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The territory of Nunavut (which means "our land") stretches some 1.9 million square kilometres and is nearly one-fifth the size of Canada.

The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is the largest Aboriginal land claim settlement in Canadian history. When the Agreement was signed, legislation was also passed leading to the creation of a new territory called Nunavut on April 1, 1999. The new territo ry will have a public government serving both Inuit and non-Inuit.

Though the creation of the territory of Nunavut is a new chapter in Canada's confederation, the story of Nunavut and the Inuit who make their lives there is an ancient one, going back over thousands of years.

The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement gives title to Inuit-owned lands measuring about 350,000 square kilometres (of the total area of Nunavut of 1.9 million square kilometres), of which about 35,000 square kilometres include mineral rights.

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) was set up as a private corporation in 1993 to ensure that promises made in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement are carried out. The operations of NTI are managed through offices in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay and Ottawa.

Features of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement:

Some to the more outstanding of its 41 articles include the following:

  • Title to approximately 350,000 square kilometres of land, of which about 35,000 square kilometres include mineral rights,

  • Equal representation of Inuit with government on a new set of wildlife management, resource management and environmental boards,

  • The right to harvest wildlife on lands and waters throughout the Nunavut settlement area,

  • Capital transfer payments of $1.148 billion, payable to the Inuit over 14 years, A $13 million Training Trust Fund,

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  • A share of federal government royalties for Nunavut Inuit from oil, gas and mineral development on Crown lands,

  • Where Inuit own surface title to the land, the right to negotiate with industry for economic and social benefits with non-renewable resource development,

  • The right of first refusal on sport and commercial development of renewable resources in the Nunavut Settlement Area,

  • The creation of three federally funded national parks,

  • The inclusion of a political accord that provides for the establishment of the new Territory of Nunavut and through this a form of self-government for the Nunavut Inuit.

    Flow of Capital

    $1.2 billion dollars in compensation money will pass from the federal government to the people of Nunavut over fourteen years, ending in 2007. This money flows to the Nunavut Trust, which is required to protect and enhance this capital. The Trust passes it on to Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), which distributes a portion to each of the three Regional Inuit Associations:

    Kitikmeot Inuit Association Kivalliq (Keewatin) Inuit Association Baffin Regional Inuit Association

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