September 26, 2006 – Chairperson Maggie Emudluk of the Kativik Regional Government (KRG), President Pita Aatami of Makivik Corporation, proudly welcomed the Minister of Justice for Quebec Yvon Marcoux and the Minister for Native Affairs Geoffrey Kelley today at KRG’s head office in Kuujjuaq. Delegates meeting with the two ministers also included Vice-Chairperson Michael Gordon and Director General Jobie Tukkiapik of the Kativik Regional Government and 2nd Vice-President Johnny Peters, Treasurer Anthony Ittoshat, and Corporate Secretary George Berthe of Makivik, Johnny Oovaut representing the Mayors of Nunavik and Jonathan Epoo representing the Inuit youth in Nunavik.
The purpose of the meeting with Minister of Justice Marcoux was to inform and to discuss Makivik’s proposal for the creation of a Committee on Justice that would serve the Nunavik region. The proposal suggests greater involvement of Nunavik Inuit in improving justice in Nunavik and such a committee would have Quebec and Nunavik representation. Further, Makivik asked for continued financial support for the existing 8 local Justice Committees. Makivik and KRG called for the establishment of a Crown Prosecutor’s office and access to Legal Aid along the Hudson Coast, such as exists in the Ungava Coast since 1997.
The Chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government, Maggie Emudluk also spoke about issues concerning Sapumijiit (Nunavik’s assistance centre for victims of crime), a possible increase in the number of days of hearings in Nunavik, the need for a full-time judge residing in Nunavik, the offence management bureau and municipal court and the seizure of items used for criminal purposes in Nunavik. Mr. Johnny Oovaut, Mayor of Quaqtaq, stated that there is a real and urgent need for court houses in all Nunavik villages and that there be municipal court sessions in Nunavik.
In the meeting with the Minister for Native Affairs Geoffrey Kelley, Makivik President Pita Aatami discussed the signing of the Agreement in Principle on the Nunavik Government as well as the importance of Inuit representation at the forthcoming National SocioEconomic Forum that will be taking place at Mashteuiatsh. An issue of importance to the Inuit of Nunavik, the Dogslaughter issue was also discussed by Pita Aatami and Minister Geoffrey Kelley. As well, the issue of Priority of Contracts, as laid out in the Sanarrutik Community and Economic Development Agreement of 2002, was also mentioned.
Pita Aatami stated, “While the issues I mention here are equally important, I wish to reiterate on issue of the dog slaughter; we had asked the Quebec Government, and the Federal Government, to seriously consider the demand that we have put forward that is clearly stated in the brief we sent them in January 2005. We believe it is absolutely necessary to resolve this outstanding issue so important to the Inuit and their families who were directly affected by this difficult part of our history.”
The delegation then proceeded to the official opening of the court house in Kuujjuaq, which was recently renovated. The master of ceremony for the event was Maitre Christian Leblanc, who properly introduced the speakers, Kuujjuaq Mayor Larry Watt, Anglican Minister Abraham Tigullagaq, the honorable Daniel Bédard, President of Makivik Corporation Pita Aatami, Chairperson for the Kativik Regional Government Maggie Emudluk, Minister of native Affairs Geoffrey Kelley and Minister of Justice for Québec Yvon Marcoux. Also in attendance were representatives from the different Nunavik organizations, representatives from the police forces and representatives from the Québec court system. During the ceremony, Minister Marcoux also made an announcement for a grant for funding of $400 000 for the Sapumijiit Center which is the assistance center for victims of crime in Nunavik.
The court house in Kuujjuaq is situated in a building owned by the Kativik Regional Government. The building was built in the late 1960’s, and was first used as a hospital. In 2000, the SIQ (Société Immobilière du Québec) sold the building to the Kativik Regional Government, who still leases offices and the basement, as a court room, to the SIQ. In 2005, after an analysis of the situation of the court room, the SIQ came up with a proposal to renovate the entire basement. The KRG was contracted to do the renovations and the project cost $1 321 817 before taxes.
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 under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement 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.
Tel: (514) 386-0669
Kativik Regional Government