Incorporation: Nunavut became a
territory of Canada on April 1, 1999.
Location: Nunavut was once the
eastern part of Canada's Northwest Territories. The rest of Northwest
Territories borders Nunavut to the west. Manitoba borders Nunavut on the
south and Hudson Bay on the east. Greenland is north-east of Nunavut and
the Arctic Ocean lies to the north.
Area: 772,000 square miles
(1,235,200 square kilometers). Nunavut is larger than the combined areas of
Alaska and California.
Capitol: Iqaluit (ee-KAH-loo-eet)
People: Inuit, 85 percent;
non-native 15 percent
Official Languages: Inuktitut,
Climate: The winters are cold and
dark, with temperatures averaging twenty-five degrees below zero F. During
winter, the North Pole tilts away from the sun, leaving Nunavut in the dark for
most of the season. The summers can be mild with almost continual daylight
during June and July. The average temperature is forty-one degrees
F. Nunavut receives an average of only ten inches of precipitation per
year. However, the land supports a rich flora. Thick, spongy
blankets of moss, lichen, and stubby ground creeping willows, and abundant
flowers thrive in the summer months.
Terrain: The flat land of Nunavut
is called tundra. The ground beneath the top layer of soil is permanently
frozen. The top layer of soil may thaw for a short time during
summer. Mainland Nunavut and Baffin Island are part of the Canadian Shield
- a region that rests on hard rock formed billions of years ago.
Highest Point: Mount Barbeau,
8,583 feet (2,616 meters)*
*text compliments of Faces People,
Places, and Cultures, edited by Elizabeth Crooker