Nunavut <<NOO nuh voot>> is a territory of Canada. It is Canada’s third and newest territory. It was formed on April 1, 1999. Before becoming a territory, Nunavut was part of the Northwest Territories. Nunavut is bordered by Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. The Arctic Ocean forms its northwest coast. Greenland lies to the east, across Baffin Bay and Davis Strait. Iqaluit <<ee KAL a weet>> is the capital and largest city of Nunavut.
Nunavut is larger than any other province or territory in Canada. It is larger than the U.S. states of Alaska and California combined. The land is very rough. The weather is always cold.
Most of the people of Nunavut are Inuit <<IHN yoo iht>>. At one time, the Inuit were called Eskimos. They live in many small communities, mainly along the coasts. Nunavut has three official languages—English, French, and the Inuit language. Nunavut means “our land” in Inuktitut, a form of the Inuit language. The Inuit run the government of Nunavut.
Nunavut has some serious problems. Many people do not have jobs and there is a shortage of housing. Many people are also worried about losing their traditional culture.
The government of Nunavut is the largest employer in the territory. Mining is also important. Nunavut has large reserves of diamonds, gold, natural gas, and oil. Fishing and tourism are other sources of income.
In 1993, Canada’s government passed a law to create Nunavut. The government also gave much of Nunavut’s land to Canada’s Inuit people.