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Nunavut, Canada

Tourism Information

Nunavut means our land in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit. It is a name that reflects the simple purity of this spectacular arctic landscape, while quietly beckoning visitors to explore and discover its many unique wonders.

Canada added a new chapter to its fascinating history when, on April 1, 1999, Nunavut became its largest and newest territory. Formed from the eastern part of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut is the result of more than 20 years of negotiations and planning by the Inuit of the Eastern and Central Arctic. As the people of Nunavut look to their future as Canada's newest territory, they carry with them a long and proud past. It is a past that chronicles two histories and the meeting and merging of two worlds.

Nunavut's first history is that of the Inuit and their ancient ancestors who first migrated to the Arctic some 5000 years ago. This history is captured in stories, songs and traditions, passed on verbally through countless generations and only recently recorded in print and other media.

The second is the history the Inuit share with the qallanaaq (people of European origin) – the explorers who came in search of the Northwest Passage and the whalers and traders who came in search of wealth and adventure. The Inuit were of great assistance to these newcomers; guiding them, hunting for them, sharing resources and showing them the Inuit way to help them survive in a new land and as a result have forged a shared history that is the essence of all that is Nunavut.

Immerse yourself in the history of this land with the help of an Inuit guide, whether it's tales of ancestors who risked their lives in small skin boats hunting whale in ice packed waters, accounts of the Tariassuit (shadow people), or enchanting memories of lives lived in close-knit Inuit communities. Explore Belanger Rapids and Wilberforce Falls to learn about the hardships of the Franklin expedition. From the shores of Simpson Straight, see where Roald Amundsen sailed his little Gjoa through ice and rock-choked waters in 1905 to secure his place in history for piloting the first ship through the Northwest Passage. Visit Marble Island, where the James Knight expedition mysteriously disappeared, or trace the inland route of Knud Rasmussen and the 5th Thule Expedition. The Inuit tradition of oral history remains vibrant, and there is almost always someone willing to share their stories with you.

Time Zones

Nunavut has three time zones. Baffin operates on Eastern Standard Time; the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot on Central Standard, and the Kitikmeot (from Cambridge Bay west) on Mountain Standard Time.