March 19, 2019 – Aupaluk, Nunavik – Makivvik President Charlie Watt made the following initial reaction to today’s 2019 Federal Budget.
“In relation to Makivvik’s mandate, today’s Federal budget announcement will help address issues related to the Inuit and the Arctic,” said Charlie Watt. “Inuit from all fifteen communities in Nunavik are meeting at our Annual General Meeting this week in Aupaluk. Many of the issues we are discussing are included in the section on ‘Supporting Inuit Priorities.”
“We discussed education at length and we see there are funds for an Inuit-led post-secondary education strategy ($125.5 million over 10 years). Likewise, many delegates made comments related to suicide and we are pleased to see additional funding for the National Inuit Suicide Prevention strategy ($50 million over 10 years).”
“As well, many speakers made comments about supporting our children and youth, and again we see funds earmarked for health and social services for Inuit children ($220 million over five years). We also had passionate interventions related to our language and culture, so it is very good to see funds allotted to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages, including Inuktitut and Inuvialuktun ($333.7 million over five years).”
“The federal budget was actually tabled in the House of Commons while our own Treasurer was making his presentation to the 64 Inuit delegates around our AGM table. He is pleased that there will be funding to forgive and reimburse all comprehensive land claim loans. In Nunavik we negotiated the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1975, and more recently the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement.”
Communications Director and Political Advisor
Makivvik is the land claims organization mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivvik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses in Nunavik. Makivvik promotes the preservation of Inuit culture and language as well as the health, welfare, relief of poverty, and education of Inuit in the communities.