Capital City: Iqaluit
On April 1, 1999, Nunavut became Canada’s newest territory, encompassing the central and eastern Arctic regions – nearly one-fifth of Canada’s land mass. Originally part of the Northwest Territories, its creation was first proposed in the mid-1970s as part of the Inuit land claim. The establishment of Nunavut, which means “our land” in Inuktitut, represents a landmark event in the history of Inuit and Canada.
The territory has a population of about 30,800 – of whom 85 per cent are Inuit and 60 per cent are under the age of 25. Close to one-fifth of the population lives in Iqaluit. There are 28 communities scattered through Nunavut’s vast arctic tundra, some of which are hundreds or thousands of years old. Winter is close to nine months long in this region, with snow covering the ground for most of the year. Mining, shrimp and scallop fishing, hunting and trapping, and arts and crafts production are the key industries.
Tourism is also a growing industry, with the chance to experience rich Inuit culture first-hand, and major attractions such as Auyuittuq National Park. Three new national parks will be created under the terms of the Nunavut land claim settlement. You can also enjoy Arctic adventures such as kayaking through wild rapids or taking a dog team across the tundra. Nunavut is home to a variety of wildlife, including polar bears, muskoxen, whales and Atlantic walruses.