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It’s Nunavut Day — 15 Years Ago, Canada’s Newest Territory Was Born
July 9, 2014
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Every July 9, Canada's youngest territory marks Nunavut Day, a celebration of the date in 1993 that the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement was signed. For a list of some of the celebrations happening in the territory, head to CBC News.

Over at the Iqaluit-based blog Finding True North, they've been hosting a weekly Instagram contest they call Nunagram — and for Nunavut Day, they've pulled together 15 Nunagrams "that showcase the landscapes, foods, faces, and stories of the territory." Here's one of them, titled "King of the iceberg":

To celebrate Nunavut Day, we thought we'd revisit some clips from the CBC Archives that tell the story of how the territory came into being.

Although July 9, 1993 was an important day in the history of Nunavut, it wasn't until April 1, 1999 that the Agreement came into effect —carving off 2,038,722 square kilometres off the Northwest Territories and creating a new territory for Canada's Inuit people.

The actual idea of a government for Canada's Inuit people dates back to land claims negotiations between the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (Canada's national Inuit organization) and the federal government in the mid-'70s, and gathered steam with a plebiscite of Northwest Territories residents in 1982, in which 56.5 per cent of the population voted in favour of splitting the territory. In this 1982 clip from The National, Whit Fraser reported the landmark results of the vote:

But it took 17 more years before new territory of Nunavut was finally born. One of the sticking points was figuring out just where the boundaries should go. On Sunday Report, Peter Mansbridge spoke to Fraser about the issues of borders, as well as disputes over resources rights:

In 1992, as land claims settlements with the Inuit were wrapping up, some leaders of the Dene people came out strongly against the proposed boundaries, which they argued would cut through their territory.

Finally, at midnight on April 1, 1999, the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act came into effect, creating a new territory and kicking off a round of celebrations for Canada's big experiment in native self-government, as Raj Ahluwalia reported in The National.

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