The dominant colours of blue and gold symbolize the riches of the land, sea and sky. In the base of the shield, the inuksuk symbolizes the stone monuments which guide the people on the land and mark sacred and other special places. The qulliq, or Inuit stone lamp, represents light and the warm of family and the community.
The concave arc of the five gold circles refers to the life-giving properties of the sun arching above and below the horizon.
The star is the Niqirtsuituq, the North Star, which is the traditional guide for navigation.
In the crest, the iglu represents the traditional life of the people and the means of survival.
The Royal Crown symbolizes public government for all people of Nunavut and establishes Nunavut as a partner in Confederation.
The tuktu (caribou) and qilalugaq tugaalik (narwhal) refer to land and sea animals which are part of the natural heritage of Nunavut.
The base of the crest is composed of land and sea and features three species of Arctic wild flowers.
The motto in Inuktitut – Nunavut Sanginivut – means "Nunavut, our strength."