September 10, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – ITK is pleased today to release the Inuit Nunangat chapter of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. This chapter was developed as a deliverable of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee to guide how the long-awaited Arctic and Northern Policy Framework’s goals and objectives are implemented in Inuit Nunangat. Inuit Nunangat is a geographically, culturally, and politically distinct region that encompasses the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut. Inuit are the majority population within Inuit Nunangat’s 51 communities. Our homeland encompasses nearly one third of Canada’s landmass, its entire Arctic coastline, and significant offshore areas. Inuit Nunangat is synonymous with the term “Arctic” in Canada, and Inuit-Crown sovereignty is the basis for Canada’s existence as an Arctic nation state.
“Any reference to the Arctic in Canada is a reference to Inuit Nunangat,” said ITK President Natan Obed. “Inuit-Crown partnerships that respect and advance Inuit self-determination, rights, and governance are therefore pivotal to harmonizing the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework’s goals and objectives with our own, particularly at a time of renewed global focus on our homeland.”
The Inuit Nunangat Chapter focuses on four main priorities for action and investment:
- Infrastructure and economic self-reliance
- Inuit self-determination in research
- Wildlife and food security
The Chapter identifies specific objectives for advancing Inuit priorities. It includes policy guidance that should be utilized by the federal government in the development and implementation of any Arctic programs, projects, or initiatives that are intended to benefit Inuit.
“Inuit Nunangat has been neglected by Canada throughout much of this country’s history, resulting in the profound and inexcusable gaps in infrastructure, and social and economic equity that our people face today,” said President Obed. “Inuit expect the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework to bring Inuit Nunangat into Canada as a nation-building exercise, helping to create prosperity for Inuit that in turn benefits all Canadians. Inuit are proud Canadians, and through partnership with the federal government in implementing the Framework, we at long last expect our communities to resemble other parts of Canada when it comes to basic infrastructure, and the quality of services and living standards that most Canadians take for granted.”