Nunavut government, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. renew pledge to work together

“We serve the same people”

Surrounded by Nunavut cabinet and NTI board members, NTI President Aluki Kotierk and Premier Joe Savikataaq sign the Katujjiqatigiinniq Protocol at a ceremony held at the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit on Tuesday, Jan. 21. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

By Emma Tranter

The Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. are renewing a two-decade-old agreement that describes how the two organizations will work together.

Flanked by cabinet members and NTI board members, NTI President Aluki Kotierk and Premier Joe Savikataaq signed the Katujjiqatigiinniq Protocol at a ceremony in Iqaluit on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Katujjiqatigiinniq signals a shared commitment to work together to fully implement the Nunavut Agreement.

Savikataaq said the renewed protocol reinforces the GN’s commitments to work with NTI and sends a strong message to partners, such as the federal government.

“We both know that if we go with one strong voice that the odds of getting what we want are vastly increased,” Savikataaq said.

The protocol states it will help shape work around three areas: identifying broad principles and priorities that will contribute to productive working relationships, making practical commitments to leadership, oversight and administration, and working toward the full implementation of Article 32, which states that Inuit must participate in the development of government social and cultural policies.

With Nunavut’s 85 per cent Inuit population, Kotierk said it is important that the GN and NTI work together to serve the territory.

“We serve the same people,” Kotierk said. “Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. advocates for Inuit rights. The Government of Nunavut provides programs and services for Inuit. So it makes sense as partners that we would work together on joint priorities,” Kotierk said.

“I know since Nunavut has been created as a territory there’s been a number of protocol agreements and in that same vein, we thought it would be a good public signal of our recommitment to work together on issues that are important to Nunavummiut.”

There are three joint priorities identified within the protocol that the GN and NTI will focus on, Kotierk said.

The first is to mobilize Inuit identity and culture through ensuring Inuktut and Inuit culture are central to governance in Nunavut.

To do that, the two parties will work to make Inuktut the primary language of instruction in Nunavut schools, the primary language of work in government offices and the primary language for delivery of essential government services, such as education, justice and health care in Nunavut.

The first joint priority also touches on many aspects of education in the territory, including commitments to reform Nunavut’s education system to improve educational outcomes for Inuit, invest in training programs for Inuktut-speaking teachers, and develop curriculum materials in Inuktut for teachers.

The second joint priority is to improve the quality of life and well-being of Inuit.

That involves, among other things, developing and implementing Inuit employment plans, working with the Government of Canada and other partners on narrowing housing and infrastructure gaps, developing a long-term infrastructure strategy and establishing strategic partnerships with all levels of government, including foreign investors, for major infrastructure projects in Nunavut.

The final joint priority is to develop, monitor and renew policies, programs, services and legislation. That means working together to ensure Inuit are included in the design and development—including the method of delivery—of policies, programs, services and legislation.

That’s in line with Article 32 of the Nunavut Agreement. The two parties will also create a GN Article 32 policy and a Joint Information Sharing Agreement, according to the protocol.

Kotierk also said the two parties will meet regularly as they continue to work on the three joint priorities.

“We recognize there will be times where we don’t agree on things, but we are still open to having those discussions and trying to get to a point where we have an agreement on what the best approach would be,” Kotierk said.

Savikataaq agreed, citing the recently signed devolution agreement as an example of where the two parties are working collaboratively.

“Sometimes the negative stuff is way more concentrated on than the positive stuff. And we should be bringing out all the positive stuff that has happened when we’re working on projects and initiatives,” Savikataaq said.

The GN and NTI previously entered into the Clyde River Protocol in 1999, Iqqaanaijaqatigiit in 2004 and Aajiiqatigiinniq in 2011.

So why this new protocol now?

“It’s a new decade,” Kotierk said, to a round of applause from the room.

Katujjiqatigiinniq Protocol… by NunatsiaqNews on Scribd

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by Stunning and brave! on

    In a world of losses and fumbles, I suppose this is an easy win.

  2. Posted by Annie on

    Another empty meaningless photo-op. Show us a tangible physical action plan with identified partner(s) committed $ cost-shared initiatives listed. And the timelines for completion of said projects and who the project team & managers are. This picture and the ‘not worth

  3. Posted by Jamesie on

    A renewed agreement? Those organizations haven’t worked together constructively in the past 20 years. NTI sits on its hands and casts stones at the GN. That’s the relationship. Ms Kotierk comes from the GN, professionally. She should know that.

  4. Posted by Former Insider on

    NTI wants to get access to data that they think the GN has. If they only knew…

  5. Posted by iWonder on

    I wonder, if NTI is serious about “full implementation of Article 32” then will they address section 32.3.1 which calls for the establishment of a Social Development Council to further the particular goals of the article itself, being participation in the development of social and cultural policy. In other words, will they re-establish the NSDC?
    The NSDC as many know was gutted by the great visionary Cathy Towtongie in what was then called a ‘restructuring’. In her own words this “strong and decisive” move was necessary to ensure pressing issues would be addressed. They never were of course. … do you ever wonder why?
    Will what we see here in this apparent photo opportunity amount to anything more than a photo opportunity? Is reducing this to a “photo op” a little too cynical? I don’t think it is, but only time will tell. If the past is any indicator to the future, however this “protocol” will probably amount to almost nothing, except perhaps a comical footnote in some future historical reading of the inability of our current political class to seriously address our most pressing issues, while engaging, as the political class often does, in performative if not meaningless acts of self congratulations.

    • Posted by Keep it up on

      I’ve notice a lot of renewed interest regarding NSDC in this comment section over the past year. Keep it up! There’s no auditor or mechanism to hold NTI accountable for their shady dealings. Until they show some initiative in becoming more transparent with their finances and structuring, no one should take them seriously. They’re lucky the GN even signs an agreement like this with them.

  6. Posted by Social Housing on

    What is the future plan for social housing? 2040 is when were going to need a new agreement? When were so short of housing, we dont see private builders running to Nunavut to be non profit to house nunavut people.

  7. Posted by Big Anaq on

    Doesn’t mean much for me and my whopping power bill and unemployment.

  8. Posted by Taamas on

    Arviat is a traditional place with language strong. Premier Kia president but long non Inuk mayor. Encourage your Nunavut communties who has Inuit mayor’s to built bonds. Arviat can learn alot from these things from leaders who are from hometown.

    • Posted by Yea eh! on

      No one is likely to come up with the kinds of innovative ideas that will help our communities than some small town rube.

  9. Posted by Thomas on

    Arviat needs to make hamlet improvements. Unlike Rankin I let Arviat gets its water and sewer services differently. Where water and sewage trucks constantly srarts work at 8 am. Very typical Nunavut community alot of drop outs just need class 3 to work as water and sewage truck emloyee from the Hamlet. Premier became a leader with a vision Arviat already been a big part role as government apologises to ahiarmiut an forced adoption. Needa it’s hamlet improvements to leave people’s privacy Aline and make that as their new vision to leave community members privacy alone not to go beyond their job description.

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