Unboxing Canada – Nunavut
· 10 min. read
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It’s been 23 years since Nunavut became a new territory in Canada, but I’ll admit, beyond that, I know very little about it. I know the capital is Iqaluit and it’s on Baffin Island, the biggest island in Canada. I also know that they speak and write in Inuktitut. Also recently I learned about their traditional Inuit face tattoos (called “kakiniit”), as I see them frequently on the news or on social media.
I also know that, as of June 14, 2022, it shares a land border with Europe after years of aggressive confrontation with Greenland (Denmark) over the ownership of Hans Island.
But beyond that, I’m sorry to say, I know very little.
Thankfully that is the whole purpose of my Unboxing Canada series – to learn more about this beautiful country of ours! This is the fourth installment of this series, and I am so happy that Destination Nunavut was willing to send me a package. You can either see the live reaction unboxing in the video below, or keep reading:
Inukshuk Pins (x7)
One of the first things I unboxed in my package from Destination Nunavut were small, red and white pins. The pin itself is red, but they have a white Inukshuk on them with the words “Nunavut” in both English and Inuktitut. For those unfamiliar with the origin of the Inukshuk, they are stone structures used by Indigenous people to help with navigation and to point travellers in the right direction. Although they are mostly seen in the territories, you can sometimes find them in Northern Manitoba or Saskatchewan too.
Square and Circle Magnets (x5)
Destination Nunavut also sent me 5 small square and circle magnets. Each magnet has traditional artwork painted on them, and showed something unique about the Nunavut way of life.
The two circle magnets showed three sets of mukluks and three ribbons tied into bows. I am not sure what the symbolism of the bows are, but the mukluks are traditional boots worn by Inuit people. Behind them is a purple background. The second pin shows an igloo, which is the traditional house style of the Inuit people. This pin is on a red background.
The three square magnets are a bit more detailed. The first is a purple magnet with a traditional Inuit woman with kakiniit. The second is a drawing of some kind of ax or sinew cutter, possibly used for preparing meat or scraping fat off an animal. The last one is an amauti parka or a style of parka worn by the Inuit people made traditionally of caribou skin.
A Red Notebook
I have a few notebooks on the go right now, but the one from Destination Nunavut is very similar to the one I got from Travel Manitoba last year. The difference is that while the one from Travel Manitoba was grey and made of fabric, this one is red and is made of faux leather. It also has the Destination Nunavut logo and website URL embossed into it.
Black and Red Pens (x2)
I always seem to need a pen, and when I find one, it’s normally dried up or dead. I was very happy to see these two pens from Destination Nunavut for that very reason. While they are normal pens with the branding on them, I still can’t believe they came all the way from Iqaluit. I’m going to be thinking about that every time I use them. I also believe this is also the first time I got a pen as part of my Unboxing Canada series.
Large, Artistic Magnets (x3)
Although the five smaller magnets I got were pretty cool, these three artistic magnets stole the show. Each magnet is a piece of art created by Becky Qilavvaq, an Inuit artist from Nunavut.
The first of the magnets show a traditional Inuit woman with kakiniit, wearing some kind of dress or a corset. It looks almost Victorian, or perhaps something Steampunk-like, but I believe it to be a traditional outfit.
The second magnet shows a mother and child in a traditional amauti parka. This magnet helped me understand what the smaller magnet of the amauti parka. It’s cool to see how they carried around their children (under the age of two) in their parkas.
The third one shows a traditional Inuit woman from the back with her hair braided. I know hair and the styles of hair mean a lot to the Indigenous people of the prairies, so I imagine it is the same for the Inuit. I also believe the hairstyle has some kind of message associated with it, but I’m sorry to say I don’t know what it might be. Either way, it is very nice and Qilavvaq’s artwork is incredible.
A Red Lanyard
I honestly do not know the last time I work a lanyard. It’s been years. I know they are very popular at conventions and festivals, and I also had to wear them during media events, but I haven’t had to do any of that for a long time. It’s simple, but it was nice to see one again and I’m sure I’ll find a use for it.
Map of Nunavut
Did you know Nunavut is the largest province or territory in Canada? In fact, it’s bigger than most countries in the world. This is amazing, considering there are only about 40,000 people living there. This is a little more than the population of Moose Jaw, in an area bigger than Quebec plus Saskatchewan. Not only is the area absolutely massive, but it is broken into three different regions:
- Kitikmeot Region, in the north-west.
- Kivalliq Region, in the south-west.
- Qikiqtaaluk Region, in the east.
The map Destination Nunavut sent me was a resource and mining map, not a road map. The reason for this might be that there are no roads leading into Nunavut. Instead, the only way to get in is via sea or air. There are roads connecting some communities, and obviously roads within a community, but there aren’t any connecting it to the rest of Canada.
A Red Water Bottle
I’ve gotten a few water bottles during this unboxing series already, but this one is much bigger than the previous ones I got. It’s wider, taller, and much heavier than the other ones. I think this is great since my other water bottles seem to always be empty when I need them the most.
A Purple Saxifrage in Resin
The purple saxifrage is the official flower of Nunavut, and they don’t grow here in Saskatchewan. Their growing period is fairly short, but they can be harvested and eaten, or added to baking like cookies or muffins with a little sugar. While all the items Destination Nunavut sent me were very cool, this little purple flower is probably the most special because it came from the actual soil and rock of Nunavut. It’ll be amazing one day to see them myself, but for now I have this little flower to remind me that Nunavut, although very different than Saskatchewan, isn’t all that far away.
All in all, I really enjoyed this package fromDestination Nunavut. I want to thank them again for it, as it was very enlightening and it helped me learn more about the territory and about Canada too. Be sure to visit their website to learn more about Nunavut and maybe plan a trip there too!
Have you ever been to Nunavut? Would you ever go? Have you ever heard of the three regions of Nunavut or the purple saxifrage? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Don’t forget to pin it!
Categories: Canada, Nunavut, Unboxing