Nunavut Day

Nunavut Day Quick Facts

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2024 DateJuly 9, 2024
2025 DateJuly 9, 2025

Nunavut Day (NU)

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Nunavut Day celebrates the establishment of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the rich cultural heritage and unique identity of the Inuit people, who make up a significant portion of the region's population. Residents and visitors alike immerse themselves in traditional Inuit-centred festivities, such as community feasts, art displays, and dance performances, to pay homage to the territory's history and its path towards self-determination.

The roots of Nunavut Day go back to the largest land claim agreement in Canadian history – the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. Signed in 1993 between the federal government and the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (which eventually evolved into the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated), the agreement led to the creation of the territory on April 1, 1999. Since then, Nunavut Day has served as a reminder of the importance of respecting Indigenous rights and promoting reconciliation throughout Canada.

Nunavut Day is observed on July 9th every year, with the celebrations taking place primarily within the Nunavut territory itself. To mark the occasion, many businesses and government offices within the region are closed, while various events are organized at a community level in order to showcase traditional Inuit knowledge, art, and customs. These events aim to strengthen cultural connections, foster pride in the region's achievements, and educate visitors and fellow Canadians alike on the vital contributions of the Inuit people to the tapestry of our nation's multicultural identity.

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Nunavut Day Facts & Quotes

  • Nunavut, which means Our Land in Inuktitut, is the largest Canadian territory and makes up one fifth of the Canada's land mass.
  • According to the Government of Canada, in 2021, there were approximately 64,000 Inuits living in Canada.
  • Nunavut's court system is unique in that it is a single-level trial court. This means that all judges have the ability to head any type of case. All other Canadian provinces and territories have a three-level system.
  • With other countries becoming more interested in the Arctic and its rich resource potential, and with new trade routes opening up, we must continue to eercise our sovereignty while strengthening the safety and security of Canadians living in our High Arctic. - Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • We made it clear that when the land claims agreement was ready to be signed, the creation of Nunavut would have to be brought in, if it was ready to be part of the land claims agreement. - John Amagoalik, Prominent Inuit Politician

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Top things to do for Nunavut Day

  • Try traditional Inuit food such as barbecued muskox burgers at a local festival or Inuit restaurant in your city.
  • Visit one of Nunavut's spectacular parks. Summer is the best time to visit Nunavut. Temperatures are above freezing and the summer solstice lends nearly 24 hours of daylight for tourist activities.
  • Enjoy a local festival in large Canadian cities where Nunavut natives put on traditional games and dances for those interested in sharing their culture.
  • Run the Northwest Passage Marathon on Somerset Island in Nunavut. This is North America's northernmost half marathon, marathon, and ultra marathon.
  • The Inuit have many legends and tales in which the moon and the stars take central roles. Spare a moment to appreciate the sky, the stars, the moon, and perhaps even the Northern Lights on this day.

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