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Canada's Experiment with Aboriginal Self-Determination in Nunavut: From Vision to Illusion

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The paper presents a geographical and historical overview of the Territory Nunavut (Canada) established in 1999 and inhabited by a majority of Inuit People. The author outlines the process that led to the conclusion of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the current structure of the government of Nunavut, which can best be described as a form of Inuit self-government. Th e main objective of the paper consists in an overview and analysis of current socio-economic challenges faced by the government of Nunavut. Based on the visions of the Bathurst Mandate, the author attempts to assess the success of the ‘Nunavut Project’.

The author concludes that because of Nunavut's weak economy and fi scal dependency on the central federal government of Canada, the numerous socio-economic challenges have not been resolved. The Nunavut experiment has not yet been proven a success. The prosperous vision, expressed through the Bathurst Mandate, of a viable Nunavut seems for now just an illusion.

Affiliations: 1: Research Associate, Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan, Canada


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