Delight in the Newest Canadian Province's Coat of Arms
Nunavut is unique. Not only is it the northernmost and newest territory of Canada, it is also both the least populous and largest area of all the Canadian provinces and territories. The mostly Inuit population of approximately 31,906 is spread over an area the size of Western Europe! The Nunavut coat of arms was granted on March 31, 1999, one day before Nunavut officially separated from the Northwest Territories. The design of the coat of arms was truly a collaborative effort, with contributions from Inuit elders, artists, leaders, groups and the territory's general population. Each symbol was individually selected from the 800 submissions that were received. Can you imagine having to sift through all of those proposals?
Symbolism of the Coat of Arms of Nunavut
This unique coat of arms is rife with symbolism. For starters, the round shield is presented in blue and gold, which portray the riches of the area. Prominently displayed is a depiction of the midnight sun and the North Star. Below are a qulliq, an Inuit stone lamp representing the warmth of home and community, and an inukshuk, an Inuit stone landmark which is used as a guidepost as well as a symbol of the land. Above you will notice the crest, which is an igloo. This is meant to symbolize traditional life, survival and the Nunavut legislature. It is topped with a crown to symbolize royal sovereignty. On one side is a caribou and on the other side is a narwhal. These two creatures symbolize sustenance and the natural resources of both the land and sea. The caribou is standing on Arctic poppies, dwarf fireweed and Arctic heather. The Narwhal is propped above an iceberg. The motto is written in Inuktitut, and means "Our Land, Our Strength".