June 29, 2022 — Inuvik, Inuvialuit Settlement Region
The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Board of Directors met June 23 virtually and June 28-29 in Inuvik, following a June 27 meeting of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee. The Board voted Wednesday to allocate the $843 million in federal funding from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada announced in Budget 2022 to support housing across Inuit Nunangat, by distributing the funds to each of the four regions.
Board members also voted to allocate $21 million in fiscal year 2022-23 federal funding from Employment and Social Development Canada to support Inuit Early Learning and Childcare (IELCC.) That money will be allocated to Inuit land claim organizations to determine how to distribute those funds, with the goal of ensuring Inuit families have access to high-quality, affordable early learning and childcare programs regardless of where they live.
The Board agreed to allocate more than $47 million in federal funding from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to each of the four land claim organizations, funding designed to expand the Harvesters Support Grant and a new initiative called the Community Food Programs Fund (CFPF) between 2022-2024.
Finally, Board members decided to recommend two names for new polar vessels to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard: Appatuuk, after Akpatok Island in Ungava Bay, and Imnaryuaq, which translates as “big cliff” in the Sallirmiut dialect of Inuvialuktun.
Board members heard an update on ITK’s submission to seek intervenor status when the Supreme Court hears an appeal on the constitutional validity of An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. The Act’s primary objectives of promoting principles of substantive equality of Indigenous Peoples across Canada was meant to reconcile Canada’s past harms of colonial assimilation policies that eroded Indigenous language, culture and identity and caused significant intergenerational trauma and negative impacts to all First Nations, Metis and Inuit, of which has resulted in overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in child welfare systems that contributes to further loss of language, culture and identity. However, the underlying premise of Quebec’s arguments to have the substance of the Act declared unconstitutional is further creating a difficult roadblock to the reconciliation objectives of the Act. The application would be heard in September.
During Tuesday and Wednesday’s meeting, Board members also heard updates on:
- the new Nutrition North Canada Compliance and Audit Review Committee, that includes four Inuit representatives tasked with looking at accountability concerns with the subsidy component of the federal program
- the development of a National Inuit Marine Position Paper, which aims to look at marine management, infrastructure needs, research and Arctic sovereignty
- ITK’s updated funding request to the federal government ahead of the 2023 budget, seeking resources to fully fund its work towards the elimination of Inuit tuberculosis by 2030
- the Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey. Data collection in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region is now complete, while the survey has just launched in Nunatsiavut
ITK’s Board of Directors meets next in September 2022.