In ‘largest land transfer in Canadian history,’ Nunavut to now control oil, gas and mineral rights across two million square kilometres
Ottawa has just inked an agreement that constitutes the biggest land transfer in Canadian history — while ranking as one of the largest-ever examples of a government effectively returning territory to Indigenous control.
The Nunavut Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement has gone mostly unnoticed outside the Arctic. But the 239-page agreement — signed last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — takes roughly two million square kilometres of Crown land previously under federal control and transfers it to the Government of Nunavut.
It means that roughly one fifth of Canada’s entire land mass will soon be falling under new management.
An official statement called the agreement “the largest land transfer in Canada’s history.” The statement added that “once it comes into force on April 1, 2027, it will allow Nunavummiut (Nunavut residents) “to make decisions about public lands, freshwater, and non-renewable resources.”