This region lies to the north of the provinces and reaches far into the Arctic Ocean. It includes Canada’s three territories: the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Nunavut, which means “our land,” was carved from the Northwest Territories as a homeland for the Inuit people.
Who lives where?
This is the largest region in land area, but it has the smallest number of people. Only about 100,000 people live in all three territories. Living in the region is costly because it is so far from other places. In addition, there are so few roads that goods often have to be flown in by plane.
Almost two thirds of the people in the north speak English as their first language. Many are English-speaking Canadians who moved here to work for the government. Most of the founding peoples, such as the Inuit, have retained their cultures. The Inuit, for instance, continue to speak Inuktitut.
The all-terrain vehicle has replaced the traditional dog sled in the north. People still love to compete in dog sled races, though. A long-distance race in winter, over mountains, frozen rivers, and other rough terrain, can cover 1,000 miles and take up to two weeks.
This region has long, cold winters. In the past, some Inuit made winter igloos from snow blocks.The word igloo translates to “house.” Igloos can also be made of other materials, such as sod, stone, or wood. Today, most Inuit have houses made from kits. Such a house is put together from sections made in factories. Inuit live in widely scattered villages along the Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay.
Some native peoples still follow the nomadic, or wandering, life of herders and hunters, but most are settled in small villages. Because there is little business in most villages, jobs are few. Canadians from the south sometimes travel here to work for short periods, finding jobs with the government, churches, or mining companies. Many people in the territories believe that there are undiscovered precious minerals still to be found here.