Group exploring what true self-government would look like in Nunavut

A group in Nunavut is exploring what self-government should look like in the territory.

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) represents the interests of Inuit in Nunavut and was established to oversee, on the Inuit side, the execution of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement reached between Nunavut and Canada 25 years ago.

Many of the provisions in that agreement have not been implemented or fulfilled.

At their recent annual general meeting the group committed to a year-long exploration of the kind of self-government Inuit in Nunavut want and need, saying the Government of Nunavut is not doing enough for their people.

NTI President Aluki Kotierk says when advocating for Inuit specific programs the group is told by the Nunavut government that it can’t develop such programs because it’s a public government, and not all people living in Nunavut are Inuit.

Inuit make up 85 percent of Nunavut’s population.

NTI won a $1 billion lawsuit against Canada over the feds’ failure to fund education.

Aluki says NTI wants to see more Inuit employed with the Nunavut government, and will also look at health services and education as part of its review of self-government.

“We want to look at different models in Canada and elsewhere to see what things we can learn and what things have been working well,” she said.

For self-government to become a reality in Nunavut both the territorial and federal governments would have to give up power, and the Nunavut Agreement would have to be reopened.

“I think part of the discussion we’re having in terms of self-government is a result of not fully and fairly implementing all 42 articles of the Nunavut Agreement,” Aluki says.

The organization hopes to pitch its plan for self-government to the federal and territorial governments by October of next year.

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