Nunavut Day celebrations in Iqaluit in 2014 feature a girl looking through the hole of a cut-out to honour the occasion. (CP/Adrian Wyld)

Nunavut Day celebrations include Facebook beginning

Nunavut Day is being honoured and celebrated on this 25th anniversary today.

July 9th commemorates the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Nunavut Act, passed on this day in 1993.

They laid the groundwork for the territory’s eventual separation from the Northwest Territories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement which read in part:

Nunavut, which in Inuktitut means ‘our land,’ is rich in tradition, culture, and sense of community, thanks to generations of Inuit who have cared for and lived on the land for millennia. From Sanikiluaq to Grise Fiord, Nunavut is home to vast landscapes, vibrant languages, and many peoples. Forward-looking, resilient, and diverse, Canada’s youngest territory embodies our promise as a country.

Canada is an Arctic country, and the North is at the heart of our identity as Canadians. In close collaboration with Indigenous, territorial, and provincial partners, we are working to co-develop an Arctic Policy Framework that will help us to better address the needs and priorities of the North, and create opportunities for people across the Arctic.”

Meanwhile many Canadians in the south may not be aware of the occasion, yet, but Facebook is!

Nunavut Day this year is the beginning of the launch of Facebook for northern Canada next year. (CBC)

The social media giant is beginning a process of putting the indigenous languages of Canada’s north, on line in a way that will allow people to connect.

Words for “like” and “unfriend” are being accepted now, according to the CBC’s Pauline Pemik, based in Iqaluit.

She explains that what we call Inuktut includes several northern languages.

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Facebook will launch the site completely in 2019.

The festivities across Nunavut include Iqaluit’s Toonik Tyme Festival.

The events in the territory’s capital range from miniature boat racing to heather plant collecting, to a square dance and a fishing derby.

And one of the highlights is the annual fashion show with traditional dress.

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