September 29, 2017 – Inuit leaders from across Inuit Nunangat and five federal Cabinet Ministers met today in Nain, Nunatsiavut, to further pursue outcomes for Inuit and all Canadians as part of the Inuit Crown Partnership Committee.
The Inuit Crown Partnership Committee is an Inuit-Crown table for advancing reconciliation through joint work on shared priority areas. Today’s meeting provided an opportunity for Inuit leaders and federal Cabinet Ministers to advance common priorities identified by Inuit and the Crown during the first meeting of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee in February 2017.
This involved discussion and commitment to enhancing the efficiency of the federal approach to Inuit Nunangat-specific funding and policy development. This approach would strengthen Inuit self-determination and advance reconciliation by ensuring that federal policies and funding allocations recognize Inuit as one people with one culture, who have diverse arrangements for governance. Inuit leaders and federal Cabinet Ministers discussed developing new approaches to delivering housing through the application of this approach.
Recognizing the continuing crisis of tuberculosis among Inuit, leaders pledged to establish a task force to work together to develop and implement a strategy for eliminating tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat. Leaders also committed to advancing an Inuit Nunangat-specific approach to early learning and child care and to exploring options to improve educational outcomes rooted in Inuit culture and language.
Finally, recognizing the importance of the environment to Inuit, as well as the dramatic impacts of climate change across Inuit Nunangat, ITK and Environment and Climate Change Canada committed to implement a joint work plan to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment across Inuit Nunangat.
The Government of Canada was represented at the meeting by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Honourable Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, Minister of Health. Parliamentary Secretary Arif Virani attended as an observer representing the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Parliamentary Secretary Yvonne Jones (CIRNA), Member of Parliament for Labrador, attended as an observer.
Inuit leadership was represented by National Inuit Leader Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, President Johannes Lampe of the Nunatsiavut Government, President Jobie Tukkiapik of Makivik Corporation, President Aluki Kotierk of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, President and CEO Duane Smith of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. Inuit observers to the meeting were President Nancy Karetak-Lindell of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, President Rebecca Kudloo of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and President Ruth Kaviok of the National Inuit Youth Council.
“This is an emerging example of how a renewed relationship could work between Canada and Inuit. The recognition of a distinct Inuit Nunangat policy space is essential to advance the actions necessary to create prosperity for Inuit and all Canadians.”
National Inuit Leader Natan Obed
President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
“I am truly inspired to be able to work with my colleagues and Inuit leaders through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee on such important issues. Today’s meeting is a reflection of what a renewed Inuit to Crown relationship is all about – a priority for our Government and for all Canadians.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
INAC Media Relations
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada