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Canadian History for Kids: Creation of the Nunavut Territory

April 1st, 1999 – Creation of the Nunavut Territory, from the former Keewatin and Franklin districts of the Northwest Territories.

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive, looks at the Nunavut Territory.

On April 1, 1999, Nunavut became Canada’s third territory, separating officially from the Northwest Territories under the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act (passed in 1993 by Parliament).

The Inuit Tairisat of Canada, an organization that represents the Inuit across Canada, requested the division of the Northwest Territories back in 1976. It wanted the east and west boundaries of the Northwest Territories mapped out so that they could claim the eastern region. In 1982, after an election the division was agreed upon and the new territory was called Nunavut and the remaining land called Northwest Territory.

While Nunavut is Canada’s largest territory, it has just over 30,000 in population with 80-85% percent of that population being Inuit. Nunavut, in the Inuit language of Inuktitut, means “our land”.

The territory of Nunavut is made up of a mainland and many islands in the Arctic Ocean. It has 28 settlements. Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut and is located on the southern tip of Baffin Island. Like most of the 28 settlement, Iqaluit has 24 hours of sun in the summer months and only 4-6 hours of sun in the winter months. Airplanes bring in most of the supplies, especially fruit and vegetables, since the land is frozen most of the year. The water is also frozen most of the year.

To the west of Nunavut is the Northwest Territory, to the east Baffin Bay and the Labrador sea, and to the south are the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!
 

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