Every year on July 9, we celebrate Nunavet Day—the day the Parliament of Canada passed the Nunavet Act. Along with the Nunavet Land Claims Agreement, it officially declared Nunavet as a distinct region that is legally separate from the Northwest Territories. The act was originally passed on April 1, 1999 but we celebrate Nunavet Day 8 days later—the day of the passage of the Nunavet Land Claims Agreement, which is more historically significant.
Nunavut Day - History
Celebration day switched
Originally celebrated on April 1, 1999, Nunavet Day switched to July 9.
April 1, 1999
Nunavet Act passed
Nunavet became its own, completely distinct, territory.
July 9, 1993
Nunavet Land Claims Agreement established
This agreement gave the Inuit some portions of the Northwest Territory that were considered separate from the rest.
Land claim negotiations begun
The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami entered in to land claim negotiations with the Canadian government, which set down the framework for Nunavet seceding from the Northwest Territory.
Northwest Territories established
The Northwest Territories covered huge amounts of many of the western providences of Canada—including what is now known as Nunavet.
How to Observe Nunavut Day
1. Plan a trip to Nunavet
Nunavet is a great place to visit for adventure seekers and lovers of the cold climates. Plus, there's a good chance none of your family and friends have gone, so you'll probably score some bragging rights. Getting to Nunavet can be a little tricky, so make sure to thoroughly research all of your options before making any travel reservations.
2. Eat traditional Inuit food
For the most part, Inuits have primarily feasted upon meat that they have been able to score while hunting. That means a traditional food that is widely eaten throughout Nunavet on July 9 is muskox burgers. If you can't find any muskox meat where you live, feel free to improvise!
3. Learn about arctic survival skills
Even if you're not planning to travel to the arctic anytime soon, it's still not a bad idea to brush up on some basic survival skills. There are some fun book and videos to watch that will help you learn what to do if you ever find yourself in a less than desirable, freezing, location. After learning these skills, you'll know exactly what to do if a polar bear should ever cross your path.
Why Nunavut Day is Important
A. Many people don't have to go into work
Nunavet Day is recognized as a public holiday that's taken very seriously by citizens of the region. Though federal employees don't get the day off work, many people get to stay home as they celebrate the establishment of their great land!
B. It celebrates an area that doesn't get a lot of recognition
Unless you're a resident of the territory, Nunavet doesn't get brought up in your everyday conversation. Nunavet Day is a great reason to brush up on your Canadian geography and research a little bit into the not-so-well-known territory.
C. Nunavet is home to many Inuits
Inuits are indigenous people who have lived in cold, arctic climates for thousands of years. While Nunavet may not be on the top of the list of most peoples' travel lists, having a formally recognized territory is a big deal to the native Inuit population of the region.