Ottawa May 31, 2005, Tuesday – Makivik President Pita Aatami, with the leaders of the major Inuit organizations across Canada, has signed a Partnership Accord with Canada today. The Inuit organizations include Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Pauktuutit Inuit Women´s Association, National Inuit Youth Council, Inuit Circumpolar Conference as well as the leaders of the Inuivialuit Regional Corporation, Labrador Inuit Associaiton, and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.
The Partnership Accord was a long awaited development since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Affairs had produced its report in the early 1990s. President Pita Aatami states, “We have observed the lack of the federal government´s presence in Nunavik over the last several years, so it is a welcome beginning of a renewed relationship, one in which we Inuit see a greater collaboration and presence of the federal government in our region.”
The signing of the accord is a welcome development, but will require continued effort to maintain the renewed relationship. Notwithstanding, Pita Aatami in the meeting with Prime Minister Paul Martin today, has asked him directly about resolving the Inuit demand for an investigation into the dog slaughter issue of the 1950s to the 1970s. He has also brought up the issue of the Northern Strategy´s exclusion of the Nunavik and Labrador regions. The Northern Strategy was created last year but only for the benefit of the three territories of Northern Canada.