Canada! Our home and native land!” Known for its natural beauty, kind and compassionate people, and sprawling cities, Canada is the second largest country in the world and is made up of ten provinces and three territories that stretch across an impressive 3.85 million square miles. With the southernmost region as the most popular and visited thanks to cities like Toronto and Vancouver, Canada’s northernmost territory of Nunavut is often considered the most forgotten region of “The Great White North.” Officially separating from the Northwest Territories and becoming Canada’s largest territory on April 1, 1999, Nunavut may be the largest by land but it is the smallest in terms of population.
Attracting very few Inuit settlers because of its arctic climate and remote location, Nunavut offers an extremely different and unique lifestyle apart from the rest of Canada to nearly 32,000 residents who are scattered across over two dozen communities. So what is life like in Nunavut and how do the Inuit people survive and thrive? From a culture rooted in dancing and singing rituals to its wildlife population, water supply and more, join us as we travel north to uncover 10 surprising things you probably didn’t know about Canada’s truly unique Nunavut culture! Let’s get started!
#10 – Woman’s Day
Welcome to Nunavut! For more than 4,000 years, very few people have lived in the northernmost and largest territory in Canada in what is known today as Nunavut. Inhabited primarily by brave Inuit people already familiar with the remote arctic terrain, Nunavut’s history is vague because of the value placed on oral traditions over actual written documents in the Inuit culture. Though historians believe early Nunavut dwellers had some contact with the outside world via Norse sailors, they believe much of the area’s culture and history has been carried on by women. Inuit women play a crucial role in the survival of their families and neighbors, which is especially true in Nunavut where women teach their children at an early age to have a great respect for nature and its unpredictability. Nunavut mothers also show their children how to adapt to the climate as well as how to exploit it for their benefit and survival. Women are also the key holders to their ancestor’s hunting rituals and are expected to pass on such traditions in an effort to share their family legacy of survival in Canada’s coldest terrains.