On that same day Peter Ittinuar crossed the floor of the House of Commons to join the Liberal government.
These defining steps opened the way to the creation of Nunavut, a new Canadian territory, on April 1John Amagoalik When we first presented our Nunavut proposal to the Government of Canada, they indicated that they did not want to deal with political development at the land claims table. We made it very clear that we could not sign any agreement that did not include the commitment to create Nunavut. But we agreed to start negotiating the details of the land claims agreement while we were pursuing Nunavut through the political arena.
Before Nunavut, there were only two territories in Canada, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
Nunavut was split from the Northwest Territories and became its own territory.
We were negotiating the claims here, and we were pursuing Nunavut through other means.
Nunavut, or “Our Land” in Inuktitut, encompasses over 2 million km2 and has a population of 35,944 residents (2016 census), approximately 85 per cent of whom are Inuit.
This is socially significant as an Indigenous group in Canada were able to live their life a more traditional way.
Lastly, in the new territory the Inuit were self-governing, meaning they were also able to have a substantial amount of political power over themselves and how they live. In What Context Was Nunavut Created?
That same year, Peter Ittinuar was elected to Parliament for the riding of Nunatsiaq as a New Democratic Party member.
He was the first native Canadian ever elected to Parliament with the exception of Louis Riel who was elected in 1874, while still in hiding in the United States.