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Book Sections Year : 2023

Satellite dependency in Nunavut: a barrier to the territory's political realization

Dépendance satellite au Nunavut : un obstacle à la réalisation politique du territoire


Officially created in 1999, Nunavut is Canada's youngest, largest and northernmost territory and no road network connects the 25 communities scattered across the territory. It is also the only Canadian territory to rely entirely on satellites for its communications and this situation contributes significantly to the isolation of the population, 85% of which is Inuit, and hinders the economic development and political governance of the territory. However, the development of telecommunications in Nunavut raises a major issue for the territorial government and the nunavummiut communities. Inuit organizations have been quick to take up the issue of Internet access, but despite these initial assertions, Nunavut remains the Canadian territory with the least access to the Internet. Two cable projects are currently being studied and/or developed, but the distances between the communities will not allow all 25 communities to be terrestrially connected in the short or medium term. To mitigate this problem, operators of low earth orbit satellite constellations such as Starlink have been deploying their services in Nunavut for several months and aim to compete with the players traditionally responsible for telecommunications in this territory. While Inuit associations are at the heart of the decision-making process for the development of cables (in the Qikiqtaaluk and Kivalliq regions), Starlink's takeover of a part of this market reinforces the geographic concentration of decision-making and organizational power in the South, whereas Inuit associations aspire to relocate these skills locally.
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hal-04380019 , version 1 (01-02-2024)




  • HAL Id : hal-04380019 , version 1


Célestine Rabouam. Satellite dependency in Nunavut: a barrier to the territory's political realization. Lassi Heininen, Justin Barnes & Heather Exner-Pirot. 2023 Arctic Yearbook, Arctic Indigenous people, Climate, Science, Knowledge and Governance, 2023, Thematic Network (TN) on Geopolitics and Security of the University of the Arctic, 2023. ⟨hal-04380019⟩
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