Kuujjuaq, Québec, October 8, 2014 ─ Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik and Kativik Regional Government (KRG) Chairperson Maggie Emudluk met today with Québec Premier Philippe Couillard. Also in attendance were the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, Pierre Arcand, the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, and the MNA for Ungava, Jean Boucher.
The meeting was the first between Nunavik leaders and the Premier since the election of the Liberal government last April. It was constructive and an opportunity for the participants to explore the current government’s commitment to the nation-to-nation relationship that has been fostered by Nunavik and Québec over the past 20 years.
We made it clear that Nunavik Inuit must be fully involved in development. There must also be sufficient protections for our culture, language and identity, as well as the environment.
During the meeting, the Premier and the Minister responsible for the Northern Plan introduced their government’s aims regarding investments in the north and economic development. Nunavik participants, for their part, updated the Québec government on the Parnasimautik process.
“We made it clear that Nunavik Inuit must be fully involved in development. There must also be sufficient protections for our culture, language and identity, as well as the environment,” stated Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik. “Nunavik Inuit are prepared to work nation-to-nation with Québec and in partnership with project proponents towards a sustainable and equitable development of the north.”
The housing shortage and high cost of living in Nunavik communities were also touched on during the meeting, along with the Saqijuq Project to reconstruct social regulation, high-capacity Internet telecommunications and areas to be protected from industrial development. “Nunavimmiut are expressing many solutions to a broad array of issues consistent with our values. We are committed to our communities and our way of life. Government resources are now needed to implement actions that will reinforce the social fabric and development of our communities,” concluded KRG Chairperson Maggie Emudluk.
The Makivik President and the KRG Chairperson are calling on the Premier and his government to take steps in the coming months to expand dialogue with Nunavik Inuit and their organizations.
The KRG is a non-ethnic public organization created in 1978, under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. The organization has jurisdiction over nearly the entire territory of Québec north of the 55th parallel in areas such as municipal matters, transportation, the environment, policing, employment, labour training, income security, childcare services, renewable resources, land-use planning, civil security and economic development.
For more information:
Makivik is the development corporation 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.
Please click here to download a .PDF file of this press release.