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Nunavut polar bear plates

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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The kerfuffle over who gets to keep the polar bear shaped vehicle license plates has finally come to an end. Cars in both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories will have the plates. The only difference is the new territory's plates will read "Nunavut" and end with an "N."
. The plate controversy started in 1998 and became famous that year when stories about it appeared in newspapers around the world.
. The plates are the only ones in North America that aren't rectangular.
. Mail-order shops, license offices and Iqaluit stores sell souvenir copies of the plates.
. Nunavut and the Northwest Territories have both kept the postal designator NT. Canada Post said NU would have offended francophones because nu means nude.
Medium: Television
Program: Igalaaq
Broadcast Date: May 11, 1999
Guest(s): Jack Anawak, Seamus Henry
Reporter: Paul Irngaut
Duration: 1:57

Last updated: January 13, 2012

Page consulted on November 18, 2014

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