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March 10, 2016 — National Inuit Leader Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, congratulated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama on the release this morning of the U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership.

Obed was in Washington this afternoon to attend a lunch hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

“I am highly encouraged by the pointed recognition today by the governments of Canada and the United States that Arctic leadership must embody at its core a new and substantive partnership with Inuit and other Indigenous peoples of the Arctic,” Obed said.

“The joint statement affirms the critical roles that Indigenous science, governance and rights must play in facilitating a strong and sustainable future for the Arctic that is rooted in a just and equitable transition to a low carbon economy.”

“Building on our renewed Inuit-to-Crown relationship, the Joint Statement commits the U.S. and Canada to working in partnership with Inuit and other Arctic peoples to implement land claims agreements to realize the social, cultural and economic potential of our communities.”

The Joint Statement also commits the U.S. and Canada to greater action to address the serious challenges of mental wellness, education, Indigenous language, and skill development among Indigenous youth.

The Prime Minister met with President Obama on Thursday for the first official visit by a Canadian leader in 19 years.

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