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Sunday, 2 April, 2000, 03:37 GMT 04:37 UK
Inuit homeland is one year old
Last year Nunavut was in party mood
Last year Nunavut was in party mood
By Ian Gunn in Vancouver

A territory of more than two million square kilometres in Canada's desolate Arctic is marking its first anniversary.

Nunavut came into being last 1 April, amid much celebration and hope for the future.


There still isn't a single road to link settelments
There are no roads to link settelments
It was seen as an experiment in self-government for the 25,000 largely Inuit population.

But a year later, the celebrations are low-key, as people try to reconcile their dreams with the often harsh realities of Nunavut.

Unemployment and suicide rates are still several times higher than in the rest of Canada.

The situation is worst in small, remote communities, where critics say nothing has changed.

Nunavut's government leader agrees it has not been an easy year, but he says the government is working hard.


Huskies are used to the harsh climate
Huskies are used to the harsh climate
One of its priorities, he says, is to stimulate the economy, and there was some hopeful economic news this week, as a major Nunavut diamond deposit now appears much richer than earlier thought.

Mining is a main hope for economic growth in the Arctic.

Still, one year on some people in Nunavut say their hope is now less for themselves than for their children.

A generation from now, Nunavut should be a much more promising and prosperous place.

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17 Feb 99 | Americas
Inuits elect first government
05 Jan 99 | Americas
Avalanche funeral postponed
31 Mar 99 | Americas
Inuits get Arctic homeland
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