APTN National News
IQALUIT--A $1 billion lawsuit between the Inuit of Nunavut and the federal government has been settled out of court.
The lawsuit has been in court for 10 years.
Nunavut Tunngavik (NTI) is the land claims organization that protects the Nunavut Land Claim which is the document that gave birth to Nunavut and settled Aboriginal title for the Inuit of Nunavut.
NTI launched the lawsuit arguing Ottawa never lived up to the promises in the agreement and they needed $1 billion to provide the services promised.
Much of their argument relies on the 2006 Berger Report, where retired justice Thomas Berger focused on education, and the lack of support for Inuktitut instruction in Nunavut.
The tentative detail was announced from the bench at the Nunavut Court of Justice.
Throughout the 10 year process the court had grown frustrated and accused Ottawa of dragging its heels when they were supposed to provide NTI’s lawyers with documents they requested.
“Canada has only produced 613 documents because (Justice Canada) did not consider other potential privileges when vetting the documents,” said Justice Earl Johnson. “The rational for the claim of privilege has not been provided…to this date.”
The Government of Nunavut is also a part of the lawsuit due to the role they play in putting the land claim agreement into action.
They’ve argued that they shouldn’t be held to account, because the agreement was negotiated before the Nunavut government began to exist on April 1, 1999.
Both Ottawa and NTI have declined comment until the tentative deal is reviewed and approved by both sides.
The judge set April 22 as a reserve date if both sides haven’t approved the deal by then.