April 15, 2021 – Kuujjuaq, Nunavik – Two months following the election of Makivik President Pita Aatami the Nunavik Self-Determination process is being renewed and moving ahead with new enthusiasm. The process has been ongoing since May 2018 when a Nunavik All Organizations Meeting adopted the 2018 Nunavik Inuit Declaration that mandated Makivik to negotiate with Canada and Quebec in order to establish a form of indigenous government based on Inuit values, identity, culture and language.
“Our new approach aims to be fully transparent and inclusive of all organizations in Nunavik. We will continue our negotiations with Canada, and we will also start talks with Quebec”, said Makivik President Pita Aatami. “I’m pleased to announce that Mary Simon will return as the Senior Negotiator, and that Lisa Koperqualuk will also remain as the Deputy Negotiator.”
Mary Simon is well known in Nunavik, Canada, and internationally. She’s a past president of Makivik Corporation and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Chair, and Canada’s first Arctic Ambassador. “I’m excited to be part of the renewed process to achieve self-determination for Inuit in Nunavik. We have created a new Inuit Advisory Committee (IAC) composed of six Inuit, two from each coast, who are critical and independent thinkers to provide us with guidance, strategic advice and recommendations as we develop our negotiations priorities and positions.” The IAC members are Adamie Qalingu, Jobie Epoo, Nancy Etok, Olivia Ikey-Duncan, Sheila Ningiuruvik, and Peter Ittukalaq.
Makivik will continue to engage the regional and community organizations through the Self-Determination Committee (SDC), chaired by Deputy Negotiator Lisa Koperqualuk. The SDC is composed of representatives from Kativik Regional Government (KRG), Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS), Kativik Ilisarniliriniq (KI), Federation des Cooperatives du Nouveau Quebec (FCNQ), Nunavik Landholding Corporations Association (NLHCA), Saturviit Inuit Women’s Association of Nunavik, Qarjuit Youth Council, and the Avataq Cultural Institute.
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Makivik is the land claims organization mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses in Nunavik. Makivik promotes the preservation of Inuit culture and language as well as the health, welfare, relief of poverty, and education of Inuit in the communities.