November 20, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami congratulates the 36 Cabinet Ministers announced today. We look forward to working with key members of cabinet through the Inuit Crown Partnership Committee and all ministers through a whole-of-government approach to bringing Inuit Nunangat into Canada as a process of nation-building.
In particular, ITK welcomes the appointment of Catherine McKenna as Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Carla Qualtrough as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion; Ahmed Hussen as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; Dan Vandal as Minister of Northern Affairs; Jonathan Wilkinson as Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Bernadette Jordan as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard; Marc Miller as Minister of Indigenous Services; Patty Hajdu as Minister of Health; Mélanie Joly as Minister of Economic Development; Stephen Guilbeault as Minister of Canadian Heritage; and Jean-Yves Duclos as President of the Treasury Board. We also welcome the return of Carolyn Bennett as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.
“I am delighted to see many Cabinet Ministers who have taken the time to learn about Inuit priorities and visit Inuit Nunangat challenged with new responsibilities in different portfolios,” said Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “I also call on Ministers newly entering portfolios that touch on Inuit realities to make the time to learn from us and work with us collaboratively.”
The Inuit Crown Partnership Committee is the primary decision-making forum for Inuit, as rights-holding Indigenous people, and the Government of Canada to advance shared priorities. It was created in 2017 and meets three times a year, once in Inuit Nunangat and once co-chaired by the Prime Minister.
Inuit Nunangat is the Inuit homeland in Canada, encompassing 51 communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories), Nunavut, Nunavik (Northern Quebec), and Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador). Inuit Nunangat encompasses nearly one third of Canada’s landmass and its entire Arctic coastline and significant offshore areas. It is a distinct geographic, political and cultural region that is co-managed by Inuit and the federal government through governance structures established by comprehensive Inuit land claims agreements.
ITK has called on the federal government to develop a formal Inuit Nunangat policy, which would entail revising federal policy and program eligibility and service delivery criteria to ensure that all four regions of Inuit Nunangat are able to access and directly benefit from policies, programs and initiatives that are intended to benefit Inuit. ITK has also called for major investments in social and economic infrastructure within the first two years of its mandate, with the goal to eliminate the infrastructure deficit in Inuit Nunangat by 2030.