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On April 1, 1999, the new territory of Nunavut was born, finally making the controversial dream of the Northwest Territories' Inuit a reality. It meant the Inuit gained self-rule and control over their own institutions. This was the result of years of lobbying Ottawa and numerous plebiscites overwhelmingly in favour of self-determination. But along with the territory come the challenges: combating suicide, reversing assimilation and regaining a sense of identity.

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In a unity effort, Nunavut had converted to one time -- central -- with the territory's creation April 1, 1999. But the change created confusion rather than unity. Children come home from school in the dark for longer stretches of the year than necessary. Hunters have to disrupt regular schedules. One man says, "Just because we created Nunavut, the Earth did not stop rotating around the sun."
• Nunavut actually spans four time zones: Atlantic, eastern, central and mountain. Its communities use all but Atlantic.

• In June, there are 24 hours of daylight in Nunavut's northern-most communities. In December, every day has 24 hours of darkness.
Medium: Television
Program: Saturday Report
Broadcast Date: March 31, 2001
Guest(s): Claire Kennedy, Paul Okalik, Red Pederson
Reporter: Karlin Aariak
Duration: 1:58

Last updated: January 13, 2012

Page consulted on June 27, 2014

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