Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation: Background Content

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami

April 1, 2020

Fed. Govt.

Inuit – Crown Bilateral Meetings

Implementation of initiatives begun during the previous mandate:

  • Fully implement Child and Family Services and Indigenous Languages legislation
  • Develop a National Action Plan following Inquiry into MMIWG
  • Continue to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action
  • Continue support for nation re-building
  • Address critical infrastructure needs

New Commitments

  • Advance co-development of legislation to implement UNDRIP
  • Establish a new National Treaty Commissioner’s Office
  • Co-develop distinctions-based health legislation
  • Establish a new national benefits-sharing framework
  • Establish a new federal procurement target
  • Framework for repatriating Indigenous cultural property and ancestral remains
  • Support transition to clean, renewable energy
  • Host a First Ministers’ Meeting on Indigenous priorities

Inuit Priorities

  • Implementation of initiatives begun during the previous mandate
  • Continue work to improve food security in Inuit Nunangat
  • Continue work to fully implement Inuit land claims agreements

New Commitments

  • Develop and implement an Inuit Nunangat policy
  • Confirm top ITK priorities, from April 2019 leaders’ meeting and ITK’s election 2019 priorities

An Inuit Nunangat policy

  • Closing socio-economic gaps (social infrastructure and mental health services and supports, housing, K-12 education, poverty reduction and food security)
  • Infrastructure and economic self-reliance
  • Environment and climate change, northern communities’ reliance on fossil fuels

September 20, 2019

Fed. Govt.

Inuit – Crown Bilateral Meetings

In ITK Priorities for Election 2019, ITK calls on the next federal government to take action in the following areas:

  • Social infrastructure and suicide prevention (including Inuit mental health, family violence shelters and transitional housing, and addictions treatment centres)
  • Housing
  • Renewable energy and climate action
  • Inuit-Crown partnership
  • Infrastructure and economic self-reliance (including marine and air infrastructure, and telecommunications infrastructure)
  • Education
  • National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls to Action
  • Poverty reduction and food security
  • Advancing Inuit self-determination in research

April 4, 2019

Fed. Govt.

Inuit – Crown Bilateral Meetings

During the meeting, the Prime Minister and Committee members reflected on the important progress made this past year. These accomplishments include:

  • The release of the co-developed Inuit Nunangat Housing Strategy, which will help improve housing conditions across Inuit regions of Canada, and develop Inuit-led housing solutions that reflect Inuit lifestyles, traditions, and culture.
  • The endorsement of the Inuit Tuberculosis Elimination Framework – and joint commitment to eradicate tuberculosis among Inuit by 2030.
  • The co-development of the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, which will help ensure Inuit children and young people can access the care and education they need to succeed.

Over the last year, the Government of Canada and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami have also taken important steps toward reconciliation, including:

  • the Government of Canada’s apology to Ahiarmiut Inuit for their forced relocation;
  • the Prime Minister’s apology on behalf of the government for its management of the tuberculosis epidemic from the 1940s to the 1960s; and
  • the launch of the Nanilavut Initiative to help Inuit find lost loved ones.

In addition, the Committee established its first work plan focused on the environment and climate change, and furthered its efforts to protect the ocean, including signing the Pikialasorsuaq Joint Leaders Statement. Through this statement, the Government of Canada and Inuit leaders are committing to work in partnership together, and with the governments of Denmark and Greenland, to protect Pikialasorsuaq – an open-water area surrounded by ice in northern Baffin Bay, between Nunavut and Greenland.

The Committee also began work to establish new areas of focus for its third year, including continuing to address infrastructure gaps in Inuit Nunangat.

June 26, 2018

Fed. Govt.

Inuit – Crown Bilateral Meetings

Meeting provided an opportunity for Inuit leaders and federal Ministers to review progress on the seven priority areas defined in year one of the Committee and discuss concrete actions to move forward on work plans and the eight priorities for the second year of the Committee as identified by Inuit and the Crown during the annual meeting with the Prime Minister in March 2018.

The Committee discussed opportunities to advance better outcomes for K-12 education for Inuit as well as child and family services, in particular developing an Inuit-specific Child-First Initiative. The leaders adopted revised one-year work plans on priorities such as housing, health and wellness, and education, early learning, and skills development.

The Committee also discussed the Arctic Policy Framework and northern infrastructure, and Inuktut revitalization, maintenance, protection, and promotion.

In addition, members of the Committee raised the primacy of the full implementation of Inuit land claims agreements, which form the legal foundation of the relationship between Inuit and the Crown, as well as the ongoing work by the federal government on the Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework. This included discussions around the establishment of the modern treaty implementation review commission.
The conversations included a commitment to work in partnership to implement the actions outlined in the revised work plans before the spring of 2019. The decisions made during this meeting help ensure that work on shared Inuit-Crown priorities continues to be pragmatic and fulsome, benefitting Inuit and in turn all Canadians.

March 29, 2018

Fed. Govt.

Inuit – Crown Bilateral Meetings

During the meeting, the Prime Minister and Inuit leaders reflected on the important progress made to strengthen the Inuit-Crown relationship and to address key social, economic, cultural, and environmental issues together.

These accomplishments include:

  • Long-term funding to support housing in Nunavut and an Inuit-led housing plan in the Inuit regions of Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, and Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
  • A commitment to eliminate tuberculosis across Inuit Nunangat by 2030, and to reduce active tuberculosis by at least 50 per cent by 2025.
  • Progress on an Inuit early learning and child care framework, which would reflect the distinct needs and priorities of Inuit children and families.
  • Progress toward a new Arctic Policy Framework, including infrastructure and related needs, which will ensure that Inuit Nunangat residents and governments are at the forefront of decisions about the future of their region.

The leaders discussed how to build on the momentum of the past year to further advance important priorities and policies. The Committee agreed to keep working on the seven priorities established last year and to add environment and climate change as a new one. The focus of this new priority will be on Indigenous protected and conserved areas, the Indigenous Guardians Program, and taking action on climate change.

The leaders also acknowledged that the full implementation of the Inuit-Crown land claims agreements and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are key components to reconciliation. In addition, the leaders committed to continue to advance language rights for Inuit as another fundamental component of reconciliation.

September 29, 2017

Fed. Govt.

Inuit – Crown Bilateral Meetings

Meeting involved discussion and commitment to enhancing the efficiency of the federal approach to Inuit Nunangat-specific funding and policy development. This approach would strengthen Inuit self-determination and advance reconciliation by ensuring that federal policies and funding allocations recognize Inuit as one people with one culture, who have diverse arrangements for governance. Inuit leaders and federal Cabinet

Ministers discussed developing new approaches to delivering housing through the application of this approach.
Recognizing the continuing crisis of tuberculosis among Inuit, leaders pledged to establish a task force to work together to develop and implement a strategy for eliminating tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat. Leaders also committed to advancing an Inuit Nunangat-specific approach to early learning and child care and to exploring options to improve educational outcomes rooted in Inuit culture and language.

Finally, recognizing the importance of the environment to Inuit, as well as the dramatic impacts of climate change across Inuit Nunangat, ITK and Environment and Climate Change Canada committed to implement a joint work plan to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment across Inuit Nunangat.

May 18, 2017

Fed. Govt.

Inuit – Crown Partnership Priorities

Inuit leaders met with federal ministers to discuss work-plans on each of these priority item including short, medium and long-term objectives and goals that will be finalized in the coming monthsMay 18, 2017 – Inuit leaders met with federal ministers to discuss work-plans on each of these priority item including short, medium and long-term objectives and goals that will be finalized in the coming months:

  • Inuit Land Claims Agreements Implementation
  • Inuit Nunangat Policy Space
  • Housing
  • Inuktuk Revitalization, Maintenance and Promotion
  • Reconciliation Measures
  • Health and Wellness
  • Education, Early Learning and Skills Development
  • Work with Environment and Climate Change Canada to implement a joint working plan, called the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change through Inuit Nunangat. The plan will define Inuit involvement on issues like wildlife management, Indigenous guardians programming and participation in the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties

February 9, 2017

Fed. Govt.

Inuit Nunangat Declaration

Inuit Nunangat which means “the place where Inuit live” in Inuktitut, is comprised of four regions:

  • Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories)
  • Nunavut
  • Nunavik (Northern Quebec) and
  • Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador)

On February 9, 2017, Inuit regional leaders, ITK and the Prime Minister signed a historic Inuit Nunangat Declaration which created a permanent, bilateral Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee to guide the work on areas of shared priority including land claims agreements, Arctic Policy, housing, Inuktut revitalization and promotion, health and wellness, and reconciliation measures. Budget 2017 includes funding to support this body as a bilateral mechanism between the federal government and ITK.

The Committee includes the Prime Minister and select federal ministers:

  • the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
  • the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health
  • the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
  • the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
  • the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
  • President Natan Obed on behalf of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
  • Chair/CEO Duane Smith on behalf of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
  • President Aluki Kotierk on behalf of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
  • President Jobie Tukkiapik on behalf of Makivik Corporation and President Johannes Lampe on behalf of the Nunatsiavut Government
  • The Committee also includes the presidents of the National Inuit Youth Council, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada as observers.

February 9, 2017

Fed. Govt.

Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit-Crown Partnership

  • Whereas Inuit are an Indigenous rights-holding people under the Constitution. It is on the basis of this special relationship that Inuit are entering into a bilateral partnership with the Government of Canada to take action on shared priorities;
  • Whereas the Government of Canada has committed to renewing the Inuit-Crown relationship based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership as part of its broader goal of achieving reconciliation between the federal government and Indigenous peoples. The creation of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, and the development of its joint terms of reference, is an important step in this direction;
  • Whereas the Government of Canada, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Makivik Corporation, Nunatsiavut Government, and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated are partners in the creation of prosperity for Inuit which benefits all Canadians;
  • Recognizing full and fair implementation of the obligations and objectives of Inuit land claims agreements as foundational for creating prosperity among Inuit which benefits all Canadians;

Recognizing also the disproportionate socio-economic and cultural inequity facing Inuit compared to most other Canadians, and committing to working in partnership to create socio-economic and cultural equity between Inuit and other Canadians. This commitment includes energetically and creatively pursuing the socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions of success through the full implementation of land claims agreements as well as reconciliation;

Now, therefore, the Government of Canada, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Makivik Corporation, Nunatsiavut Government, and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated have, in this Declaration, achieved consensus regarding the creation of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee to collaboratively identify and take action on shared priorities and monitor progress going forward.

January 22, 2018

Fed. Govt.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women MOU with ITK

President Natan Obed to officially sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). We hope this MOU will strengthen the working relationship between Pauktuutit and ITK by respecting and supporting both of our organization’s mandates. We are eager to continue to work with ITK to uplift each other and all Inuit in Canada.

April, 2014

Fed. Govt.

Qikiqtani Truth Commission: Final Report: Achieving Saimaqatigiingniq

Qikiqtani Truth Commission Final Report: Achieving Saimaqatigiingniq – April, 2014:

The Federal Government has never formally responded to the recommendations published in the Qikiqtani Truth Commission Final Report: Achieving Saimaqatigiingniq

The QTC was established by the QIA to create a more accurate and balanced history of the decisions and events that affected Inuit living in the Qikiqtani region in the decades following 1950, and to document the impacts on Inuit life. Some of the changes imposed on Inuit in these years were:

  • relocations from ilagiit nunagivaktangat to permanent settlements;
  • the deaths of qimmiit, which reduced their ability to hunt and support their families;
  • the removal of Inuit children from families for extended periods of time; and
  • the tragic separation of families due to the lack of medical services in the North.

The QTC’s mandate specifically excluded the High Arctic relocations and residential schools issues. The relocations were examined by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the schools are the subject of the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

In addition to the historical component of its mandate, the Commission was charged to begin a broader truth and reconciliation process that will promote healing for those who suffered historic wrongs, and heal relations between Inuit and governments by providing an opportunity for acknowledgement and forgiveness. Qikiqtani Inuit are seeking saimaqatigiingniq, which means a new relationship “when past opponents get back together, meet in the middle, and are at peace.”


  1. For the QTC reports, the English term “camp” has been dropped in favour of the Inuktitut term ilagiit nunagivaktangat (plural: nunagivaktangit), which means “a place used regularly or seasonally by Inuit for hunting, harvesting, and/or gathering.” It also includes special places, such as burial sites of loved ones, or sites with abundant game.
  2. For the QTC reports, the English term “Inuit sled dogs” has been dropped in favour of the Inuktitut term qimmiit.

The Final report presented 25 recommendation across the following themes:

  1. Acknowledging and Healing Past Wrongs (6)
  2. Strengthening Inuit Governance (8)
  3. Strengthening Inuit Culture (5)
  4. Creating Healthy Communities (6)

August 14, 2019

Fed. Govt.

Qikiqtani Truth Commission: Government of Canada Apology

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations delivered an official apology on behalf of the Government of Canada to the Qikiqtani Inuit for the Government’s actions in the Qikiqtani region between 1950 and 1975. “During this period, Government policies included forced relocation and family separation of Qikiqtani Inuit, the killing of qimmiit (sled dogs), who were key to culture, survival and community health since time immemorial, and other assimilative actions. These actions have resulted in deep and lasting effects on Qikiqtani Inuit.”

To move forward, Minister Bennett announced that Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) have established a Memorandum of Understanding to work in partnership to build a long-term and sustainable response to the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s findings. This includes identified funding to implement programming for Qikiqtani Inuit to promote Inuit culture, healing and well-being for current and future generations.

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