Nunavut and the future of Canada’s Arctic

Source: Al Jazeera

Inuit challenge Canadian government over failures on Nunavut deal’s 20th anniversary.

Iqaluit, Canada – Royal Canadian Air Force jets will streak across the arctic sky on Tuesday, part of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the agreement that created Nunavut, a northern territory home to about 30,000 native Inuit people.

It was the largest indigenous land claim in Canada’s history covering 2 million square kilometres, or about eight times the size of the United Kingdom.

But as the fighter jets fly high in the sky to mark the day, on the ground the celebrations will be modest. About 50 percent of the Inuit live in dire poverty, one-third reside in overcrowded and dilapidated housing, and half cannot afford to buy enough food to eat.

The people of Nunavut will on average live 10 years less than others across the country. Canada is tied for fourth in the world in life expectancy, but if Nunavut were a country, it would be 67th, ranking near Nepal and Tajikistan.

Continue reading