In what is being billed as the largest land transfer in Canadian history, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Iqaluit on Thursday to sign long-awaited devolution agreements with the territory of Nunavut.With the agreement, it will now be able to make decisions about how public lands, freshwater and non-renewable resources are used in the territory, similar to other provinces and territories including the Northwest Territories and Yukon.In addition, the deal will allow the territorial government to reap the benefits resource development, including the collection of royalty revenues from mines and fisheries. Full implementation of the accords is expected to take effect on April 1 2027..It concludes a process begun under former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2008. It was continued by the Trudeau government and culminated in an agreement in principle between the territorial government and Inuit leaders in 2019.“This is a historic day for Nunavut and for Canada. It is the result of the strong, collaborative relationships we have developed with the territory and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated to deliver jobs, investment and transformative opportunity for Nunavummiut,” Trudeau said in a formal statement. “As we walk this shared path of reconciliation, the most important decisions to impact Nunavut will be made in Nunavut, by its people and for its people.”“With the signing of this agreement, we can now bring decision-making about our land and waters home. It means that we, the people most invested in our homeland, will be the ones managing our natural resources,” said Premier P.J. Akeeagok..“While it has taken generations of our leaders to achieve this work, today’s signing of the devolution agreement is primarily for young Nunavummiut across our territory.”According to Twitter (“X”) posts Trudeau wore a seal-skin tie for the event.Advancing Nunavut devolution has been a federal priority since the creation of the territory in 1999 under the Nunavut Act and is central to advancing reconciliation and self-determination.Until today, Nunavut was the last territory without control of its own lands and resources. Devolution was completed in the Yukon in 2003 and in the Northwest Territories in 2014.The agreement does not amend the Constitution of Canada, nor alter the constitutional status of Nunavut, but it does allow for the last remaining provincial-like powers to be transferred to the territory and completes a decades-long process that was envisioned as part of an ongoing land claims process with the Nunavummiut people.According to the agreement, Canada will provide $67.25 million for “transitional activities” and $15 million for training for a total of $82.25 million. The agreement also says the federal government will increase its territorial funding transfer by $85.8 million to just over $2.2 billion for 2023-24.The Eastern Arctic is home to a little more than 37,000 people. Its main industries include mining — the territory is rich in minerals such as gold, copper and diamonds along with lead, zinc, iron and silver. It also has a native fishery estimated to be worth about $70 million per year.If it were a country it would have the 15th largest land mass in the world.Tourism has steadily been increasing and in 2023 more than 50,000 people visited the region, spending about $96 million. Officials want to make it a $1 billion industry by 2030.