Makivik to renew self-determination talks with Ottawa, Quebec

Mary Simon to return as senior negotiator for Nunavik

Mary Simon, second from right, is pictured in 2019 with Makivik’s Nunavik Inuit Constitutional Task Force. Makivik announced this week that Simon has returned to her role as senior negotiator after departing in 2020. (File photo courtesy of Makivik Corp.)

By Sarah Rogers

Makivik Corp. says its leadership will resume negotiations over a self-determination agreement for Nunavik.

Newly elected president Pita Aatami is picking up a project first launched by his predecessor Charlie Watt in 2018 to establish a form of Indigenous government in the region based on Inuit values, culture and language.

Under Watt, Makivik Corp. signed an agreement with the federal government in 2019 that serves as a framework for negotiations towards an Inuit self-government for the region.

“Our new approach aims to be fully transparent and inclusive of all organizations in Nunavik,” said Makivik president Pita Aatami in a Thursday news release.

“We will continue our negotiations with Canada, and we will also start talks with Quebec.”

Aatami has already been in regular communication with Ian Lafrenière, Quebec’s minister of Indigenous affairs.

Aatami also announced this week Mary Simon will return as Makivik’s senior negotiator, a role she was first appointed to in 2018 but left in 2020.

Simon herself once served as Makivik president, as well as president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

She will now work closely with a new Inuit advisory committee made up of Adamie Qalingu, Jobie Epoo, Nancy Etok, Olivia Ikey-Duncan, Sheila Ningiuruvik and Peter Ittukalaq.

“I’m excited to be part of the renewed process to achieve self-determination for Inuit in Nunavik,” Simon said in the release.

Lisa Koperqualuk, who took on the role of Makivik’s negotiator in 2020, will stay on now as deputy negotiator, Makivik said.

Koperqualuk will chair Makivik’s self-determination committee, which is made up of representatives from Nunavik’s major regional organizations: Kativik Regional Government, Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau Québec, Nunavik Landholding Corporations Association, Saturviit Inuit Women’s Association of Nunavik, Qarjuit Youth Council and the Avataq Cultural Institute.

The federal government is currently working with Indigenous groups at 80 Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussion tables across the country, with a goal “to explore new ways of working together to advance the recognition of Indigenous rights and self-determination,” according to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by Another ITN? on

    Puvirnitummiut keep claiming they will stand as ITN, so it’s hard to understand how they keep getting picked to lead important files. They’re in opposition of JBNQA.


    • Posted by Also elected secretary on

      There are two ITN governors too
      Makes no sense

  2. Posted by Nunavik is not ready on

    Good to see Makivik will stop throwing good money on the oldies who were taken back after 45 years. Now I wonder how these were handpicked once again.

    Who will lead self-government when we cannot even have staff in essential positions at the community level? Please remember to go in community’s bubbles before signing anything.
    There is too much corruption and dysfunction in Nunavik. Not enough graduates either.

    • Posted by KUUJJUAMIUK on

      I agree with what you have to say, thats why , i can t understand why our leaders are in such a rush with this self dermination bussiness , knowing at the only people that are going to beniffit are them selfs with their new titles, not us little people.

    • Posted by Uvagut on

      It’s the same in Nunavut, can’t even fill essential worker positions with Inuit. Inuit needed every where but not enough of us. Nurses, social workers, dentist, taxi drivers, it goes on and not enough Inuit to fill them. And so much dysfunction and mental illness and a rise in severe mental illness and no one to help them. Qanualuujugulli

      • Posted by MONICA A CONNOLLY on

        It’s likely that Nunavut will never have an all-Inuit workforce, simply because the population is so low and the communities so small. If Grise Fiord needs a school principal, what are the odds of there being an Inuk who is both qualified and who wants to live in that community? That said, Inuit employment rates and representation in top jobs should be higher.

  3. Posted by Raven on

    Hopefully Lisa will be the next appointed GG

  4. Posted by Scary on

    This is scary. To have powers put in the hands of an uneducated government. Off course, it’s impossible. This group feels that Canada is ready for the talks, but Quebec is not ready. Ottawa will not let this happen, and Ottawa knows it’s Quebec that will not even think about it happening. Let’s say , it did happen, that Nunavik has self government, human rights of the population will be something like what we hear about North Korea or China. If you know Nunavik as it is, it’s already, certain greedy persons that got it all, while the common people have nothing. Thank goodness, this government will never happen. Plus if it did, the southerners would leave ASAP. Then the real world would cave in on Nunavik.

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