September 29, 2022 – Kuujjuaq, Nunavik
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s Board of Directors met this week in Kuujjuaq on Sept. 27. That meeting was followed by ITK’s Annual General Meeting Sept. 28 and 29.
The ITK Board approved the Implementation Plan for the Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy released last July 2021. The Implementation Plan identifies deliverables to address the actions outlined in the Strategy which aims to improve food security and establish a sustainable food system across Inuit Nunangat.
The Board discussed the cost and options for the design and delivery of an Inuit Nunangat-wide school food program, a priority of the Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy. Funding for both the Implementation Plan and an Inuit Nunangat school food program are included in ITK’s 2023 Federal government pre-budget submission.
The Board also discussed options for the development of an Inuit equivalent to Jordan’s Principle in collaboration with Indigenous Services Canada.
The Board approved a plan to allocate $23 million in Indigenous Languages Component Inuit-specific funding using ITK’s regional general funding formula for 2023-24 funding. The Inuit-specific component had previously been administered by Heritage Canada.
The Board discussed ways to advance Inuit K-12 education priorities, and passed a resolution to seek meaningful partnership and Inuit-specific funding to address the 10 areas of core investment detailed in the 2011 National Strategy on Inuit Education.
The ITK Board considered ways to create better and more Inuit-specific provisions under the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program to address concerns raised by Inuit within and outside Inuit Nunangat in accessing the program. Leaders proposed an Inuit-led process with the federal government and four Inuit regions to secure a formal legislative commitment to improve NIHB’s mandate and delivery for Inuit, as part of the current development of distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation.
At ITK’s Annual General Meeting, delegates voted in support of new research that calculates the relative length of the Inuit Nunangat coastline and landmass. The work puts the size of the Inuit Nunangat coastline and landmass at more than 72 percent and 40 percent respectively of Canada’s total, considerably higher than previously published statistics of 50 percent for coastline and 35 per cent for landmass.
Delegates heard an update on:
- Plans towards an Inuit Nunangat University, including the critical first steps required to achieve the mission of developing a university in Inuit Nunangat driven by Inuit language, culture and values.
- Delivery of the Qaniuppitaa? National Inuit Health Survey. Data collection is now complete in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, while the survey is set to begin in Nunatsiavut in October. Both Nunavut and Nunavik will start collecting data in Fall 2023.
- ITK’s Inuit Youth Leadership Program, which hired six Inuit youth participants to complete a four-month placement at ITK over the summer of 2022. Two of those students have since been hired on full-time as policy advisors, while a third is working at ITK part-time while completing their studies.
During the AGM, ITK demonstrated its new Inuktut Qaliujaaqpait converter tool, which converts Inuktut text in any writing system into Inuktut Qaliujaaqpait, the unified Inuktut orthography endorsed by the ITK Board in 2019, and from Inuktut Qaliujaaqpait into any Inuktut writing system.
Finally, ITK released its Annual Report, which contains audited financial statements and an overview of the organization’s work and work done through the Inuit Crown Partnership Committee.
ITK’s 2023 AGM will be held in Nunatsiavut.