Geographical Names of Nunavut

On 1 April 1999, Nunavut became Canada's newest territory. Covering about 1.9 million square kilometres of land and water, and spanning three time zones, Nunavut is home to about 22, 000 people.

The name means "our land" in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit, who make up 85% of the population of Nunavut.

Nunavut's capital is Iqaluit, at the head of Frobisher Bay on Baffin Island. The name Iqaluit means "place of many fish" in Inuktitut.

The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base has been updated to reflect the change, and the GeoNames query tool now allows queries for names in Nunavut. As of April 1999, there were approximately 7,940 Nunavut names (official and historic) in the CGNDB.

Additional Information on Nunavut

The official name of the new territory is Nunavut in English and in French; the terms "territory and territoire" are used only to describe the type of administrative division, and are not part of the name.

Postal Code and Abbreviation

There is not - yet - an abbreviation for Nunavut that we are aware of. We believe that an abbreviation will be created over time, perhaps by the government and/or the people of Nunavut. We will add it to our list as soon as we know about it.

As of December 18, 2000, the two-letter postal code for Nunavut is NU.