Difference between revisions of "Nunavut"
Revision as of 06:20, 20 August 2008
Nunavut is an extensive territory in the far North of Canada, located east of the Northwest Territories (of which it used to be part), north of the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and west of the Danish territory of Greenland. Nunavut comprises a large portion of the northern tip of the North American continent and a large number of islands on Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean.
Nunavut means our land in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit. This newest and largest of Canada's provinces and territories was split off from the Northwest Territories in 1999 after a long land-claims process. The official languages are English, French, Inuktitut, and Innuinaqtun.
It is one of the most sparsely populated regions of the world - fewer than 30,000 people in an area the size of Western Europe. The immense territory includes most of Canada's Arctic Islands, from Baffin Island in the territory's southeast, where the capital Iqaluit is located, to Ellesmere Island a few hundred kilometers from the North Pole. The territory also includes all of the islands in Hudson Bay.
Its tourist trade, based on Inuit crafts and culture and the austere beauty of the wilderness, is rudimentary but growing.
Though most Inuit probably speak English it would be a good idea to learn a few key phrases or bring a Inuktitut phrase book along. French may also be useful though not necessary. In the more remote places Inuktitut may be necessary.
Access is only by air - there is no road or rail from the south, and consequently prices are rather expensive owing to the difficulty of shipping goods in.
In the smaller communities (less than 3000), ATVs and trucks are used during the short summer (when there is no snow). In the Winter, Snowmobiles are the main way of getting around. Dog sleds are also used but owning and maintaining a dog team can be a very costly endeavor. Getting to and from the different communities can only be done by air as there are very few roads the further North you get.
There is a KFC express in Iqaluit. It says something about society. What it says is that the Kernel doesn't mind taking a plane north.