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Hamlet of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, Nunavut | Photo: Isaac Demeester, Unsplash

Hamlet of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, Nunavut

Introduction to Nunavut

Nunavut (NU) means "our land" in Inuktitut. It is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada, separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999. Nunavut is one of the most remote, sparsely settled regions in the world and home to the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world. Settlements are very small and clustered mainly along the coasts.

Most of the territory is above the northern tree growth. Much of the islands north of the mainland are permanently covered in snow and ice.

Nunavut is governed by a Legislative Assembly of 19 elected members. The members choose a government leader, speaker of the house and eight ministers by consensus. There are 10 departments with offices in nine different communities. Each community has a hamlet office, which is responsible for municipal government activities.

Canada Map - Nunavut

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Did you know?

  • Mighty Polar Bear
    Polar bear | Photo: Dan Bolton, Unsplash

    In Inuit folklore, Nanuk (polar bear) was the powerful master of all bears, and "almost man". Nanuk would decide the success of a hunter. Canada has about two thirds (16,000) of the world's estimated polar bear population, most of which live in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Learn more about Polar Bears in Canada.

  • Inukshuk
  • Ice Floe

Nunavut Trivia

Coat of arms
Flower is Purple Saxifraga
Bird is Rock Ptarmigan

The Land of the Midnight Sun

Territorial slogan
Our Land, Our Strength

License plate slogan
Explore Canada's Arctic (1999)

CBC North | CBC Nunavut | Nunatsiaq News

Other resources
Books about Nunavut
Finding True North blog
North to Nunvut blog
Readers Digest: Life in Nunavut
Travel Blog Nunavut
Travel Nunavut blog

Nunavut Facts

Date NU became a territory

JApril 1, 1999

Area of NU

2,093,190 sq km (808,185 sq miles)
(Natural Resources Canada, 2001)

Nunavut makes up 20% of Canada's land mass and 67% of its coastline. It includes islands in Hudson Bay, James Bay and Ungava Bay.


Nunavut has two distinct geological regions: the Canadian Shield (mainland and islands around Hudson Bay) and the Arctic Archipelago (islands) in the north. The mainland is almost untouched wilderness, and tundra changes into cliffs and plateaus along the Northwest Passage. The Arctic islands are surrounded by pack ice almost year round, and the region extends to glaciers, jagged mountains and fjords of Baffin and Ellesmere Islands.

Capital city of NU


Population of NU

31,906 (Statistics Canada, 2011 Census). Nunavut has the highest birthrate at 25 per 1000 and 51% of the population is under 25 years of age.

Residents are known as

Nunavummiut (plural)
Nunavummiuq (singular)

Indigenous people of NU

85% Inuit

Main NU industries

Mining, resource development, tourism, arts and crafts

NU statutory holidays (in addition to national holidays)

Nunavut Day, July 9
Civic Day (first Monday in August)

Nunavut 775px


Nunavut is entirely within the Arctic climatic zone with bitterly cold winters and cool to cold summers. See Iqaluit on the Weather Network for more information.

Time zone

Nunavut has three time zones and observes daylight savings time.

Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) in Cambridge Bay

Central Daylight Time (CDT) in Baker Lake

Eastern Standard Time (EST) in Coral Harbour

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