Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

December 05, 2007 14:30 ET

Signing of an Agreement-In-Principle on the Nunavik Regional Government: an Unprecedented Step Has Been Taken

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2007) - The government of Quebec, the government of Canada and Makivik Corporation have just taken an unprecedented step by signing the agreement-in-principle on the creation of the Nunavik Regional Government. Giving tangible form to Inuit aspirations, the agreement-in-principle marks a move towards the assumption of greater responsibility by the Inuit communities. This agreement-in-principle builds on the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

The first step of a broader process, the agreement-in-principle proposes the creation of a new form of public regional government adapted to the needs of Nunavik. This regional government will be headed by an Assembly made up of 21 members, including an executive council composed of five members elected by the population of the entire region. The future institution of Nunavik will hold the jurisdictions and the powers of the three amalgamated organizations: the Kativik Regional Government, the Kativik School Board and the Nunavik Health and Social Services Board. The jurisdictions and powers notably concern the education, health, public security and transportation fields.

"The agreement-in-principle signed today is at the heart of our desire to promote, as never before, the socioeconomic development of the Inuit communities. It aims to build an efficient government institution truly adapted to the needs of Nunavik. First and foremost, it testifies to the continuation of the profound ties of friendship that exist between Quebec and the Inuit," indicated Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

"In conjunction with the governments of Canada and of Quebec, it is by maximizing our efforts and by pooling our resources that we will be able to more effectively advance the regional priorities of Nunavik and significantly improve the living conditions in our communities. I am confident that together and in the wake of the amalgamation of our public institutions and the creation of a new government, we will succeed in building a better Nunavik for the greater good of our communities and our children," stated Mr. Pita Aatami, President of Makivik Corporation.

"The Government of Canada has made a commitment to improve the quality of life of the Inuit. We also want to see to it that the Inuit can make their own decisions concerning the preservation and development of their distinctive culture," indicated the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "It will thus be possible to establish a climate that is conducive to economic growth and self-sufficiency, a climate which, in turn, will increase the standard of living and will continue to improve the quality of life of the Inuit of Nunavik."

Benoit Pelletier, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, emphasizes that the agreement is a demonstration of the complementarity that henceforth exists in the relations which the Government of Quebec maintains with the Inuit and Aboriginal communities. "Quebec is today the result of the combined forces of all the peoples who make up the province. Together, we must see to it that our peoples have the necessary tools for their self-fulfillment and participate in the consolidation of our collective identity."

Finally, it should be emphasized that the future regional institution will respect the authority of the Quebec National Assembly and of the Parliament of Canada.

The Agreement-in-Principle in Brief

Technical Summary of the Agreement-in-Principle on the Nunavik Regional Government

Contact Information

  • Makivik Corporation
    Michel St-Germain
    Communications Department
    Office of the Premier
    Hugo D'Amours
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs
    Luc Fortin
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Philippe Mailhot
    Press Secretary