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Beginning with Confederation in 1867, the regional provinces in Canada have been divided into Provinces and territories. Canada originally consisted of 4 Provinces but through negotiations with the British authorities and the Hudson Bay Company added on a huge territory which became known as the Northwest Territories.

Other Provinces cam into Confederation with Provincial status such as Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and in 1949, Newfoundland. The Northwest Territories has been divided and Provinces created from sections of those divisions over the years. The main reason for the creation of a Province has been when it reaches a large population base which appears to be able to be maintained.

Manitoba, through the actions of the Métis was brought into Canada as a Province. The Northwest Territories were the divided into Saskatchewan and Alberta and brought into    Canada as provinces once their populations reached a certain level. The population level is not set as a definitive number.

Remaining sections of the Northwest territories were added to the western Provinces with the Yukon also being formed into a separate Territory with the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890's.

By the 1970's the  aspirations of the Inuit people in the Northwest Territories were recognized by the Federal Government and the creation of a Territory, separate from the rest of the Northwest Territories, to accommodate their desires for a legal territorial area. The Inuit Tapirisat were the Inuit group which the Canadian Government negotiated with and an agreement was finally agreed to which designated April 14th, 1982 as the date for a plebiscite of all the people in the Northwest Territories over the question of creating a new Territory to be known as Nunavut for the Inuit. The plebiscite was passed and 7 months later the Canadian Government agreed to a conditional plan.

 

Final agreement was reached in September of 1992 and another vote in the new area of Nunavut was passed by 85% of the voters. The Canadian Parliament passed the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Nunavut act on July 9th, 1993 which was to take effect on April 1, 1999.

On April 1, 1999 Nunavut was born as a separate Territory and has its capital at Iqaluit.




Source:
Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html