Over 18,000 Co-op members in Nunavut and the Northwest
territories encompass a wide variety of cultures, dialects
and traditional knowledge. The sharing culture is one
of the reasons the Co-op movement continues to thrive
in the North.
Most members in Nunavut are Inuit. Many members in the
Northwest Territories are Dene.
Many elders speak only in their mother tongue. In Nunavut, children speak English and Inukitituk. In some communities, members speak French. The language combinations are endless, fascinating and challenging.
In April 1999, Nunavut was created as a result of an Inuit Land Claim. Many leaders worked tirelessly to negotiate and then create Nunavut. It is an example to the world of self-government. Still instrumental in the land claims process is Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (http://www.tunngavik.com/ ), the Nunavut Planning Commission ( http://npc.nunavut.ca/eng/ ) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami ( http://www.tapirisat.ca/ ).
More information on Nunavut and Inuit can be found at the Nunavut Handbook website.
Members in the Northwest Territories belong to a variety of Dene Nations, some of whom still hunt and trap for a living. Log buildings dominate the landscape in communities like Colville Lake and Deline. Yellowknife Co-op members are people who live and work in that city - and they move to Yellowknife from all over Canada.