“Our land”: Nunavut becoming a territory celebrated in seventh stamp marking Canada 150
Territory created in 1999 following largest Aboriginal land claims settlement in Canadian history
IQALUIT, NUNAVUT – Nunavut’s Premier, its Commissioner and the Speaker of the legislative assembly unveiled a stamp May 30th that commemorates the creation of the territory of Nunavut in 1999 and celebrates the people who call it home.
Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna, Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak, and George Qulaut, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut unveiled the stamp at the legislature in Iqaluit, the capital of Canada’s newest and largest territory. The Nunavut stamp is the seventh of 10 stamps being issued by Canada Post to celebrate Canada 150. The stamps mark unforgettable moments in Canada since our country’s centennial in 1967.
The Nunavut stamp features an image of Leah Ejangiaq Kines, photographed by her spouse Clare Kines, both of whom are residents of Arctic Bay, Nunavut.
The creation of Nunavut was the first major change to Canada’s map since Newfoundland and Labrador joined Confederation in 1949, and came about from the largest Aboriginal land claims settlement in Canadian history. The territory encompasses about one-fifth of Canada’s land mass and is home to fewer than 40,000 people, most of them Inuit.
Nunavut means “our land” in the Inuit language of Inuktitut.
The journey to becoming a territory
Beginning in the late 1960s, and continuing through the 1970s, a sustained effort took hold among Inuit groups to negotiate land claims with the federal government and secure their own territory. Negotiations intensified in the 1980s and ultimately led to the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement with the federal government and Government of the Northwest Territories, which laid the foundation for the creation of the territory of Nunavut on April 1, 1999.
The new territory was carved out of the central and eastern portion of the Northwest Territories and is now the largest province or territory in Canada, encompassing around 1.9 million square kilometres.
Three more Canada 150 stamps to come
Each stamp in the set has been unveiled by a distinguished Canadian individual or group related to the moment being celebrated. The location of each stamp launch also directly relates to the moment being commemorated. The first stamp, celebrating Expo 67, was unveiled in Montréal by Habitat 67 architect Moshe Safdie on April 27, while the stamp honouring the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was unveiled on Parliament Hill on May 3 with the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. The third stamp, which pays tribute to the Canadarm and Canadian innovation, was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen during a recorded event at a Toronto school and released online May 4.
The fourth stamp, commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act – which made marriage equality the law in Canada – was unveiled in Toronto on May 9 in partnership with The 519, an organization that supports the LGBTQ community. The fifth stamp, celebrating the Trans-Canada Highway, was unveiled in Regina on May 16 by Canadian country music star Dean Brody. The sixth stamp, honouring Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, was unveiled in St. John’s, N.L. on May 25 by Judith Fox, Terry’s sister. The next stamp in the Canada 150 set will be unveiled in Winnipeg on May 31.
The last of the stamps will be unveiled on June 1.
About the stamp
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut PermanentTM domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.
Canada Post’s video on Nunavut: