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THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska

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Author Topic: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska  (Read 7750 times)
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2009, 07:30:41 pm »

The colonial status of Greenland was lifted in 1953, when it became an integral part of the Danish kingdom, with representation in the Folketing. Denmark also began a program of providing medical service and education to the Greenlanders. As a result, the population became more and more concentrated in the towns. Since most of the inhabitants were fishermen and had a hard time finding work in the towns, these population movements may have contributed to unemployment and other social problems that have troubled Greenland lately.

As Denmark engaged in the European cooperation later to become the European Union, friction with the former colony grew. Greenlanders felt the European customs union would be harmful to their trade, which was largely carried out with non-European countries such as the United States and Canada. After Denmark, including Greenland, joined the union in 1973 (despite 70.3% of Greenlanders having voted against entry in the referendum), many residents thought that representation in Copenhagen was not sufficient, and local parties began pleading for self-government. The Folketing granted this in 1978, the home rule law coming into effect the following year. On February 23, 1982, a majority (53%) of Greenland's population voted to leave the European Community, which it did in 1985, the only governmental entity to have done so.

Self-governing Greenland has portrayed itself as an Inuit nation. Danish placenames have been replaced. The center of the Danish civilization on the island, Godthåb, has become Nuuk, the capital of a close-to-sovereign country. In 1985, a Greenlandic flag was established, using the colors of the Danish Dannebrog. However, the movement for complete sovereignty is still weak.

International relations, a field earlier handled by Denmark, are now left largely, but not entirely, to the discretion of the home rule government. After leaving the EU, Greenland has signed a special treaty with the Union, as well as entering several smaller organizations, not least with Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and with the Inuit populations of Canada and Russia. It was also one of the founders of the environmental Arctic Council cooperation in 1996. Renegotiation of the 1951 treaty between Denmark and the United States, with a direct participation of self-governing Greenland, is an issue, and the 1999–2003 Commission on Self-Governance suggested that Greenland should then aim at the Thule Air Base eventually becoming an international surveillance and satellite tracking station, subject to the United Nations.

Modern technology has made Greenland more accessible, not least due to the breakthrough of aviation. However, the capital Nuuk still lacks an international airport (see transportation in Greenland). Television broadcasts began in 1982.
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