(en)

Press Release

January 24, 2006 – Chairman Maggie Emudluk of the Kativik Regional Government, and President Pita Aatami of Makivik Corporation presented a joint recommendation today at the National Assembly regarding the recognition of Nunavik as an Electoral Division of Quebec.

Presently, Nunavik falls within the electoral boundary called the Ungava Division, which is comprised of the regions below and above the 55th parallel and whose total number of electors is 21, 893. Indeed, the Nunavik electors and the southern electors of the Ungava Division have little in common that it is a challenge to also hold a common vision of a Northern Quebec.

Inuit of Nunavik, who number close to 10,000 today have been bringing this request to the Government of Quebec for over 30 years, and although Quebec has relayed positive overtures about the possibly of redistributing electoral boundaries, Inuit of Nunavik have yet to see a fellow Inuk become a Member of the National Assembly.

Pita Aatami stated, “Over the past three decades, we have been very keen about having proper representation of Nunavik within the electoral boundaries of Quebec. We hope that this time, Quebec will concede its necessity in light of the fact that the Ungava Division’s regions have so much difference between them, and that residents of Nunavik are not totally represented by a member of the National Assembly who is elected by it.”

Chairman of Kativik Regional Government, Maggie Emudluk said, “In 1972, several Inuit from Nunavik made a 2,500km trip, by snowmobile, from Ivujivik to Quebec to suggest Premier Bourassa an electoral division be created for Nunavik. More than 30 years later, we want more than everto have our own representative at the National Assembly.”

Further to the argument of the lack of commonality between the southern and the northern regions of the Ungava Division, Inuit believe that if the Iles-de-la-Madeleine electoral district could be created in 1895 for its uniqueness from other regions, then Nunavik has a similar and therefore strong argument in favour of creating Nunavik as an electoral division of Quebec.

Makivik Corporation is the Inuit owned economic development company created following the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) in 1975. It has the mandate to represent the 9,800 Inuit of Nunavik at the political level, and to administer the funds of the Agreement accorded to the Inuit ($90-million has been received over a 20 year period). Makivik owns subsidiary companies such as Air Inuit, First Air, Nunavik Arctic Foods, Nunavik Creations, Halutik Fuels, Cruise North, and jointly owns with other Inuit regional corporations Pan Arctic Inuit Logistics (PAIL).

Kativik Regional Government (KRG) is a non-ethnic public organization created in 1978 whose jurisdiction covers nearly the entire territory of Quebec north of the 55th parallel. KRG administers the affairs of Nunavik in the areas of municipal affairs, transportation, police, employment, manpower training, income security, environment, childcare services, renewable resources, land-use management, civil security, and economic development.

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Koperqualuk
Communications Officer
Makivik Corporation
Tel: (514) 386-0669

Ida Saunders
Director General
Kativik Regional Government
819-964-2961