Indigenous Success Stories: Inuit

April 22, 2022

Cree, Inuit, and Naskapi sign MOU Establishing a Permanent Cree, Inuit and Naskapi Forum of Northern Québec

NationTalk: In an on-going effort to continue in the path of our past leaders in building and maintaining relationships with one another, the Crees of Eeyou Istchee, the Inuit of Nunavik, and the Naskapis of Nuchimiyuschiiy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Establishing a Cree, Inuit and Naskapi Forum of Northern Québec.

As parties to James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA) signed in 1975 and the Northeastern Québec Agreement (NEQA) of 1978, our collective challenges, although made distinct by our respective territories, politics, language, and customs, do hold similarities, especially when it comes to finding solutions in a reality that can only be truly understood by the inhabitants of Eeyou Istchee, Nunavik, and Nuchimiyuschiiy. It is by sharing our experiences and victories with one another that we can help one another succeed.

“Although we have always had connections with our neighbors to the north and to the east, having a permanent forum where common issues are exchanged on can only be positive for the well-being of our communities. Together, we can ensure the best tools are in place for the future and that representation of our nations in the region, province, and nationally is fair and inclusive.” – Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty, Cree Nation Government

This newly established permanent forum will promote cooperation and coordination on matters to advance Indigenous self-determination and aboriginal and treaty rights. It is important to understand that this forum will not substitute existing committees or forums provided for in the JBNQA, NEQA or established between other governing bodies.

“I am very proud of what Inuit have accomplished over the years on the Nunavik Territory. With our Indigenous Forum on Northern Quebec and our collective efforts with the Crees and the Naskapis our voice will even be louder and stronger.” – President Pita Aatami, Makivik Corporation

“Today marks an important milestone in our deep nation-to-nation collaboration, cooperation, and friendship. On our long journey towards self-determination, the Naskapis of Nuchimiyuschiiy are proud to count on our long-time neighbors, the Inuit of Nunavik and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee. It is only by working together that we will achieve our shared objective to exercise full autonomy on our traditional territories and improve the well-being of our communities.” – Chief Theresa Chemaganish, Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach

Discussions of the forum will be guided priorities that are deemed by each nation to be significant and relevant for the well-being of their communities and people and for the sustainability of their traditional territories. Our worlds are rapidly changing and challenging us to evolve quickly. We are resilient peoples who have adapted through generations of challenges and understand that it is when we are together that we can advance with high hopes and aspirations for our respective future generations.

August 5, 2020

Indigenous Advisory Committee

NationTalk – For the first time ever, Canada’s federal energy regulator has an Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) who will advise the Board of Directors on how the Canada Energy Regulatort (CER) can build a new relationship with Indigenous peoples. Members of the IAC are leaders at the local, regional and national level, are respected voices of their communities, and bring deep experience in the energy and natural resources sector.

The committee is made up of nine members, three of whom are appointed directly by national Indigenous organizations: the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. The IAC provides advice from the diversity of its members’ Indigenous perspectives and is an integral part of the CER’s formal governance structure. IAC Members:

  • Contribute strategic advice and perspective on how the CER can make meaningful progress towards reconciliation in Canada;
  • Promote opportunities for positive systemic change through building and strengthening new relationships with the Board and CER staff;
  • Leverage their experience with the energy and/or natural resource sector in providing advice;
  • Share Indigenous values and teachings as a respected voice of their communities, so the IAC and CER can learn from each other and integrate Indigenous perspectives in the CER’s strategies, plans and actions.

August 28, 2018

Ahiarmiut Relocation Society: Inuit group from sothwestern Nunavut

APTN – Awarded $5M in damages for their forced relocation. The Canadian army had built a radio station at Ennadai lake in 1949 and administrators in the south feared local Inuit would become too dependent on southern supplies so had them forcibly removed from their land and relocated elsewhere Steven Cooper, a lawyer who represented the group in the lawsuit, says Inuit starved and died as a result of the move. Their plight came to the attention of southerners through the work of Canadian writer Farley Mowat in his book People of the Deer and was also featured in a 1956 edition of Life magazine.