The Nunavut Land Claim Agreement was signed on May 25, 1993, in Iqaluit, by representatives of the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (now Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated), the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. This agreement gave the Inuit of the central and eastern Northwest Territories a separate territory called Nunavut. It is the largest Aboriginal land claim settlement in Canadian history. The NLCA consists of 42 chapters, which addressing a broad range of political and environmental rights and concerns including wildlife management and harvesting rights, land, water and environmental management regimes, parks and conservation areas, heritage resources, public sector employment and contracting, and a range of other issues. The agreement indicates two areas that are the focus of the agreement: the first area consists of the Arctic islands and the mainland eastern Arctic, and their adjacent marine areas; the second area includes the Belcher Islands, its associated islands and adjacent marine areas.
In 1973 the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC) began research on Inuit land use and occupancy in the Arctic. Three years later in 1976 the ITC put forward the idea of creating a Nunavut Territory and the federal Electoral Boundaries Commission that recommended dividing the Northwest Territories into two electoral districts: the Western Arctic (now the Northwest Territories) and Nunatsiaq (now Nunavut). The Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (TFN) negotiated the land claims agreement with the federal government in 1982. Voting in the Northwest Territories determined the creation of Nunavut with a passing vote of 56%. The TFN and representatives from the federal and territorial governments signed the land claims agreement-in-principle in 1990. In 1992 the TFN and federal negotiators agreed on the substantive portions of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. On May 25, 1993, Paul Quassa, then president of the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut and Brian Mulroney, then Prime Minister of Canada signed the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. On July 9, 1993 the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and Nunavut Act were adopted by the Parliament of Canada and received Royal Assent. In 1998, amendments to the Nunavut Act were adopted by parliament and received Royal Assent. In 1999 on April 1, Nunavut with an independent government became a reality.
Since the NLCA was signed in 1993, there have been implemented amendments. The major amendments in 1995 and 1996 were alterations to different official event dates. Articles 5.4.2, 5.6.25, 8.2.2, 8.2.3, and 35.5.7 of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement were changed. On March 1, 2002, schedule 29-3 (negotiation loans payment) of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement was replaced.