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// Films // Arctic Defenders

Arctic Defenders

John Walker / Canada / 2013 / 95 ' / English


Jeff Warren
John Walker
Charles Konowal & John Walker
Alex Salter
Sandy Moore
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril & Charles Konowal
Oo Aqpik
Sound Recordist: Alex Salter
Assistant Camera: Becky Parsons

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Confronting a history of oppression and subjugation, "arctic defenders" set out to create the new territory of Nunavut in this inspiring doc.


The world's polar regions are entering a new era of international exploration and exploitation due to climate change. Canada's claim to her sovereignty of the north has never been more important than today.

In 1999 one fifth of Canada's landmass, (2,093,190 sq. km) a territory larger than England, France, Germany and Spain combined was created under an historic comprehensive land claim agreement with the federal government that gave 33,000 Inuit special rights and benefits. The largest territorial re-visioning on earth was finally established when the Government of Canada signed the agreement giving Inuit rights and benefits to the land.

The creation of Nunavut meaning "Our Land" happened after thirty years of lobbying by visionary Inuit determined to redraw the political boundaries of Canada and negotiated provisions for them to be intimately involved in the governance of their territory. Canada had finally realized that without the Inuit claim to the land, its own sovereignty of the north would be questioned by an international community determined to gain access to the oil and mineral riches of the northern hemisphere.

The film takes us on a journey to investigate the contemporary history of misguided attempts by the Canadian government to assert it's sovereignty in the High Arctic and how a generation of radical Inuit changed the political landscape of Canada's North. A story of how the survival of a culture defines a nation.


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