On September 8, the British Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral Castle. In response, flags at government buildings across the country, including the Nunavut Legislature were flown at half-mast to mourn Canada’s monarch and to commemorate her reign over the past 70 years.

“Her reign symbolizes service to the Commonwealth and dedication to the Crown,” wrote Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok in a statement about the Queen’s passing.

“While the relationship between Inuit and the Crown has not always been easy, her Majesty has long been respected by our Elders.”

She first visited what became Nunavut in 1970, when she visited Frobisher Bay (now known as Iqaluit), celebrating the construction of the future Anglican church and the arrival of Martin Frobisher, who briefly visited the area over 400 years prior.

“The large crowds that welcomed her were a testament to her impact on Elders in our territory. Her first visit after the creation of Nunavut was in 2002. She addressed Nunavummiut from the Nunavut Legislature and even shared a few works of congratulations in Inuktitut,” said Akeeagok.

“On behalf of the Government of Nunavut and all Nunavummiut, I express our condolences to members of the Royal Family for the loss of a beloved mother and grandmother.”

A book of condolences was opened up at the Legislature for anyone who wanted to pay tribute to the Queen.

The death of the Queen “marks the end of an era” said Nunavut MP Lori Idlout. “My thoughts are with her loved ones. I will appreciate all the tributes to come. May her legacy be followed by peace and care.”

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