Nunavut’s four-legged polar bear steps forward

The Nunavut government has replaced the GNWT’s three-legged polar bear with an anatomically correct four-legged bear, in a new logo that is now being stuck on top of territorial government stationery everywhere.



RANKIN INLET — A polar bear moving forward but looking back at the North Star has been chosen to symbolize the Nunavut government.

The logo, which is now being used on government signs, forms, letterhead and other visual media, was unveiled last week at the Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik middle school in Rankin Inlet.

“The polar bear is moving forward to a more prosperous Nunavut, while looking back into the past, acknowledging the traditions of the Inuit way of life and teachings of the elders,” Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik told the legislative assembly on the day of the logo’s unveiling.

As he unveiled it, Okalik said the logo “embodies the qualities of strength and determination evident in the people of Nunavut.”

The bear was designed by Pangnirtung artist Andrew Qappik. Qappik, 35, gained notoriety last year when he helped design Nunavut’s flag and coat of arms.

“It’s a great honour and it’s kind of nervous,” Qappik said, adding he wanted to convey the strength of the polar bear and that it was looking back to history and “going forward with it.”

The logo also includes a star in reference to the blue star on Nunavut’s flag.

The polar bear was chosen to represent Nunavut after representatives from government departments submitted questionnaires to the team charged with its design.

“The polar bear came out on top as the symbol that belonged to Nunavut,” Qappik said.

That first night Qappik began sketching polar bears and the symbol of a bear looking back became “very obvious,” said Geoff Ryan, manager of Pangnirtung’s Uqqurmiut Centre, and a member of the team that worked on the logo.

Five different designs were submitted to the Nunavut cabinet for approval. It took about six months to design the final product.

Another member of the team, Dan O’Brien is still working on a manual for the logo. The manual will set out rules for its use on vehicles, web sites and letterhead.

He hopes to have the manual finished by the end of the month.

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