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Facts About Canada

NUNAVUT

-Nunavut became Canada's third territory on April 1, 1999.
-It is the largest territory and makes up one fifth of the Canada's land mass.
-Nunavut is made up of a mainland and many islands in the Arctic Ocean.
-Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island are two large islands.
-There are 28 communities.
-There are some weather stations and military bases.
-Nunavut's capital is Iqaluit.
-Emblems : flower - Purple Saxifrage; bird - Rock Ptarmigan; animal - Canadian Inuit Dog
-motto - Nunavut, our strength
-Nunavut means our land in the Inuit language of Inuktitut.

THE PEOPLE

-Nunavut is the home to about 29,474 people.(2006 Statistics Canada)
-The Inuit are the aboriginal people who make up 85 percent of the population.
-Inuktitut is the language of the Inuit.
-Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English and French are the spoken languages.
-The towns are very small and far away from each other.
-On Baffin Island the Inuit still hunt, trap and fish for survival.
-Groceries are very expensive because everything is flown in or brought in by barge.

PLACES

IQALUIT (ee-kha-lu-eet)
-largest community in Nunavut; population 6184 (2006 Statistics Canada)
-Canada's most northern capital
-became capital of Nunavut on April 1, 1999
-Iqaluit means the place of many fish.
-winter activities : dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice-fishing
-an airbase in the 1940s
-once called Frobisher Bay
-located on the mouth of Frobisher Bay, on the southeastern coast of Baffin Island

HISTORY

-The first people to live in Nunavut were the Inuit.
-They lived in small hunting and fishing camps.
-Fur trading posts were set up in the 1700s.
-In 1870 the territories belonged to Canada
-Inuit way of life changed. They forgot their native traditions.
-The Canadian government urged the Inuit to settle in communities.
-The land which is now Nunavut was once part of the Northwest Territories.
-The Inuit requested their own territory with its own government.
-The territory of Nunavut was created on April 1, 1999.

LAND AND WATER

-The land and water are frozen most of the year.
-The Arctic waters are covered with ice floes.
-Icebergs break off from the glaciers and fall into the sea.
-The land is covered with sheets of ice, water pools and rivers.
-In winter you can't tell where the land ends and the sea begins.
-There are also mountains and tundra.
-Moss, tough grasses and small willow shrubs grow on the tundra.
-Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve is Canada's most northern park.
-The island is a polar desert with very little snowfall.

CLIMATE

-Temperature in Iqaluit in January is -30C and 15C in July.
-In Iqaluit there are nearly 24 hours of daylight per day in June.
-In December there are 6 hours of daylight per day.
-Grise Fiord the northernmost community in Nunavut has 24 hour a day daylight for four months.
-There is 24 hours a day of darkness for four months in Grise Fiord.
-The long cold winter begins in September. The ground is usually snow covered until June.
-Arctic blizzards are snowstorms with very cold strong winds.
-July and August are the summer months. Temperatures reach 12C on Baffin Island.
-Springtime is from March to June, with 18 hours a day of sunshine.
-Temperatures in spring can range from -20 C to -1 C.

INDUSTRY

-mining: Jericho diamond mine opened in 2006
-tourism: People come to fish, hike, camp, hunt, to see the  wildlife.
-fishing : whitefish and Arctic char
-factories : packaging raw fish and meat
-sale of Inuit arts and crafts (drawing, printmaking, carving, soapstone sculptures, weaving)
-Some vegetables are grown in greenhouse gardens.

TRANSPORTATION

-There are a few roads in Nunavut.
-There is a "highway" which connects the mining community of Nanisivik to Arctic Bay.
-Each community has a harbour and an airport.
-Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet have paved runways and are considered the gateways from the south.
-Items are brought in by barge or cargo plane.
-The Canadian Coast Guard deploys icebreakers to the Arctic.
-Ground transportation is limited to snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.
-Snowmobiles are used in the winter and boats in the summer.
-People drive four wheel drive vehicles (SUVs,jeeps,vans)

WILDLIFE

-The Inuit believe in taking care of the land and the wildlife.
-Wildlife includes muskoxen, caribou, polar bears, arctic foxes, whales and seals.
-People eat the meat of muskoxen, caribou, whales and seals. They also fish.
-Clothing is made from the furs of the muskoxen, polar bears, arctic foxes and seals.

PEOPLE AND PLACES

- Michael Kusugak writes about the Inuit way of life.
- Simon Tookoome is an Inuit artist from the Baker Lake community.
- Susan Aglukark is a singer-songwriter and the first Inuit recording artist.
- Tanya Tagaq Gillis is an Inuit throat singer from Cambridge Bay.
- National Hockey League player Jordin Tootoo is from Rankin Inlet.
- In April the people of Iqualuit celebrate the coming of spring. There are dogteam and snowmobile races and contests (hunting, fishing, igloo-building, harpoon-throwing).
- INUKSUIT (stone towers) are found on the Arctic landscape.

 
 Web site designed and maintained by Yaser Kherdaji
Toronto - Canada
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