Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Alaska is a U. S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean; the Pacific Ocean lies to southwest. It is the largest U. S. state by the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States. Half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy; the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U. S. dollars at two cents per acre. The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912.
It was admitted as the 49th state of the U. S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the Alaska Peninsula, it was derived from an Aleut-language idiom. It means object to which the action of the sea is directed. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America. It is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use. S. called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system; the state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles apart. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas and Montana, it is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. There are no defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six accepted regions: The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.
Referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase; the region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city; the Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system. Designated in 1963; the Interior is the largest region of Alaska. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast.
Kodiak Island is located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands; the North Slope is tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field; the city of Utqiagvik known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and containing the Kobuk River valley, is regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the No
The Iñupiat are native Alaskan people, whose traditional territory spans Norton Sound on the Bering Sea to the Canada–United States border. Their current communities include seven Alaskan villages in the North Slope Borough, affiliated with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. Iñupiat Inyupik, is the plural form of the name for the people and the name of their language; the singular form is Iñupiaq, which sometimes refers to the language. Iñupiak is the dual form; the roots are iñuk "person" and -piaq "real", i.e. an endonym meaning "real people". The Iñupiat people are made up of the following communities, To equitably manage natural resources, Iñupiat people belong to several of the Alaskan Native Regional Corporations; these are the following. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Bering Straits Native Corporation NANA Regional Corporation. Inupiat now speak only two native languages: Northwest Alaskan Inupiat. Many more dialects of these languages flourished prior to contact with European cultures.
English is spoken by the Iñupiat because in Native American boarding schools, Iñupiaq children were punished for speaking their own languages. Several Inupiat people developed pictographic writing systems in the early twentieth century, it is known as Alaskan Picture Writing. The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers an online course called Beginning Inupiaq Eskimo, an introductory course to the Inupiaq language open to both speakers and non-speakers of Inupiaq. Along with other Inuit groups, the Iñupiaq originate from the Thule culture. Circa 1000 B. C. the Thule migrated from islands in the Bering Sea to. Iñupiaq groups, in common with Inuit-speaking groups have a name ending in "miut," which means'a people of'. One example is a generic term for inland Iñupiaq caribou hunters. During a period of starvation and an influenza epidemic most of these people moved to the coast or other parts of Alaska between 1890 and 1910. A number of Nunamiut returned to the mountains in the 1930s. By 1950, most Nunamiut groups, such as the Killikmiut, had coalesced in Anaktuvuk Pass, a village in north-central Alaska.
Some of the Nunamiut remained nomadic until the 1950s. The Iditarod Trail's antecedents were the native trails of the Dena'ina and Deg Hit'an Athabaskan Indians and the Inupiaq Eskimos. Iñupiat people are hunter-gatherers. Iñupiat people continue to rely on subsistence hunting and fishing. Depending on their location, they harvest walrus, whale, polar bears and fish. Both the inland and coastal Iñupiat depend on fish. Throughout the seasons when they are available food staples include ducks, rabbits, berries and shoots; the inland Iñupiat hunt caribou, dall sheep, grizzly bear, moose. The coastal Iñupiat hunt walrus, beluga whales, bowhead whales. Cautiously, polar bear is hunted; the capture of a whale benefits each member of an Iñupiat community, as the animal is butchered and its meat and blubber are allocated according to a traditional formula. City-dwelling relatives, thousands of miles away, are entitled to a share of each whale killed by the hunters of their ancestral village. Maktak, the skin and blubber of Bowhead and other whales, is rich in vitamins A and C.
The Vitamin C content of meats is destroyed by cooking, so consumption of raw meats and these vitamin-rich foods contributes to good health in a population with limited access to fruits and vegetables. Since the 1970s, oil and other resources have been an important revenue source for the Iñupiat; the Alaska Pipeline connects the Prudhoe Bay wells with the port of Valdez in south-central Alaska. Because of the oil drilling in Alaska’s arid north, the traditional way of whaling is coming into conflict with one of the modern world’s most pressing demands: finding more oil; the Inupiat eat Ribes triste raw or cooked, mix them with other berries which are used to make a traditional dessert. They mix the berries with rosehips and highbush cranberries and boil them into a syrup. Traditionally, different Iñupiat people lived in sedentary communities; some villages in the area have been occupied by other indigenous groups for more than 10,000 years. The Nalukataq is a spring whaling festival among Iñupiat.
There is one Iñupiat culture-oriented institute of higher education, Iḷisaġvik College, located in Utqiagvik. Iñupiat people have grown more concerned in recent years that climate change is threatening their traditional lifestyle; the warming trend in the Arctic affects their lifestyle in numerous ways, for example: thinning sea ice makes it more difficult to harvest bowhead whales, seals and other traditional foods. The Inuit Circumpolar Council, a group representing indigenous peoples of the Arctic, has made the case that climate change represents a threat to their human rights; as of the 2000 U. S. Census, the Iñupiat population in the United States numbered more than 19,000. Most of them live in Alaska. North Slope Borough: Anaktuvuk Pass, Utqiagvik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright Northwest Arctic Borough: Ambler, Deering, Kian
Inuit religion is the shared spiritual beliefs and practices of Inuit, an indigenous people from Alaska and Greenland. Their religion shares many similarities with religions of other North Polar peoples. Traditional Inuit religious practices include animism and shamanism, in which spiritual healers mediate with spirits. Today many Inuit follow Christianity, but traditional Inuit spirituality continues as part of a living, oral tradition and part of contemporary Inuit society. Inuit who balance indigenous and Christian theology practice religious syncretism. Inuit cosmology provides the place of people within it. Rachel Attituq Qitsualik writes: The Inuit cosmos is ruled by no one. There are father figures. There are solar creators. There are no eternal punishments in the hereafter, as there are no punishments for children or adults in the here and now. Traditional stories and taboos of the Inuit are precautions against dangers posed by their harsh Arctic environment. Knud Rasmussen asked his guide and friend Aua, an angakkuq, about Inuit religious beliefs among the Iglulingmiut and was told: "We don't believe.
We fear." Authors Inge Kleivan and Birgitte Sonne debate possible conclusions of Aua's words, because the angakkuq was under the influence of Christian missionaries, he converted to Christianity. Their study analyses beliefs of several Inuit groups, concluding that fear was not diffuse. First were unipkaaqs: myths and folktales which took place "back then" in the indefinite past. Among the Canadian Inuit, a spiritual healer is known as an angakkuq or Inuvialuk: ᐊᖓᑦᑯᖅ angatkuq; the duties of an angakkuq includes helping the community when marine animals, kept by Takanaluk-arnaluk or Sea Woman in a pit in her house, become scarce, according to the Aua, an informant and friend of the anthropologist Rasmussen. Aua described the ability of an apprentice angakkuq to see himself as a skeleton, naming each part using the specific shaman language; the Inuit at Amitsoq Lake had other prohibitions for sewing certain items. Boot soles, for example, could only be sewn far away from settlements in designated places.
Children at Amitsoq once had a game called tunangusartut in which they imitated the adults behavior towards the spirits reciting the same verbal formulae as angakkuit. According to Rasmussen, this game was not considered offensive because a "spirit can understand the joke." The homelands of the Netsilik Inuit have long winters and stormy springs. Starvation was a common danger. While other Inuit cultures feature protective guardian powers, the Netsilik have traditional beliefs that life's hardships stemmed from the extensive use of such measures. Unlike the Iglulik Inuit, the Netsilik used a large number of amulets. Dogs could have amulets. In one recorded instance, a young boy had 80 amulets, so many. One particular man had 17 names intended to protect him. Tattooing among Netsilik women provided power and could affect which world they went to after their deaths. Nuliajuk, the Sea Woman, was described as "the lubricous one". If the people breached certain taboos, she held marine animals in the tank of her lamp.
When this happened the angakkuq had to visit her to beg for game. In Netsilik oral history, she was an orphan girl mistreated by her community. Moon Man, another cosmic being, is benevolent towards humans and their souls as they arrived in celestial places; this belief differs from that of the Greenland Inuit, in which the Moon’s wrath could be invoked by breaking taboos. Sila associated with weather, is conceived of as a power contained within people. Among the Netsilik, Sila was imagined as male; the Netsilik believed Sila was a giant baby whose parents died fighting giants. Caribou Inuit is a collective name for several groups of inland Alaskan Natives living in an area bordered by the tree line and the west shore of Hudson Bay, they do not form a political unit and maintain only loose contact, but they share an inland lifestyle and some cultural unity. In the recent past, the Padlermiut took; the Caribou have a dualistic concept of the soul. The soul associated with respiration is called umaffia and the personal soul of a child is called tarneq.
The tarneq is considered so weak. The presence of the ancestor in the body of the child was felt to contribute to a more gentle behavior among boys; this belief amounted to a form of reincarnation. Because of their inland lifestyle, the Caribou have no belief concerning a Sea Woman. Other cosmic beings, named Sila or Pinga, control the caribou, as opposed to marine animals; some groups have made a distinction between the two figures, while others have considered them the same. Sacrificial offerings to them could promote luck in hunting. Caribou angakkuit performed fortune-telling through qilaneq, a technique of asking questions to a qila; the angakkuq raised his staff and belt over it. The qila entered the glove and drew the staff to itself. Qilaneq was practiced among several other Alaskan Native groups and provided "yes" or "no" answers to questions. Spiritual beliefs and practices among Inuit are diverse, just like the cultures themselves. Similar remarks apply for other beliefs: term silap inua / sila, hillap inua / hilla (among Inuit
Inuvialuit Settlement Region
The Inuvialuit Settlement Region, located in Canada’s western Arctic, was designated in 1984 in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement by the Government of Canada for the Inuvialuit people. It spans 90,650 km2 of land above the tree line, includes several subregions: the Beaufort Sea, the Mackenzie River delta, the northern portion of Yukon, the northwest portion of Northwest Territories, the western Canadian Arctic Islands; the ISR includes both Crown Lands and Inuvialuit Private Lands. The ISR is one of the four Inuit regions of Canada, collectively known as Inuit Nunangat, represented by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; the other regions include Nunatsiavut in Labrador, Nunavik in northern Quebec, the territory of Nunavut. The ISR is the homeland of the Inuvialuit; the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, established in 1986 as the receiver of the lands and financial compensation of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, is controlled by the Inuvialuit population and is responsible for ISR operations. As of 2013 Nellie Cournoyea, former Premier of the Northwest Territories, is the Chairman of the Board.
The Inuvialuit Settlement Region Database contains descriptions of thousands of publications and research projects about the ISR. It is maintained by the Joint Secretariat—Inuvialuit Renewable Resource Committees and the Arctic Science and Technology Information System. Funding comes from MGM Energy. In the 2006 Canada Census, the ISR population was 5,767 people, of which 3,115 were Inuvialuit and formed a majority in all six communities. There are no communities in the Yukon North Slope. Of the six communities in the ISR all are located in the Northwest Territories and, along with Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic, form the Inuvik Region. Inuvik, located on the East Channel of the Mackenzie Delta 100 km from the Arctic Ocean, is the region's administrative centre, home to the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation; the only other inland community, Aklavik, is located on the Peel Channel and is home to Aurora College. Hunting and trapping are the major economic activities of Paulatuk, in Amundsen Gulf's Darnley Bay, Sachs Harbour, the only permanent settlement on Banks Island.
Tuktoyaktuk known as "Port Brabant", is set on Kugmallit Bay, near the Mackenzie River Delta. It has the only deepwater port in the ISR. Ulukhaktok known as "Holman", is located on the west coast of Victoria Island. Printmaking has taken over as the primary source of income in recent years. English is spoken in the entire region. Additionally, Siglitun is spoken in Sachs Harbour and Tuktoyaktuk. Uummarmiutun is spoken in Aklavik. Inuinnaqtun is nowhere else in the Northwest Territories. Together they are grouped under Inuvialuktun; the Inuvialuit Renewable Resource Conservation and Management Plan sets the strategy for fish and wildlife management and conservation. Integrated management planning of the region's marine and coastal areas is described in the Beaufort Sea Integrated Management Planning Initiative. Wildlife includes Arctic char, Arctic fox, beluga whale, bearded seal, bowhead whale, moose, polar bear, ringed seal, whitefish. Migratory bird management within the ISR is handled by policies and regulations described in the Conservation of Migratory Birds in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region report.
There are several protected parks and bird sanctuaries in the ISR. There are five parks: Aulavik National Park, Herschel Island Territorial Park, Ivvavik National Park, Pingo National Landmark, Tuktut Nogait National Park. There are four bird sanctuaries: Anderson River Delta Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Banks Island No. 1 Bird Sanctuary, Cape Perry Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary The ISR's Inuvialuit Private Lands are divided into those where the Inuvialuit own surface and subsurface minerals, or those lands with only surface rights. The area is rich in non-renewable hydrocarbon resources. There are proven commercial quantities of natural gas, nickel and zinc. Map Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Yukon ISR Lands
A qamutiik is a sled designed to travel on snow and ice, built using traditional Inuit design techniques. Adapted to the arctic sea ice environment, such sleds are still used in the 21st century for travel in Arctic regions; the key feature of the qamutiik is that it is not built with nails or pins to hold the runners and cross pieces in place. Each piece is drilled and lashed to the next, providing a flexibility of movement that can endure the pounding of travel on open sea ice, frozen land, ice floes, across the heavy ice of tidal zones; the cross pieces are called napooks. Each napook is notched near the ends to take a lashing, passed through holes drilled through the runners; the first and last napooks are lashed individually to the runners, using a more secure knot using two holes in the runners. For the central napooks, there is a single hole in the runner for each napook and all of the central napooks are lashed in one continuous lashing along each side; the method of lashing forms a self-locking knot.
In the early 21st century, the napooks are ideally made of hardwoods such as walnut. Archival materials and the stories of elders show that the people in areas without access to wood for runners used frozen fish wrapped in skins as runners. Moss and ice were used on the bottom of the runner to reduce drag. In the 21st century wooden runners are universal, using either spruce or plywood with a layer of polyurethane or nylon to reduce drag. British and American diaries and accounts from the 1800 and early 1900s tell how their explorers, determined to use conventional sleds, found that the pounding of the sea-ice jolted the sleds so that nails were expelled, the sled fell to pieces within several miles of their start point, they adopted Inuit-style sleds. Qamutiik are used for diverse travel in the Arctic, from afternoon outings for families going sledding to multi-day hunting trips covering hundreds of miles of terrain. Most qamutiik have space for fuel cans, a camp stove and grub box, positioned for easy access, to permit quick stops for tea and food.
Other gear and belongings are lashed to the sled body, passengers can either ride atop this load holding on to the lashing ropes, or, in the more modern versions, ride in the comfort of a "box" lashed to the sled, sometimes with a small windbreak or canvas cover. The packing and lashing of a sled is an art. Weight must be carried to reduce the risk of tipping. Ingenious structures and materials are used to protect the passengers and hunters build small sleek versions to permit fast day trips; the qamutiik were traditionally hauled by trained dog teams. They can be pulled by humans or, since the late 20th century, by a snowmobile. Sizes vary by the availability of materials. Watch Stories From Our Land 1.5: Family Making Sleds, a 2011 Nunavut short film on sled construction