Inuit are the Aboriginal people of Arctic Canada. About 45,000 Inuit live in 53 communities in: Nunatsiavut (Labrador); Nunavik (Quebec); Nunavut; and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. Each of these four Inuit groups have settled land claims. These Inuit regions cover one-third of Canada's land mass.
The word "Inuit" means "the people" in the Inuit language called, Inuktitut and is the term by which Inuit refer to themselves. The term "Eskimo," applied to Inuit by European explorers, is no longer used in Canada.
The Canadian constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal people: Indians, Métis and Inuit. These are three distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
In support of its vision and mandate, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is responsible for:
- providing some programs and services to Inuit communities, such as economic development and post-secondary education;
- negotiating and implementing self-government and land claim agreements with Inuit communities, including the claim that created the territory of Nunavut; and
- working with Inuit organizations, federal departments and agencies, and other stakeholders to improve government programs and policies for Inuit.
Through these responsibilities, AANDC helps to maintain and strengthen the relationship between the Government of Canada and Inuit.
You may also be interested in:
- Government Of Canada Apologizes For Relocation Of Inuit Families To The High Arctic
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK)
- Comprehensive land claims (also known as modern treaties)
- International Polar Year
- Circumpolar Liaison
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