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September 28, 2016 — Inuit are calling on Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers drafting Canada’s Climate Strategy to consider Inuit policy recommendations in full and in parallel with the policy options developed by four federal-provincial-territorial working groups reporting to First Ministers this fall.

Inuit-specific policy recommendations are detailed in Inuit Priorities for Canada’s Climate Strategy, developed by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in collaboration with Canada’s four regional land claims organizations and the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada. The report is aimed at the Ministerial tables convening to finalize policy recommendations for Canada’s Climate Strategy in the following areas: Adaptation and Climate Resilience; Specific Mitigation Opportunities; Carbon Pricing; and Clean Technology, Innovation and Jobs, as mandated in the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

While the Vancouver Declaration recognizes that Indigenous peoples have an important role to play in ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for Canada, the federal-provincial-territorial working groups that developed policy options for Canada’s Climate Strategy did not include Indigenous representatives. ITK’s report makes clear that Inuit must be included as equal partners at Ministerial tables that are shaping Canada’s evolving climate strategy and implementation goals.

Inuit call on the Ministers drafting Canada’s Climate Strategy to ensure that Inuit drive strategic planning and investment in climate-resilient northern infrastructure, clean technologies and energy independence. Inuit food systems must also be strengthened through adaptations that mitigate the effects of sea ice loss and permafrost melt, which represent profound natural infrastructure deficits for Inuit.

“The Arctic is our homeland, and we must do all we can to protect it from climate change. We aspire to energy independence and fully support the development of clean energy solutions, and a just and equitable transition for Inuit communities to a low-carbon future,” said Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

“Yet climate change intensifies existing inequities such as access to education, quality housing, employment and adequate and nutritious food. We contend that by addressing climate change in full partnership with Inuit, Canada can fulfill its responsibility to relieve some of these inequities while meeting Canada’s commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy.”

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