Nunavik waits for judge’s decision

Makivik Corp., Kativik School Board face off in Montreal

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

After weeks of arguing in court, two of Nunavik’s main political and administrative players will have to wait to find out if the region’s negotiations on a new form of government will be stalled.

On Dec. 17, a Quebec superior court judge told lawyers for Makivik Corp. and the Kativik School Board in Montreal that she would decide as soon as possible whether to grant the board an injunction against Makivik’s on-going talks with the provincial and federal governments.

Makivik representatives argue the decision will put Nunavimmiut’s right to self-determination on the line, while the school board argues it needs the injunction to defend its own existence.

The two organizations have been butting heads over Nunavik’s self-government negotiations since the release of the Nunavik Commission report, Let Us Share, which the school board said is invalid. The school board said the report lacked the necessary approval of all commissioners.

Makivik, however, maintains that the report confirms its authority to negotiate a new form of government on behalf of the Inuit of Nunavik.

Makivik took significant steps toward a new government in Nunavik this summer when it approved a framework agreement with the federal and provincial governments.

Makivik expects this will be followed by an agreement-in-principle, pending a supportive vote from residents of Nunavik, which would be followed by a proposed final agreement that would again require ratification from Nunavimmiut.

The judge will have at least six months to decide whether to grant an injunction against the negotiations, but both sides expect a decision before then.

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