Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


(no͞o`nəvo͞ot') [Inuktituk,=our land], territory (2001 pop. 26,745), 772,260 sq mi (2,000,671 sq km), NE Canada. The capital and largest town is IqaluitIqaluit
, town (1996 pop. 4,220), Nunavut Territory, Canada, at the NE head of Frobisher Bay on S Baffin Island. Capital of Nunavut since the territory's creation in 1999, it is a communications and transportation center for the eastern Arctic.
..... Click the link for more information.
 on Baffin Island at Frobisher Bay.

Formed from what was the E Northwest TerritoriesNorthwest Territories,
territory (2001 pop. 37,360), 532,643 sq mi (1,379,028 sq km), NW Canada. The Northwest Territories lie W of Nunavut, N of lat. 60°N, and E of Yukon.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (the former Baffin, Keewatin, and Kitikmeot regions), Nunavut has a western boundary wtih the Northwest Territories that runs north from the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border (at 60°N) to the Thelon River, west to just above Great Bear Lake, north to the Arctic Ocean, east into Victoria Island, and finally north, bisecting Victoria and Melville islands. Spanning three time zones and including one fifth of Canada's total land area, it is bounded on the east by Baffin Bay, the Davis Strait, and Quebec's Ungava Peninsula and on the south by Manitoba. Nunavut encompassess most of Canada's Arctic islands, including Ellesmere, Baffin, Devon, Prince of Wales, Southampton, and Coats, as well as the islands in Hudson and James bays. The establishment of Nunavut created a Canadian "Four Corners" where SW Nunavut, SE Northwest Territories, NE Saskatchewan, and NW Manitoba meet.

Geographically, the territory is largely on the Canadian ShieldCanadian Shield
or Laurentian Plateau
, U-shaped region of ancient rock, the nucleus of North America, stretching N from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. Covering more than half of Canada, it also includes most of Greenland and extends into the United States as the
..... Click the link for more information.
 and almost entirely north of the tree line (except near the Manitoba border); the landscape is dominated by tundratundra
, treeless plains of N North America and N Eurasia, lying principally along the Arctic Circle, on the coasts and islands of the Arctic Ocean, and to the north of the coniferous forest belt.
..... Click the link for more information.
, rock, and snow and ice. The territory is effectively controlled by the Inuit, who make up 85% of the population and speak Inuktitut as their first language, although control could change with population growth.

Most of the richest and most well-developed parts of the Northwest Territories, which lie along the Mackenzie River, were not included in Nunavut, which must rely on the development of its mineral resources, such as diamonds (which are now being mined), in addition to hunting, fishing, fur trapping, sealing, and the production of arts and crafts. The Inuit hold outright title to about 20% of Nunavut, including 13,896 sq mi (36,000 sq km) of subsurface mineral rights. The territory faces problems including high unemployment, substance abuse, and suicide rates, and some 90% of its budget currently comes from the Canadian government. There are no paved roads, and long-distance travel is largely by air. There is a small tourist trade, lured by the wildlife and vast, spare wilderness, as well as Inuit cultural attractions.

The separation of Nunavut from the Northwest Territories began with a 1992 territorial referendum in which the electorate approved the move as part of the largest native land-claim settlement in Canadian history. The process concluded with the establishment of the new territory on Apr. 1, 1999. Nunavut has an elected 22-member assembly. Members of the assembly are elected on a nonpartisan basis. Paul Okalik was elected by the assembly as Nunavut's first premier; he was reelected in 2004, but lost to Eva Aariak in 2008. Peter Taptuna became premier after the 2013 elections. The territory sends one senator and one representative to the national parliament.


See R. G. Condon, Inuit Behavior and Seasonal Change in the Canadian Arctic (1983).


a territory of NW Canada, formed in 1999 from part of the Northwest Territories as a semiautonomous region for the Inuit; includes Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island. Capital: Iqaluit. Pop.: 29 644 (2004 est.). Area: 2 093 190 sq. km (808 185 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
b) le commissaire aux langues ou la Cour de justice du Nunavut, selon le cas, est convaincu que le respect du present article imposerait autrement a l'organisme du secteur prive une contrainte excessive.
2) Given the unique nature of Nunavut itself, do these strategies suggest a distinctive model of ED for a lagging development region?
This multi-generational perspective is one of the greatest strengths of the book, demonstrating how all groups are vital to Nunavut culture in unique and fascinating ways.
The Agreement--signed between Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (representing the Inuit of Nunavut), the Government of Canada, and the Government of the Northwest Territories--paved the way for the creation of Nunavut as Canada's third territory.
On June 21, the summer solstice, the Alianait Arts Festival began the celebration of Inuit culture with artists from all over Nunavut getting together and showcasing art, crafts, throat singing, and drum dancing.
Inherent conservatism probably accounted for the fact that there was little support for the Government of Nunavut to take a formal shape much different from that to which its citizens had become accustomed in Yellowknife.
Nunavut is ready but the lack of a comprehensive federal mandate has delayed the start of these crucial negotiations.
This concern was evident in Nunavut singer Susan Aglukark's assurances when visiting Australia that she didn't live in a snow-house.
The CD-ROM, produced in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, uses text, photos and illustrations, along with audio and video clips, to teach about the history of the land now known as Nunavut.
The due bills for modern industry are being left on the Inuits' table in Nunavut, the Canadian Arctic.
In a couple of recent paintings, Beach Towel Bingo and Nunavut, as well as in the monotype Backyard Brooklyn #3, all 1999, Wanklyn's grid loosens up and breaks apart, becoming more a fond memory than an imposing presence.