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Nunavut is celebrating 20 years as a territory this Nunavut Day

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is participating in Nunavut Day events in Iqaluit and Kugluktuk this year.

NTI is participating in events in Kuglutuk and Iqaluit

Nunavut's flag flies above the territory's Legislative Assembly in Iqaluit. (Travis Burke/CBC)

Nunavut is celebrating 20 years this Nunavut Day — though the reason the territory observes Nunavut Day on July 9 is actually older. 

The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act went into effect on July 9, 1993 and it's celebrated as a milestone of Nunavut becoming a territory, which didn't happen officially until April 1, 1999. 

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) president Aluki Kotierk will be celebrating this year in Kugluktuk, Nunavut along with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett. 

Speaking to the press Monday in Iqaluit, she said she's seen a lot of progress since Nunavut was formed, but there's still work to do to strengthen language and culture. 

"My heart sings to see the young Inuit youth really working on their language and their culture, wanting to be confident on the land and the ice and the water," she said.

"This is about a secure personal identity that overcomes personal trauma, that overcomes so many things when Inuit youth are proud of who they are and proud to come from Nunavut."

They will participate in a ceremonial signing of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement with the government of Canada at 1:30 p.m. 

Kugluktuk sits on the Coppermine River. 

There will be a performance by Taugyuit Numiqtiit followed by competitions in bannock-making, tea boiling, seal skinning, duck-plucking and more. 

In the afternoon, starting at 3 p.m., there will be Inuit games and in the evening a potluck and jigging competition. 

Iqaluit events

NTI is also hosting events in the territory's capital. 

Festivities start in Iqaluit at noon, where the weather is forecasted as mainly sunny and 22 degrees. 

In the Igluvut building parking lot there will be a country food feast and in the Legislative Assembly parking lot there will be a chili cook-off. 

After feasting, at 1 p.m. there will be kids face painting and a bouncy castle, followed by games for all ages. 

Nearby there will be the golf putting contest to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity and at 3:45 the winner of the cook-off will be announced and the golf ball drop will happen at 4 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m. at the Nunavut Brewing Company there will be Nunavut-themed trivia, with proceeds from the event going to the Iqaluit Humane Society. 

Northern Haze is performing at the Storehouse Bar at 9:30. There is a $20 cover.

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