Inuit-Crown committee adds environment, climate change to its priority list

“We have made good progress in our first year"

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

From left: NTI President Aluki Kotierk with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and ITK President Natan Obed at the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee's March 29 meeting in Ottawa. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ITK)


From left: NTI President Aluki Kotierk with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and ITK President Natan Obed at the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee’s March 29 meeting in Ottawa. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ITK)

Members of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee say they’ve made progress on a list of seven priorities they first promised to address in 2017, and even added a new one—environment and climate change.

Inuit leaders met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau March 29 in Ottawa—one of four quarterly meetings each year, and the only one this year that includes the PM.

In a March 29 release, the group listed the steps they’ve taken, including longer-term federal funding for an Inuit-led housing plan and more social housing in each of the country’s four Inuit regions.

The group also acknowledged the government’s recent commitment to eliminate tuberculosis across Inuit Nunangat by 2030.

“We have made good progress in our first year and will continue to build on and improve this partnership committee to best advance Inuit rights and create a better Canada overall,” Natan Obed, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, said in the March 29 release.

The partnership committee also committed to adding environmental issues to its list of priorities.

Specifically, the group will focus on creating and maintaining Indigenous-protected conservation areas and the implementation of the Indigenous Guardians Program, which would employ staff to monitor conservation areas and cultural sites.

The committee said it would also focus on taking action on climate change, but did not expand on any plans.

Finally, the partnership committee said its quarterly meeting also touched on an Inuit-focused early learning and childcare model, and steps towards a new Arctic Policy Framework.

The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee was created in February 2017 to help foster a new working relationship between Canadian Inuit and the federal government.

In addition to ITK, its membership includes a number of federal ministers and representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Makivik Corp., the Nunatsiavut government and the Inuvialuit Regional Corp.

The National Inuit Youth Council, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada sit on the committee as observers.

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