November 10, 2016 – Kuujjuaq, Nunavik – Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik, Makivik Executives Adamie Delisle Alaku, Andy Moorhouse, Andy Pirti, and Adamie Padlayat, the Makivik Board of Directors and Governors, wish all Nunavimmiut a happy and thoughtful JBNQA Day on Friday November 11th.
41 years ago, our young Inuit leaders at the time signed the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) late at night in Quebec City following a gruelling two-year process marked by protracted negotiations and precedent-setting litigation.
A documentary film, “Now That You Can Stand” was released a year ago on the 40th Anniversary of the JBNQA. It tells the story of what Inuit went through to sign Canada’s first modern land claim agreement.
Since the launch in Kuujjuaq, the film has been shown in all Nunavik communities, and has been shown to Quebec and federal officials in Quebec City, Montreal, and Ottawa.
“At a time when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has recommended that Canadians become aware of Indigenous history – a history that has largely not been told – this is a film we believe all Canadians should see,” said Jobie Tukkiapik.
This week it was shown to packed screenings at John Abbott College in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, where Inuit youth are attending CEGEP. JBNQA signatory Zebedee Nungak, and narrator Jason Annahatak, as well as the film producers and directors were there to support the screening, and take questions from the students and members of the general public who attended.
“I’m pleased to say that Zebedee received a standing ovation from the public at the screening on Wednesday night – a testament to how the public reacts to the film, which is a story of David and Goliath, which we all know is an ongoing story, even in 2016.” said Jobie Tukkiapik.
Once the agreement was signed, Inuit faced a mammoth task to implement the JBNQA. Makivik was created to do that. In the 41 years since the Agreement was signed Makivik has not only maintained the JBNQA capital, but has increased it fourfold, and over $100-million in donations have been made to Nunavik community initiatives, ranging from hockey tournaments to Bible groups.
“We can also be grateful for the companies we have created and provided jobs to Inuit over the decades, such as Air Inuit – where I was a pilot – First Air, NEAS, Halutik, and Nunavik Creations, just to name a few. We continue to work on behalf of all Nunavimmiut, and on November 11th we not only support our fallen soldiers, and the men and women in our Canadian Forces, but also we celebrate JBNQA Day. Nakurmiik to our Inuit signatories.”
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Communications Coordinator and Media Relations
Makivik is the development corporation mandated to manage the heritage funds of Inuit of Nunavik provided for in the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth.