NUNAVUT

Nunavut is the largest, and most northern of the Canadian territories and provinces. It is also the newest, only being separated from the Northwest Territories since April 1, 1999. It is the largest geopolitical subdivision in North America. It has an area of 2,038,722 square kilometers, and a population of around 31,000, making it one of the most remote, and sparsely populated regions in the world. It is the only area in Canada not connected to the rest of the country by any highways. The capital city is Iqaluit, on Baffin Island, in the east. The weather station Alert is the northernmost permanently populated place on earth, only 508 miles from the North Pole. Nunavut is bordered on the south by Manitoba, Saskatchewan to the southwest, the Yukon Territory to the west, and the Arctic Ocean to the north and east. The climate is Arctic, and Polar, meaning continuous ice, snow and freezing temperatures. Even in summer, in the extreme south, the temperatures seldom exceed 15c. Lows in winter can reach -27c, and colder.

Economy

The economy consists of some mining, gas and mineral exploration, and a little tourism. The mining consists of one open pit gold mine that employs roughly 600 people. There is believed to be significant oil, and coal deposits in the northern parts of Nunavut, and these are being explored. The majority of the population is self-sufficient.

Demographics

The population of Nunavut is 83% Inuit, 34% First Nations, and 14% non-aboriginal, most likely English, and probably all government employees. Surprisingly, 93% of the population considers itself Christian, and evenly divided between Catholic and Protestant. The official languages are Inuit, English, and French.

Education

There are no universities in Nunavut, and only one college, the Nunavut Arctic College, that offers a very limited range of degrees. Primary and Secondary education is problematic due to the lack of roads, and the thin distribution of the population.

Attractions

There are scattered Inuit festivals, some beautiful parks, and wildlife sanctuaries, and unique wildlife viewing experiences, especially for polar bears, walruses, and beluga whales. Camping, hiking, and some other outdoor activities are also possible for those prepared for a rugged vacation.

The Baffin island in Nunavut is located in the Arctic Ocean and is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world, with an area of 507,451 square kilometers and has a population of roughly 11,000 inhabitants. The extremely remote island offers visitors with the unique experience of viewing polar bears, the Northern Lights and Kayaking between ice flows.

The Ayuittuq National Park is located on Baffin Island’s Cumberland peninsula, featuring the many terrains of Arctic wilderness such as glaciers, fjords, and ice fields.

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