Inuit Nunangat gets separate status with new policy

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau describes the policy as the first of its kind. This historic policy seeks to ensure that Inuit priorities are incorporated into federal initiatives affecting Inuit and Inuit Nonangat.

It means Inuit Nangat Where do the Inuit live? refers to an area that includes Inuvialuit (covering part of the Northwest Territories and Yukon), Nunavik (Northern Quebec), Nunatsiavut (in Labrador), and Nunavut.

This declaration aims to transform the systemic inequalities that occur in government that lead to decisions being made about the North without including the Inuit in those decisions. »

Quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

To support the Inuit Nunangat policy, the government commits to giving it $25 million over 5 years. Of this amount, $20 million will be allocated to projects aimed at accelerating policy implementation in accordance with Inuit priorities.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was quick to point out that this money was way too late.

act of reconciliation

On his part, Natan Obeid, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), expressed his happiness with this step forward on the path of reconciliation.

Sometimes on the road to reconciliation there are days of apology, days of investing big money that brings equity to Inuit communities… and other times […] Where systemic change is brought about through bureaucracy and federal administrations. This policy allows this to happen.

The Inuit include Nunangat in northern Labrador (Nunatsiavut), Quebec (Nunavik), the Northwest Territories, and Yukon (Inuvialuit), as well as all of Nunavut.

Photo: Atlas of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada

Natan Obed recalls that the government makes decisions on a daily basis that affect the Inuit, the Mulattoes, and the First Nations, whether they pertain to programs, laws, or court cases. Thus, the policy of the Inuit in Nonangat will serve as an essential reference for the public officials when making these decisions.

We now expect that federal departments and those who have to work on Inuit issues and have Inuit considerations in their portfolios will have a knowledge base. And we can build on that instead of starting over with each ministry. »

Quote from Natan Obed, Inuit President Tabirit Kanatami

This, he says, will allow the government to make better decisions that respect both the Inuit’s right to self-determination and their place in the constitution. He points out that such a policy is necessary because his people, unlike Métis or First Nations, have no place in Indian lawand thus has a way of interacting with the crown different from that used by other indigenous peoples of Canada.

Sovereignty in the Arctic

For the two leaders, recognition of the Inuit Nunangat affirms Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic.

Natan Obed recalls that the Inuit were the basis of this supremacy, having inhabited the region for thousands of years.

A vision shared by Justin Trudeau showing that Canada is fully thinking about how to reassert its position in the Arctic and that this should not only be done in consultation and partnership with the Inuit.

We have to ask ourselves, “If we’re going to build a new landing here, will it fit in with the priorities of the Inuit and their economic development? How to make investments that empower and value the people who have always defended these lands.” This is the approach we are proposing today.

Information from the Canadian press

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