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Cape Dorset council endorses vote to return community name to Kinngait

Cape Dorset is one step closer to its name being officially recognized as Kinngait — one of its traditional names. 

Community will be 11th in Nunavut to reclaim an Inuktut name

The Cape Dorset council passed two motions last Tuesday that pave the way for an official name change. (Sara Frizzell/CBC)

Cape Dorset is one step closer to its name being officially recognized as Kinngait — one of its traditional names.  

Kinngait means "where the hills are," in Inuktitut, said the hamlet's mayor, Timoon Toonoo.

The Nunavut community's hamlet council passed two motions last Tuesday that pave the way for an official name change.  

The first motion endorses the name Kinngait, which was chosen by Cape Dorset residents in a vote on Dec. 16, 2019. Kinngait got 80 votes, the name Sikusilaq received 51 votes, and the option to keep the English name Cape Dorset got 61 votes.

The second motion directs hamlet administration to send a letter to the minister of Community and Government Services requesting the community's name be changed from Cape Dorset to Kinngait.

Kinngait means 'where the hills are,' in Inuktitut, said the hamlet’s mayor, Timoon Toonoo. (Sara Frizzell/CBC)

Now, "a by-law has to be passed, to change the municipality of Cape Dorset to the municipality of Kinngait, and if the council accepts the change, another by-law will have to be passed, after the Minister of Community and Government Services approves the request," said Toonoo in Inuktitut.

Once all that is done, all of the hamlet's documents will have to be changed to reflect the name change.

The community will be the eleventh in Nunavut to reclaim an Inuktut name. The most recent community to do this was Naujaat, which changed its name from Repulse Bay in 2015.

Written by Sidney Cohen, with files from Eva Michael

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