Nunavut “our country” in Inuktut, is a territory with public government and the homeland of the Inuit in the eastern Arctic of Canada. In 1993, a Nunavut-wide Inuit vote was ratified and the Canadian Parliament ratified the Nunavut Agreement. On April 1, 1999, when the Government of Nunavut and the Territory of Nunavut was created, it was “the largest overall land rights subdivision ever achieved between a state and its indigenous peoples.” In most of the Negotiations on Lanavut`s focal claims, the Confederation`s core negotiating team consisted of four people in the area of DIAND`s national claims (a high-ranking federal negotiator, an assistant negotiator, a damages analyst and an administrative assistant) and a legal counsel mandated by diand legal services. At the negotiating table, the federal team was led by a chief negotiator from Confederation, appointed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development from outside the public service. Tom Molloy, a Saskatoon lawyer, was the chief negotiator of Confederation from 1982 to 1993. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) participated in the negotiations as part of the federal negotiating team and was generally represented by a senior negotiator and legal counsel at the table. Fortunately, during the negotiation process, there was a high degree of continuity within the federal team. Nunavut`s political agreement was signed on April 27, 1992 by negotiators from the three parties, the division boundary was approved in a territorial referendum on May 4, 1992, and the political agreement was signed in Iqaluit on October 30, 1992. After a two-month ratification visit by Inuit and federal negotiators to all Inuit communities, the Inuit vote on the foe claim agreement took place from November 3 to November 5, 1992. The land law contract was approved by 85% of the electorate. During the ratification visit, it became clear that the success of the ratification vote depended to a large extent on the commitment to the creation of Nunavut. For outside observers, it may appear that the creation of Nunavut territory and the dissolution of Inuit lands were deployed as part of a coordinated master plan to change the future of Canada`s North. But for those who work in the federal system, the reality was quite different.
Nunavut and the NLCA were followed as separate and sometimes contradictory initiatives. Nunavut`s claim was signed on April 30, 1990 in Iglulik. For the first time, the Nunavut claim agreement and Nunavut gained a significant political profile in the federal system, with Minister Thomas Siddon and Inuit leaders forging a working relationship to advance the agenda. Despite the importance of Nunavut and the NLCA, federal government initiatives have been entrusted to separate core and relatively small core teams within the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND).