Happy about Thomas Berger’s appointment


I was very happy to hear that the former Justice, Thomas Berger, would be the conciliator for the stalled negotiations on the Nunavut land claims implementation contract, which has been going through it’s usually “stop-and-go” process since 2001.

I have the highest respect for Mr. Berger, since I’ve always recognised his contribution to the advancement of aboriginal rights in Canada since he handled the famous Calder case in 1973, which forced the Government of Canada to acknowledge that Inuit, Dene and Metis have aboriginal rights, which have to be recognized and respected in the Canadian Constitution.

The implementation contract is more than just extra funds being set aside for training and increasing the employment of Inuit within the Government of Nunavut and Canada, but a contract to fulfill the obligations that had been negotiated in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, which was proclaimed in Kugluktuk on July 9, 1993 and is not only constitutionally protected, but was negotiated as a tool to put in place all the provisions of the NLCA to work for the Inuit and Nunavut.

If you really had the time to read both the NLCA and the implementation contract, you would see how much power the Inuit of Nunavut really have with the NLCA, together with the creation of the Nunavut government.

In short, the Nunavut settlement area would have more powers than any of the existing provinces, which none of the territories have at the moment.

I would encourage everyone to support this process, as it will give you, the Inuit, and residents of Nunavut, the real powers you may not know you have until you’ve had a chance to read both documents that complement each other. The real powers are there, and if both are implemented, it would wake up some eyes in Ottawa as to just how much more work we all still have to do to fully appreciate the benefits that we’re all entitled to.

Hope you’re all enjoying your spring out on the land.

Allen Maghagak

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