They very much wanted to negotiate land claims and to leave political development on ‘another track’. 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.
In the twenty years that it took to negotiate the land claims settlement, the two went along parallel lines.
That same year, Peter Ittinuar was elected to Parliament for the riding of Nunatsiaq as a New Democratic Party member.
He was the first native Canadian ever elected to Parliament with the exception of Louis Riel who was elected in 1874, while still in hiding in the United States.
This is socially significant as an Indigenous group in Canada were able to live their life a more traditional way.
Lastly, in the new territory the Inuit were self-governing, meaning they were also able to have a substantial amount of political power over themselves and how they live. In What Context Was Nunavut Created?This section presents the life stories of Inuit leaders who played an essential role in the long political process that led to the creation of Nunavut.This defining moment of Canadian history is here told by the very actors who invested their lives in making Nunavut come to life.To look at this moment, the context of this geographical change, the description of the moment and the reasons why this moment is so important will be covered in this blog.This moment is very important in Canadian history because in the creation of Nunavut, the Inuit people were able to have a territory in which they were the majority.As a result of the changing feelings toward self-government, in 1983, the Special Committee of the House of Commons on Indian Self Government was created specifically in an effort to shift power back in to the hands of Indigenous people; particularly in areas where they were the majority.The committee came out with a report recommending that First Nations be recognized as their own form of government which came to be known as the Penner report. Moving on, also happening at the time were major decisions in regard to land claims for indigenous communities.First, during the 1980s and 1990s there was a shift in thought taking place in Canada regarding the method used to govern areas with high indigenous populations.Since the Indian Act had been put in place, traditional forms of government had fallen by the wayside and had essentially disappeared from Canadian Indigenous communities.The creation of Nunavut in 1999 (the region was previously part of the Northwest Territories) represented the first major change to the political map of Canada since the incorporation of Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949.Beyond changing the internal political boundaries of Canada, Nunavut’s formation represented a moment of great political significance; through political activism and long-term negotiations, a small, marginalized Indigenous group overcame many obstacles to peacefully establish a government that they controlled within the Canadian state, thereby gaining control of their land, their resources and their future.