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Entered Confederation: 1999

Nunavut was formed from part of the Northwest Territories in 1999. When Canada first became a country, Native people were not asked what they thought about Confederation. In fact, the Government of Canada took control of the land, resulting in changes to the Inuit way of life. In the 1970s the Inuit began to talk to the Canadian government about creating a new territory called Nunavut. They had two main reasons for this:

  • For a long time the Canadian government had made decisions for Native people without talking to them first. The Inuit wanted to start making decisions for themselves, and to do this they needed their own government. When Nunavut was created in 1999, Paul Okalik was chosen as the first premier.
  • The Inuit wanted control of their land. For many years Canada had used the resources of the Arctic without asking the Inuit. Now the Inuit wanted some of that land back.