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On April 1st 1999 a new territory was born This new territory is called Nunavut which means our land in the Inuit language This creation is the result of the largest land claim settlement in Canadas history and follows years of deliberate negotiations Nunavut represents an opportunity that is completely unique a chance to create a self-sustaining economy in a region far removed from the large population and resource that jeopardize cultures in other parts of the world Essentially this is Canadas first large-scale test of native self-government and represents a best-case scenario for indigenous development Yet the renaissance of the Inuit culture is far from secure There are many problems and challenges that await the Inuit as they embark on the process of defining their new territory The tumultuous social changes the politics of hunting and trapping and the uncertainties of resource exploitation in the fragile Arctic environment are just a few of the challenges that await The following pages will present an analysis of Nunavuts economicsocial make-up and the problems that threaten the independence it is striving for Facts about Nunavut Nunavut is comprised of 2 million square kilometres most of it rocky tundra and includes 7 of Canadas 12 largest islands and two thirds of the countrys coastline Split from the Northwest Territories Nunavut encompasses 20 percent of Canadas landmass extending from the Barren Lands west of the Hudson Bay all the way to Ellesmere Islands Cape Columbia Canadas northernmost point of land It has a population of 2500 60 percent of which are under the age of 25 and 85 percent of which are Inuit There are 28 communities spread across this large area Iqaluit the capital is the largest with a population of 4500 Iqaluit is also home to the territorys only hospital but there are 26 health centres to serve the other communities The transportation system is relatively non-existent consisting of one 21 kilometre government-maintained road between
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