Northern Canada celebrates Nunavut Day virtually

A file photo of Nunavut Day celebrations in Iqaluit in 2019. Nunavut Day organizers are following instructions from the chief public health officer to avoid large gatherings this year, and celebrations will move online. (Sara Frizzell/CBC)
Nunavut Day will look different this year as the COVID-19 pandemic shifts the typically outdoor event to virtual activities.

It’s also the first time Nunavut Day will be celebrated as an official statutory holiday. It marks when Parliament passed the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act on July 9, 1993.

“Nunavut Day is the biggest day of celebration in the territory. As Inuit, we love outdoor community activities … However, the health and safety of everyone is more important.”  Aluki Kotierk, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Organizers are following instructions from the chief public health officer to avoid large gatherings, the news release added.

Instead, celebrations will centre around activities on social media and television.

Here are some events you can look forward to:

  • Watch Nunavut Day activities live on Nunavut Tunngavik’s Facebook page here.
  • Nunavut Tunngavik is giving away two pairs of tickets to anywhere Canadian North flies. The Airline Ticket Draw will happen Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Winners will be announced on Nunavut Tunngavik’s Facebook page.
  • The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is offering a full day of Inuktut programming on Thursday.
  • The Home Cook Challenge is a territory-wide online cooking contest with prizes. Contestants were asked to make their favourite recipes, take a photo and send it in by last Sunday. Northern chefs from Iqaluit to Cambridge Bay will judge and announce winners on Thursday.
  • The TikTok Video Contest invited people to create a short video promoting Inuit culture. The deadline was last Sunday and winners will be announced on Thursday.
People soak up sunshine in Iqaluit during the 2019 Nunavut Day celebrations. Nunavut Day became an official statutory holiday this year. (Madeleine Allakariallak/CBC)
Related stories from around the North:

Canada: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation may be Canada’s next new statutory holiday, CBC News

Finland: Finnish gov pulls bill to ratify convention on Indigenous peoples’ rights, Yle News

Norway: Inuit, Sami leading the way in Indigenous self-determination, study says, CBC News

Sweden: Calls for more Indigenous protection in Sweden on Sami national day, Radio Sweden

United States: Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated in Alaska, Alaska Public Media

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