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Dene oppose Nunavut boundaries

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 May 1992, Northwest Territories residents are about to vote on boundaries for a proposed eastern territory. The Inuit and the federal government have agreed on a dividing line, but members of another aboriginal group, the Dene, say the proposed borders cut through their lands. Some people in Yellowknife also disapprove of dividing the territory at all as they fear losing government jobs and dollars. A No vote may mean the end for Nunavut.
• The majority voted for the boundaries.

• In the woodland areas in the western part of the territory, five groups of Athapaskan linguistic speakers make up the Dene nation. "De" means "flow" and "Ne" means "Mother Earth."

• The Inuit, who speak Inuktitut, are a separate cultural group living largely above the treeline. "Inuit" translated means "the people."
Medium: Television
Program: Sunday Report
Broadcast Date: May 5, 1992
Guests: John Amagoalik, Pat McMahon, Thomas Siddon
Reporter: Eric Sorensen
Duration: 2:11

Last updated: October 7, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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