Leaders expected to sign agreement-in-principle next month

Nunavik self-rule accord looms


When political leaders from Quebec City, Ottawa and Nunavik meet in Kuujjuaq next month they will likely sign the final agreement- in-principle for a new form of self-government for Nunavik.

After a last-minute cancellation last February due to a Quebec election call, the Katimajiit leaders meeting is now scheduled for Aug. 23 and 24. The AIP signing is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 23.

Premier Jean Charest is expected to sign the AIP, as may Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is to visit the 10-day Nanook sovereignty exercises off the Baffin coast and into Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay during the same period.

The Nunavik government's web site reports that negotiating teams for Quebec, the federal government and Nunavik met June 28 for a last look at the French, English and Inuttitut versions of the final agreement-in-principle text.

All changes and amendments made during the negotiations were checked off, and the word "regional" was incorporated into the text of the agreement.

That's because the Quebec wanted to see the word "regional" qualify the word government in the AIP.

In Quebec's opinion, the French word "gouvernement" had too much punch to be used without the qualifier "regional" in English or "régional" in French.

However, Inuit negotiators were not willing to agree to this if in French the new government's name was going to read "Administration régional du Nunavik" similar to the Administration régional Kativik French-language name for the Kativik Regional Government.

Quebec agreed to call Nunavik's new government the "Gouvernement régional du Nunavik." In Inuttitut, "Nunaviup Kavamanga" will be used.

Benoît Pelletier, Quebec's native affairs minister, plans to bring the final AIP to the Quebec cabinet in early August so the deal can be signed at the end of the month.

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