In 1999 the map of Canada was changed forever with the creation of that Nation’s newest and largest territory. Nunavut, the Inuit language term for “Our Land”, resulted from decades of meetings between the Government of Canada and the indigenous Inuit population of Canada’s eastern Arctic. Following the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in the U.S., a land claims process was started by the Canadian Inuit in 1973. The idea of a separate and self-governed Inuit territory carved out of the existing Northwest Territories began to take shape in 1976 and was finally approved by Canadian voters in 1982. It took another 10 years of planning and meetings before the land claims issue was settled and the boundary of the new territory was agreed upon. In June of 1993 the Canadian Parliament passed the Nunavut Act, and on April 1, 1999 the territory of Nunavut officially joined the federation of Canada.

Nunavut covers nearly 2 million square kilometers of Canada’s most remote and high Arctic landscape--an area 25% larger than Alaska. The territory is rich in natural resources, wildlife, and scenic beauty The harsh environment, remote location, and lack of roads present challenges to developers and tourists. Only about 30,000 people live in the entire territory. Inuit make up 85% of the Nunavut population. The largest community is the capitol city of Iqaluit on Baffin Island with a population of about 6,000 people. The Alaska Canada Barrenlands Traverse will stop in the Nunavut communities of Kugluktuk and Baker Lake. Watch for pictures of people and village life in our Web reports as we visit and experience these communities.







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