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Lost and confused in Iqaluit

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.

A year after the creation of Nunavut fire chief Neville Wheaton says it's time Iqaluit got some street signs. He doesn't always know where to go when his department dispatches for an emergency because houses have out-of-sequence numbers. His department is campaigning for street signs and asking the public what they want the roads to be called.
. Many of the proposed street names were in Inuktitut, such as nanuq (polar bear) and kayak.
. But for the sake of English and French speakers, the city will likely avoid long, "26-character" words, common in Inuktitut.
. Nunavut literally means "our land," but its deeper meaning is "home."
. Inuk is the singular form of Inuit, which refers to three or more Inuk. Two Inuk are Inuuk.

. Inuktitut phrasing differs from English. "I am happy to be here" is quviasuktunga tamaaniinnama but translates literally as "happy I here in be because I."
. Today, few children in western Nunavut speak Inuktitut.
Medium: Radio
Program: As It Happens
Broadcast Date: March 31, 2000
Guest: Neville Wheaton
Host: Raphi Vigod
Interviewer: Mary Lou Finlay
Duration: 8:02

Last updated: December 10, 2013

Page consulted on December 10, 2013

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