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Forging a more prosperous Inuit Nunangat through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee

By May 9, 2024 No Comments

May 9, 2024 -Ottawa, Ontario 

Since the signing of the Inuit Nunangat Declaration in 2017, the Government of Canada and Inuit leaders have continued to meet annually and work together through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee (ICPC) to advance shared priorities, strengthen the Inuit-Crown partnership, and create a more prosperous Inuit Nunangat.

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Natan Obed, federal Cabinet ministers, and elected Inuit leadership from the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivvik, and the Nunatsiavut Government gathered for a meeting of the ICPC in Ottawa, Ontario.

During the meeting, leaders discussed a collective vision for joint implementation activities for the Inuit Nunangat Policy, endorsed by ICPC leaders in 2022. They committed to work vigorously to advance the Policy, which would result in transformative changes by directing how federal departments and agencies design and deliver policies, programs, and services that apply to Inuit and across Inuit Nunangat. Leaders agreed to work toward a partnership to establish an Inuit-led university in Inuit Nunangat.

The Prime Minister, President Obed, and ICPC leaders discussed the recent federal budget, which includes an investment of $370 million for Inuit Nunangat to support housing and community infrastructure in Inuit communities. Leaders also noted the investment of $45 million over two years to support Makivvik and Canada working together on the federal response to address the negative and enduring impacts of the historical slaughter of sled dogs and the loss of Inuit culture, which are deliverables of the ICPC’s Reconciliation Measures priority area. Leaders highlighted the Government of Canada’s recent announcement of an independent oversight body headed by a new Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation and its implications for Inuit.

ICPC leaders discussed progress achieved over the last year, which included reaching milestones in longer-term work underway in many priority areas as well as improvements in ICPC’s management and administration systems, as recommended by the evaluation report endorsed last year.

Quotes

“The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee was founded on the principle that an equal partnership between Inuit and the Crown is essential to reconciliation. We are ensuring that trust, transparency, and accountability remains at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to working with Inuit leadership through the ICPC to build and advance a renewed Inuit-Crown relationship.”

— The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Open and honest discussion between Inuit leadership, the Prime Minister, and Cabinet members is pivotal to bringing about the transformational change the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee was intended to create. Through this work two years ago we announced the Inuit Nunangat Policy: the first federal policy to align government intent regarding substantive equity for Inuit with outcomes. Today, we have made strong advances in our commitment to implement the Policy. This is a commitment to our collective prosperity, and the prosperity of all Canadians.”

— Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

“We gather around this table three times a year to continue driving progress on Inuit priorities. From housing to health care to land claim implementation, Inuit know the needs of their communities. Inuit are advocating for and driving solutions, and we will be a partner in this work. Much remains to be done and we will continue to work together – at this table and outside of it – to make life better and more fair for people all across Inuit Nunangat.”

— The Hon. Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick Facts

  • The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee (ICPC) was founded on the principle that an equal partnership between Inuit and the Crown is essential to reconciliation. The Committee meets three times a year. Once a year, it is co-chaired by the Prime Minister and the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
  • The ICPC also includes as permanent participants the presidents of Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, the National Inuit Youth Council, and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.
  • Participants at today’s meeting included:
    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
    • Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
    • Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
    • François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
    • Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
    • Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
    • Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
    • Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
    • Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
    • Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence
    • Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
    • Duane Smith, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
    • Aluki Kotierk, President, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
    • Johannes Lampe, President, Nunatsiavut
    • Pita Aatami, President, Makivvik
    • Nancy Etok, President, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
  • The proposed Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation would take shape as an Agent of Parliament. The Commissioner’s role was co-developed with Modern Treaty Partners to ensure independent, credible, effective, and sustainable oversight of Modern Treaty implementation, and hold the federal government accountable to Parliament for Modern Treaty objectives, obligations, and relationships.
  • The Commissioner must hold the confidence of Indigenous Modern Treaty Partners, and thus consultation with Indigenous Modern Treaty Partners will be an integral part of the legislative and appointment process.
  • Inuit Nunangat is the Inuit homeland in Canada. It encompasses the land, water, and ice of the Inuit land claim regions of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, and Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador.
  • Co-developing and implementing an Inuit Nunangat Policy has been a priority of the ICPC since March 2020. The Inuit Nunangat Policy, endorsed by ICPC leaders in 2022, marks the first time the Government of Canada has co-developed an overarching, whole-of-government policy of this nature.
  • The Inuit Nunangat Policy recognizes Inuit Nunangat as a distinct geographic, cultural, and political region. It outlines an approach for the design and renewal of all federal policies, programs, services, and initiatives that apply in Inuit Nunangat or benefit Inuit. This approach will improve coordination across Inuit Nunangat and ensure engagement with Inuit in these processes.
  • A guiding principle of the Inuit Nunangat Policy is recognition that federal investments for Inuit and Inuit Nunangat are an important element of the right of Inuit to self-determination and self-government. The Policy directs federal government organizations to consider the unique rights, interests, and circumstances of Inuit in their approach to directly fund Inuit Land Claims Organizations.
  • The ICPC’s current priorities include:
    • Inuit land claims implementation;
    • Inuktut revitalization, maintenance, protection, and promotion;
    • Inuit Nunangat policy space;
    • Reconciliation measures and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls;
    • Education, early learning, and skills development;
    • Health and wellness;
    • Environment and climate change;
    • Housing;
    • Infrastructure;
    • Economic development and procurement;
    • Legislative priorities;
    • International Inuit priorities;
    • Monitoring, evaluation, and learning;
    • Sovereignty, defence, and security; and

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