After almost 300 years under Danish rule, the island of Greenland has just taken a big step toward sovereignty. Greenland passed a referendum last year requesting more powers from Copenhagen, and it was granted, taking effect on June 21st, 2009. Denmark still retains control of finances, foreign affairs, and defense, but will phase out an annual subsidy, and give over control of most of the islands natural resources. Additionally, Greenlandic is now the sole official language, and Greenlanders are now treated as a separate people under international law. Although the island is massive - with an area of over 2 million square kilometers (825,000 sq mi), its population is small, with just over 57,000 residents, 88% of Inuit descent and and 12% of European descent. Collected here are some recent photographs from all around Greenland.

Scientists Jason Box of Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center and polar expedition expert Eric Philips, both members of the Greenpeace Arctic Impacts tour, assisted by experts in ice logistics, set up one of a series of time-lapse cameras surveying the 16km wide Petermann Glacier, in northwest Greenland on July 29, 2009. The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise has arrived in the area, to carry out several weeks scientific research into the impacts of climate change, and to bear witness to the glacier's disintegration. (NICK COBBING/AFP/Getty Images)

Aerial view of the village of Qaarsut, Greenland, in Qaasuitsup municipality on July 20, 2007. (Oiving, original) #

Picture taken on July 3, 2009 of the Greenlandic village of Sarfannquag perched up on a hillside. The 120 inhabitants of the village are waiting to be equipped with wind turbines to reduce their dependence on petroleum-based fuel and free them from their isolation. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Icebergs float in the calm waters of a fjord, south of Tasiilaq in eastern Greenland August 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

Greenlanders promote a "Yes" vote for the proposal to give the semi-autonomous Danish territory self-rule, in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, on November 25, 2008. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Denmark's Queen Margrethe and her husband, Prince Henrik, attend the ceremonies to celebrate the new era of self rule of Greenland, in Nuuk on June 21, 2009. (KELD NAVNTOFT/AFP/Getty Images) #

Denmark's Queen Margrethe presents the official law of self-rule to the Chairman of Greenland's council Josef Motzfeldt in Nuuk, Greenland on Sunday, June 21, 2009. Greenland is celebrating the introduction of self-rule on its national day. (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Jorgen Chemnitz, Sermitsiak) #

People attend ceremonies in Nuuk, Greenland, on Sunday June 21, 2009, to celebrate their national day, and to mark gaining greater powers of self rule from Denmark, in a move that many residents see as a step toward independence from Denmark. (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Jorgen Chemnitz, Sermitsiak) #

Wildflowers bloom on a hill overlooking the Narsarsuaq glacier in southern Greenland on July 25, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

A polar bear walks along the edge of an ice bridge in the Robeson channel, between Greenland and Canada on June 29, 2009. Greenpeace and leading climate scientists are in Greenland for a 3 month expedition using their icebreaking ship the Arctic Sunrise to gather climate change data for the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009. (REUTERS/Nick Cobbing/Greenpeace) #

The Arctic Sunrise reaches the ice bridge in the Robeson channel, between Greenland and Canada June 29, 2009. (REUTERS/Nick Cobbing/Greenpeace) #

A statue of Viking explorer Leif Erikson overlooks the village of Qassiarsuk on July 30, 2009 where Erikson's father Erik the Red founded his first settlement in southern Greenland around 985 AD. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

An iceberg floats near a harbour in the town of Kulusuk, east Greenland August 1, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

Houses are illuminated by the early morning sun in the town of Tasiilaq in eastern Greenland August 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

Icebergs are reflected in the waters of Eriks Fjord near the town of Narsarsuaq in southern Greenland on July 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

A dirt road leads to the local cemetary outside the town of Tasiilaq, Greenland August 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

Picture taken on July 2, 2009 of fisherman Bo Lings and his daughter Julia in the village of Assaqutuaq, western Greenland. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Large moulin on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet. Two recent studies of ice sheet motion and melting suggest that surface melting can produce dramatic drainage and seismic shifting on the Greenland Ice Sheet. But, surface melt that eventually lubricates the bottom of the ice sheet and accelerates its slide over bedrock may not be enough, by itself, to cause catastrophic loss of ice sheet mass. This research appeared in the 17 April 2008 issue of Science Express. (Image courtesy of Science) #

A large meltwater stream rushes across the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet filling a supraglacial lake. (Image courtesy of Sarah Das, WHOI) #

Danish glacier expert Andreas Peter Ahlstroem stands in front of the Ilulissat glacier on July 3. 2009. Greenland's Ilulissat glacier, which has become a symbol of climate change, lost 94 square kilometres (60 square miles) of surface area between 2001 and 2005 due to global warming, according to a US study published last year. In 2004 Ilulissat Icefjord was admitted onto UNESCO's World Heritage List. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Detail from a panorama of the town of Upernavik in Greenland from cliffs next to the football field. Taken in evening sun at 11:30 pm on August 5th, 2007. Original here. (Kim Hansen / CC BY-SA) #

Picture taken on July 2, 2009 of a Greenlandic fisherman sorting out his nights catch in Sarfannquak, western Greenland. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A fisherman motors by on the Ice Fjord of Ilulissat, Greenland which remains filled with icebergs on July 3, 2009. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Icebergs are shrouded in an early morning fog near the south Greenland town of Narsaq July 28, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

View shows the port of Nuuk on July 6, 2009. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Icebergs float in a fjord near the south Greenland town of Narsaq on July 28, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

Detail from a panorama of the settlement Aappilattoq, east of Upernavik in Greenland on August 9th, 2007. Original here. (Kim Hansen / CC BY-SA) #

Wildflowers bloom on a hill overlooking a fjord filled with icebergs near the south Greenland town of Narsaq on July 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

View from the from top of Somandsfjeldet, a mountain above the town of Tasiilaq, Greenland - the town is visible along the shoreline at center right. (Uwe Pieper / CC BY-SA) #

An ice-filled fjord near Ilulissat in Greenland is seen on July 3, 2009. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Aerial photograph of Upernavik, Greenland, taken from a helicopter on July 11th, 2007. (Kim Hansen / CC BY-SA) #

A visitor takes pictures of the Twin Glacier near the south Greenland town of Narsaq on July 28, 2009. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

Aerial view of Ilulissat glacier, near Ilulissat, Greenland on July 3. 2009. (Slim ALLAGUI/AFP/Getty Images) #

The sun and the icebergs around Cape York, Greenland in September of 2005. (Mila Zinkova / CC BY-SA) #

Greenland - The Big Picture -