4]
 • Rank13th
 • Total (2011)C$1.964 billion[5]
 • Per capitaC$58,452 (6th)
Time zoneUTC-5, UTC-6, UTC-7
Postal abbr.
Postal code prefixX
ISO 3166 codeCA-NU
FlowerPurple Saxifrage[6]
BirdRock Ptarmigan[7]
Rankings include all provinces and territories


Nunavut means "our land" in the native language Inuktitut.[14]


Nunavut covers 1,877,787 km2 (725,018 sq mi)[1] of land and 160,935 km2 (62,137 sq mi)[15] 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, James Bay, and Ungava Bay, including the Belcher Islands, all of which belonged to the Northwest Territories from which Nunavut was separated. This makes it the fifth-largest subnational entity (or administrative division) in the world. If Nunavut were a country, it would rank 15th in area.[16]

Nunavut has long land borders with the Northwest Territories on the mainland and a few Arctic islands, and with Manitoba to the south of the Nunavut mainland; it also meets Saskatchewan to the southwest at a quadripoint). Through its small satellite territories in the southeast, it has short land borders with Newfoundland and Labrador on Killiniq Island, with Ontario in two locations in James Bay – the larger located west of Akimiski Island, and the smaller around the Albany River near Fafard Island – and with Quebec in many locations, such as near Eastmain and near Inukjuak. It also shares maritime borders with Greenland and the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba.

Nunavut's highest point is Barbeau Peak (2,616 m (8,583 ft)) 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 has approximately the same area and nearly twice the population.[17]


Nunavut Köppen
Köppen climate types in Nunavut

Nunavut experiences a polar climate 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 climates can be found, due to July being slightly milder than the required 10 °C (50 °F).

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected locations in Nunavut[18]
City July (°C) July (°F) January (°C) January (°F)
High Low High Low High Low High Low
Alert 6 1 43 33 −29 −36 −20 −33
Baker Lake 17 6 63 43 −28 −35 −18 −31
Cambridge Bay 13 5 55 41 −29 −35 −19 −32
Eureka 9 3 49 37 −33 −40 −27 −40
Iqaluit 12 4 54 39 −23 −31 −9 −24
Kugluktuk 16 6 60 43 −23 −31 −10 −25
Rankin Inlet 15 6 59 43 −27 −34 −17 −30


Eskimo Women at Ashe Inlet
Inuit women at Ashe Inlet, 1884.

The region now known as Nunavut has supported a continuous indigenous population for approximately 4,000 years. Most historians identify the coast of Baffin Island with the Helluland described in Norse sagas, so it is possible that the inhabitants of the region had occasional contact with Norse sailors.

Archaeological findings

In September 2008, researchers reported on the evaluation of existing and newly excavated archaeological remains, including yarn spun from a hare, rats, tally sticks, a carved wooden face mask that depicts Caucasian features, and possible architectural material. The materials were collected in five seasons of excavation at Cape Tanfield. Scholars determined that these provide evidence of European traders and possibly settlers on Baffin Island, not later than 1000 CE (and thus older than or contemporaneous with L'Anse aux Meadows). They seem to indicate prolonged contact, possibly up to 1450. The origin of the Old World contact is unclear; the article states: "Dating of some yarn and other artifacts, presumed to be left by Vikings on Baffin Island, have produced an age that predates the Vikings by several hundred years. So ... you have to consider the possibility that as remote as it may seem, these finds may represent evidence of contact with Europeans prior to the Vikings' arrival in Greenland."[19]

Inuit village near Frobisher Bay, 1865

First written historical accounts

The written historical accounts of Nunavut begin in 1576, with an account by English explorer Martin Frobisher. While leading an expedition to find the Northwest Passage, Frobisher thought he had discovered gold ore around the body of water now known as Frobisher Bay on the coast of Baffin Island.[20] The ore turned out to be worthless, but Frobisher made the first recorded European contact with the Inuit. Other explorers in search of the elusive Northwest Passage followed in the 17th century, including Henry Hudson, William Baffin and Robert Bylot.

Cold War

Cornwallis and Ellesmere Islands featured in the history of the Cold War in the 1950s. Concerned about the area's strategic geopolitical position, the federal government relocated Inuit from Nunavik (northern Quebec) to Resolute and Grise Fiord. In the unfamiliar and hostile conditions, they faced starvation[21] but were forced to stay.[22] Forty years later, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued a report titled The High Arctic Relocation: A Report on the 1953–55 Relocation.[23] The government paid compensation to those affected and their descendants and on August 18, 2010, in Inukjuak, the Honourable John Duncan, PC, MP, previous Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada for the relocation of Inuit to the High Arctic.[24][25]

The Inuit call it Beautiful Rock
Glacially polished banded coloured marble on Baffin Island

Recent history

Discussions on dividing the Northwest Territories along ethnic lines began in the 1950s, and legislation to do this was introduced in 1963. After its failure, a federal commission recommended against such a measure.[26] In 1976, as part of the land claims negotiations between the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (then called the "Inuit Tapirisat of Canada") and the federal government, 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.[27]

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[10] and the Nunavut Act[9] were passed by the Canadian Parliament. The transition to establish Nunavut Territory was completed on April 1, 1999.[28] 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.


As of the 2016 Canada Census, the population of Nunavut was 35,944, a 12.7% increase from 2011.[1] In 2006, 24,640 people identified themselves as Inuit (83.6% of the total population), 100 as First Nations (0.3%), 130 Métis (0.4%) and 4,410 as non-aboriginal (15.0%).[29]

Ten largest communities
Municipality 2016 2011 2006 Growth 2011–16
Iqaluit 7,082 6,699 6,184 10.3%
Rankin Inlet 2,441 1,905 1,528 28.1%
Arviat 2,318 2,060 12.5%
Baker Lake 1,872 1,728 8.3%
Cambridge Bay 1,619 1,452 1,377 11.5%
Pond Inlet 1,549 1,315 17.8%
Igloolik 1,454 1,538 −5.5%
Kugluktuk 1,450 1,302 11.4%
Pangnirtung 1,425 1,325 7.5%
Cape Dorset 1,441 1,363 1,236 5.7%

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%.[1] The second-highest was Alberta, with a growth rate of 11.6%.


Along with the Inuit Language (Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun) sometimes called Inuktut,[30] English and French are also official languages.[4][31]

In his 2000 commissioned report (Aajiiqatigiingniq Language of Instruction Research Paper) to the Nunavut Department of Education, Ian Martin of York University stated a "long-term threat to Inuit languages 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 provides different models, including:

  • "Qulliq Model", for most Nunavut communities, with Inuktitut as 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), as the 40% Qallunaat, or non-Inuit, population may have different requirements.[32]

Of the 34,960 responses to the census question concerning "mother tongue" in the 2016 census, the most commonly reported languages were:

Mother tongue
Rank Language Number of respondents Percentage
1 Inuktitut 22,070 63.1%
2 English 11,020 31.5%
3 French 595 1.7%
4 Inuinnaqtun 495 1.4%

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.[33]

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).[34] The 2016 census also reported that of the 30,135 Inuit people in Nunavut, 90.7% could speak either Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun.


The largest denominations by number of adherents according to the 2001 census were the Anglican Church of Canada with 15,440 (58%); the Roman Catholic Church (Roman Catholic Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay) with 6,205 (23%); and Pentecostal with 1,175 (4%).[35] In total, 93% of the population were Christian.


The economy of Nunavut is Inuit and Territorial Government, mining, oil gas mineral exploration, arts crafts, hunting, fishing, whaling, tourism, transportation, education - Nunavut Arctic College, housing, military and research – new Canadian High Arctic Research Station CHARS in planning for Cambridge Bay and high north Alert Bay Station. Iqaluit hosts the annual Nunavut Mining Symposium every April[36], this is a tradeshow that showcases many economic activities on going in Nunavut.

Mining and exploration

There are currently three major mines in operation in Nunavut.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd – Meadowbank Division. Meadowbank Gold Mine is an open pit gold mine with an estimated mine life 2010–2020 and employs 680 persons. The second recently opened mine in production is the Mary River Iron Ore mine 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.

Advancing mining projects

Name Company In the region of Material
Amaruq and Meliadine Gold Projects Agnico-Eagle Rankin Inlet Gold
Back River Project Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. Bathurst Inlet Gold
Izok Corridor Project MMG Resources Inc. Kugluktuk Gold, Copper, Silver, Zinc
Hackett River Glencore Kugluktuk Copper, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Chidliak Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. Iqaluit / Pangnirtung Diamonds
Committee Bay, Three Bluffs Gold Project Auryn Resources Inc Naujaat Gold
Kiggavik Areva Resources Baker Lake Uranium
Roche Bay Advanced Exploration Hall Beach Iron Ore
Ulu and Lupin Elgin Mining Ltd. Contwoyto Lake - connected to Yellowknife with an ice road Gold
Storm Copper Property Aston Bay Holdings Taloyoak Copper

Historic mines


Renewable power

Aerial view of the edge of the ice in Nunavut 2
Open ocean absorbs more sunshine, while sea ice, shown here in Nunavut, reflects more, accelerating freezing.

Nunavut's people rely primarily on diesel fuel[43] to run generators and heat homes, with fossil fuel shipments from southern Canada by plane or boat because there are few to no roads or rail links to the region.[44] There is a government effort to use more renewable energy sources,[45] which is generally supported by the community.[46]

This support comes from Nunavut feeling the effects of global warming.[47][48] Former Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak said in 2011, "Climate change 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 melting."[44] The region is warming about twice as fast as the global average, according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Government and politics

Leg Building Iqaluit 2000-08-27
Legislative assembly building in Iqaluit

Nunavut has 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.[49] While the Commissioner is not formally a representative of Canada's head of state, 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 largest electoral district in the world by area.

The members of the unicameral Legislative Assembly of Nunavut are elected individually; there are no parties and the legislature is consensus-based.[50] 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.[51][52] Former 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.[53]

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 Nunavut general election, 2008 and in Rankin Inlet South in the Nunavut general election, 2013. 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 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.

Nunavut-Feierlichkeit (01-04-99)
Ceremony on the occasion of the foundation of Nunavut, April 1, 1999
Map of the Nunavut regions
Regions of Nunavut

Owing to Nunavut's vast size, the stated goal of the territorial government has been to decentralize governance beyond the region's capital. Three regionsKitikmeot, Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk/Baffin—are the basis for more localized administration, although they lack autonomous governments of their own.

The territory has an annual budget of 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, 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 and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, to Nunavut as part of the events marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.[54]

Licence plates

The Nunavut 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 licence plate design in 1999 when it became a separate territory,[55] 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.[55][56]

Flag and coat of arms

The flag and the coat of arms of Nunavut were designed by Andrew Karpik from Pangnirtung.[57]



Inuit drum dancing, Gjoa Haven, Nunavut

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


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. The territory is also served by two regional weekly newspapers Nunatsiaq News published by Nortext and Nunavut News/North, published by Northern News Services, who also publish the regional Kivalliq News.[58] Broadband internet is provided by Qiniq and Northwestel through Netkaster.[59][60]


The film production company Isuma is based in Igloolik. Co-founded by Zacharias Kunuk and 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.

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.[61] 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.[62]

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 available in Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun and other Inuit languages, as well as English and French. The Government of Nunavut is distributing Unikkausivut to every school in the territory.[63][64]

Performing arts

Artcirq is a collective of Inuit circus performers based in Igloolik.[65] The group has performed around the world, including at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Nunavummiut (notable people)

Susan Aglukark is an Inuit 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 Arctic.

On May 3, 2008, the Kronos Quartet premiered a collaborative piece with 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.

Jordin John Kudluk Tootoo (Inuktitut syllabics: ᔪᐊᑕᓐ ᑐᑐ; born February 2, 1983, in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada) is 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.


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.[66] 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.[67] The RCMP estimate Nunavut's bootleg liquor market rakes in some $10 million a year.[66]

Despite the restrictions, alcohol's availability leads to widespread alcohol related crime. One lawyer estimated some 95% of police calls are alcohol-related.[68] 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.[66]


Nunavut has the highest smoking rate in all of Canada, with more than half of its adult population smoking tobacco cigarettes.[69] Smoking affects both men and women equally, and the overwhelming majority (90%) of pregnant women are smokers.[70]


Nunavut competes at the Arctic Winter Games. Iqaluit co-hosted the 2002 edition in partnership with Nuuk, Greenland.

Hockey Nunavut was founded in 1999 and competes in the Maritime-Hockey North Junior C Championship.

See also


^1 Effective November 12, 2008.


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  2. ^ "Population by year of Canada of Canada and territories". Statistics Canada. September 26, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Nunavummiut, the plural demonym for residents of Nunavut, appears throughout the Government of Nunavut website Archived January 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, proceedings of the Nunavut legislature, and elsewhere. Nunavut Housing Corporation, Discussion Paper Released to Engage Nunavummiut on Development of Suicide Prevention Strategy. Alan Rayburn, previous head of the Canadian Permanent Committee of Geographical Names, opined that: "Nunavut is still too young to have acquired [a gentilé], although Nunavutan may be an obvious choice." In Naming Canada: stories about Canadian place names 2001. (2nd ed. ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (ISBN 0-8020-8293-9); p. 50.
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Further reading

External links



Coordinates: 73°N 091°W / 73°N 91°W

Alert, Nunavut

Alert, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada, is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world, at latitude 82°30'05" north, 817 kilometres (508 mi) from the North Pole. The entire population of the census subdivision Baffin, Unorganized is located here. (Baffin Region is the Statistics Canada name for Qikiqtaaluk.) As of the 2016 census, the population was reported as 62, an increase of 57 over the 2011 census. It takes its name from HMS Alert, which wintered 10 km (6.2 mi) east of the present station, off what is now Cape Sheridan, in 1875–1876.

Alert has many temporary inhabitants, as it hosts a military signals intelligence radio receiving facility at Canadian Forces Station Alert (CFS Alert), as well as a co-located Environment Canada weather station, a Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) atmosphere monitoring observatory, and the Alert Airport.

Dundas Island (Nunavut)

Dundas Island is a member of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. It is an irregularly shaped island located between Devon Island and Baillie-Hamilton Island. The smaller Margaret Island is 1 km (0.62 mi) to the east of Dundas.

Dundas Island is named in honour of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, Viscount Melville and British Secretary of State for the Home Department.

After showings were discovered on Dundas Island in 1972, geochemical sampling, mapping, and surveying began the following year. Canadian mining company Cominco (now part of Teck Resources) staked claims in 1974 and drilling occurred at high grade lead-zinc showings at the Thumb Mountain Formation and Disappointment Bay Formation in 1975. Cominco began IP surveys in 1981.Robert John McGhee's 1981 research found evidence of Late Dorset warm-season dwellings on Dundas Island.There is a second, much smaller (longest axis ~500 m) Dundas Island also in Nunavut, off Boothia Peninsula, in St. Roch Basin, across from King William Island.

Grise Fiord

Grise Fiord, (Inuktitut: Aujuittuq, "place that never thaws"; Inuktitut syllabics: ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ) is an Inuit hamlet in the Qikiqtaaluk Region in the territory of Nunavut, Canada. Despite its low population (129 residents as of the Canada 2016 Census), it is the largest community on Ellesmere Island. It is also one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, with an average yearly temperature of −16.5 °C (2.3 °F).


The Inuit (; syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, "the people", singular: Inuk) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. The Inuit languages are part of the Eskimo–Aleut family. Inuit Sign Language is a critically endangered language isolate used in Nunavut.In Canada and the States, the term "Eskimo" was commonly used by ethnic Europeans to describe the Inuit and Siberia's and Alaska's Yupik and Iñupiat peoples. However, "Inuit" is not accepted as a term for the Yupik, and "Eskimo" is the only term that applies to Yupik, Iñupiat and Inuit. Since the late 20th century, Indigenous peoples in Canada and Greenlandic Inuit consider "Eskimo" to be a pejorative term, and they more frequently identify as "Inuit" for an autonym. In Canada, sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 classified the Inuit as a distinctive group of Aboriginal Canadians who are not included under either the First Nations or the Métis.The Inuit live throughout most of Northern Canada in the territory of Nunavut, Nunavik in the northern third of Quebec, Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut in Labrador, and in various parts of the Northwest Territories, particularly around the Arctic Ocean. These areas are known in the Inuktitut language as the "Inuit Nunangat".In the United States, the Iñupiat live primarily on the Alaska North Slope and on Little Diomede Island. The Greenlandic Inuit are descendants of ancient indigenous migrations from Canada, as these people migrated to the east through the continent. They are citizens of Denmark, although not of the European Union.


Iqaluit ( ee-KAL-oo-it; French: [ikalɥi(t)]; Inuktitut: ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ [iqaːluit]), meaning "place of fish", is the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, its largest community, and its only city. It was known as Frobisher Bay from 1942 to 1987, after the large bay on the coast of which the city is situated, when the traditional Inuktitut name was restored.

In 1999, Iqaluit was designated the capital of Nunavut after the division of the Northwest Territories into two separate territories. Before this event, Iqaluit was a small city and not well known outside the Canadian Arctic or Canada, with population and economic growth highly limited. This is due to the city's isolation and heavy dependence on expensively imported supplies, as the city, like the rest of Nunavut, has no road, rail, or even ship connections for part of the year to the rest of Canada. The city has a polar climate, influenced by the cold deep waters of the Labrador Current just off Baffin Island; this makes the city of Iqaluit cold, although the city is well south of the Arctic Circle.

As of the 2016 census, the population was 7,740 (Population Centre: 7,082), an increase of 15.5 percent from the 2011 census. Iqaluit has the lowest population of any capital city in Canada. Inhabitants of Iqaluit are called Iqalummiut (singular: Iqalummiuq).

Kitikmeot Region

Kitikmeot Region (Inuktitut: Qitirmiut ᕿᑎᕐᒥᐅᑦ) is an administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. It consists of the southern and eastern parts of Victoria Island with the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, together with King William Island and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. The regional seat is Cambridge Bay (population 1,766;).

Before 1999, Kitikmeot Region existed under slightly different boundaries as Kitikmeot Region, Northwest Territories.

Kivalliq Region

The Kivalliq Region (Inuktitut syllabics: ᑭᕙᓪᓕᖅ) is an administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. It consists of the portion of the mainland to the west of Hudson Bay together with Southampton Island and Coats Island. The regional seat is Rankin Inlet. The population was 10,413 in the 2016 Census, an increase of 16.3% from the 2011 Census.Before 1999, Kivalliq Region existed under slightly different boundaries as Keewatin Region, Northwest Territories. Although the Kivalliq name became official in 1999, Statistics Canada has continued to refer to the area as Keewatin Region, Nunavut in publications such as the Census. Most references to the area as "Keewatin" have generally been phased out by Nunavut-based bodies, as that name was originally rooted in a region of northwestern Ontario derived from a Cree dialect, and only saw application onto Inuit-inhabited lands because of the boundaries of the now-defunct District of Keewatin.

Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

The Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, Canada, is located in Iqaluit, and is the territory's parliament.

Prior to the creation of Nunavut as a Canadian Territory on April 1, 1999, the 1999 Nunavut general election was held on February 15 to determine the 1st Nunavut Legislature. The Legislative Assembly was opened by Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, on 7 October 2002, during her Golden Jubilee tour of Canada. In her speech the Queen stated: "I am proud to be the first member of the Canadian Royal Family to be greeted in Canada's newest territory."Prior to the opening of the Legislative Building of Nunavut the members met in the gymnasium of the Inuksuk High School.

The Hansard of the assembly is published in Inuktitut and English, making the territory one of only three Canadian jurisdictions to produce a bilingual Hansard, along with the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick and the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario.

The territory operates by consensus government; there are no political parties. Approximately two weeks after an election, the newly elected legislature meets in a special session called the Nunavut Leadership Forum to select the Executive Council, or cabinet.

List of airports in Nunavut

This is a complete list of airports, water aerodromes and heliports in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

List of communities in Nunavut

This is a list of communities in Nunavut Territory, Canada. Note that many of these communities have alternate names or spellings in Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun, while others are primarily known by their Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun names. As of the 2016 census the population of Nunavut was 35,944, an increase of 12.66% from the 2011 census.

List of political parties in Canada

This article lists political parties in Canada.

List of regions of Nunavut

The three regions of Nunavut serve as census divisions, although Statistics Canada uses the names "Baffin Region" for the Qikiqtaaluk Region and "Keewatin Region" for the Kivalliq Region. Though the regions have no autonomous governments, Nunavut's territorial government services are highly decentralized on a regional basis.

It is a misconception that Nunavut is made up of some of the former regions of the Northwest Territories, separated in their entirety. This is not the case; the dividing line did not follow region boundaries, although boundaries have been subsequently finessed so that three former NWT regions collectively constitute Nunavut.

The regional divisions are distinct from the district system of dividing the Northwest Territories that dated to 1876 and was abolished when Nunavut was created, although for practical purposes had not been used since the 1980s. Nunavut encompasses the entirety of the District of Keewatin (which had differing boundaries from the Keewatin/Kivalliq regions), the majority of the District of Franklin and a small portion of the District of Mackenzie.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories (NT or NWT; French: les Territoires du Nord-Ouest, TNO; Athabaskan languages: Denendeh; Inuinnaqtun: Nunatsiaq; Inuktitut: ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᖅ) is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately 1,144,000 km2 (442,000 sq mi) and a 2016 census population of 41,786, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. Its estimated population as of 2018 is 44,445. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission.

The Northwest Territories, a portion of the old North-Western Territory, entered the Canadian Confederation on July 15, 1870, but the current borders were formed on April 1, 1999, when the territory was subdivided to create Nunavut to the east, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. While Nunavut is mostly Arctic tundra, the Northwest Territories has a slightly warmer climate and is both boreal forest (taiga), and tundra, and its most northern regions form part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The Northwest Territories is bordered by Canada's two other territories, Nunavut to the east and Yukon to the west, and by the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the south.


Pangnirtung (or Pang, also Pangniqtuuq, in syllabics: ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᖅ IPA: [paŋniqtuːq]; French pronunciation: ​[pɑ̃ɲiʁtœ̃ɡ]) is an Inuit hamlet, Qikiqtaaluk Region, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, located on Baffin Island. As of the 2016 census the population was 1,481, an increase of 3.9% from the 2011 census. The area of the town is 7.77 km2 (3.00 sq mi). Pangnirtung is situated on a coastal plain at the coast of Pangnirtung Fjord, a fjord which eventually merges with Cumberland Sound. As of January 2014, the mayor is Mosesee Qappik.

Prince of Wales Island (Nunavut)

One of the larger members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Prince of Wales Island (French: Île du Prince-de-Galles) is an Arctic island in Nunavut, Canada, lying between Victoria Island and Somerset Island and south of the Queen Elizabeth Islands.

For administrative purposes it is divided between Qikiqtaaluk and Kitikmeot regions. There are no permanent settlements.

Qikiqtaaluk Region

The Qikiqtaaluk Region, Qikiqtani Region (Inuktitut: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ pronounced [qikiqtaːˈluk]) or Baffin Region is the easternmost administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. Qikiqtaaluk is the traditional Inuktitut name for Baffin Island. Although the Qikiqtaaluk Region is the most commonly used name in official contexts, several notable public organizations, including Statistics Canada prefer the older term Baffin Region.

With a population of 18,988 and an area of 989,879.35 km2 (382,194.55 sq mi) it is the largest and most populated of the three regions.The region consists of Baffin Island, the Belcher Islands, Akimiski Island, Mansel Island, Prince Charles Island, Bylot Island, Devon Island, Cornwallis Island, Bathurst Island, Amund Ringnes Island, Ellef Ringnes Island, Axel Heiberg Island, Ellesmere Island, the Melville Peninsula, the eastern part of Melville Island, and the northern parts of Prince of Wales Island, and Somerset Island, plus smaller islands in between. The regional seat, and territorial capital, is Iqaluit (population 7,740). The Qikiqtaaluk Region spans the northernmost, easternmost, and southernmost areas of Nunavut.

Before 1999, the Qikiqtaaluk Region existed under slightly different boundaries as the Baffin Region, District of Keewatin, Northwest Territories.

Canada claims Hans Island as part of Qikiqtaaluk, while Denmark considers it to be part of the Greenlandic municipality of Avannaata.

Wales Island (Nunavut)

Wales Island (Inuktitut: Shartoo; previously Prince of Wales Island) is one of the uninhabited Canadian arctic islands in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut. Located 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) off the Melville Peninsula, the island is situated in Committee Bay within western Gulf of Boothia. It has an area of 1,137 square kilometres (439 square miles).Named Prince of Wales Island by the Scottish Arctic explorer, Dr. John Rae, it was subsequently shortened to Wales Island.

White Island (Nunavut)

White Island is one of the uninhabited Canadian arctic islands in Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, Canada. Located in Foxe Basin off the northern tip of Southampton Island, it measures 789 km2 (305 sq mi) in area.White Island is separated from Southampton Island by the narrow (less than 2 km) Comer Strait to the west, and Falcon Strait to the south. There are several capes including Cape Middleton, Cape Frigid, and Cape Deas. Whale Sound and Toms Harbour are on the eastern coast, and Frozen Strait is just beyond. White Island is surrounded by several small islands including Passage Island, Whale Island, Seekoo Island, Nas Island, as well as many that are unnamed. The highest peaks are 1,100 m (3,609 ft) and 1,000 m (3,281 ft). While the island is strewn with lakes, the largest is 17 km (11 mi) long.

Wollaston Islands (Nunavut)

The Wollaston Islands are uninhabited members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. Located on the east side of the mouth of Navy Board Inlet, the island group is closer to Bylot Island than to Baffin Island.

Core topics
Kitikmeot Region
Kivalliq Region
Qikiqtaaluk Region
National Parks
Territorial Parks
Provinces and territories of Canada
Geography of the provinces and territories of Canada
See also
Arctic topics

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