August 30, 2017 – Kuujjuaq, Nunavik – Makivvik welcomes the announcement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Monday August 28th to dissolve the Indigenous and Northern Affairs and create two new departments to better serve Inuit, Métis, and First Nations in Canada.
“Inuit of Nunavik take note of this historic change to reduce existing colonial structures so that relations with us can be improved. In making this change, the government has acknowledged that the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) was primarily charged with implementing the Indian Act, and not conceived of to support and partner with Inuit. The replacement of INAC with two new departments, we hope, will reflect the distinct place Inuit have in Canada,” said Makivvik President Jobie Tukkiapik.
On Monday the federal government announced that former INAC Minister Carolyn Bennett will become the new Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. Former Health Minister Jane Philpott will become the new Minister of Indigenous Services.
“We look forward in working with Minister Bennett in her new role. She has worked to lay the groundwork on the Inuit to Crown Partnership Committee (ICPC), and we look forward to making progress in this new forum to make significant advances for Inuit in Nunavik and across Inuit Nunangat,” said Jobie Tukkiapik. “As well, Minister Philpott in her previous role as Health Minister was a key member of the ICPC process, and will surely continue to be. I’m pleased that her new department will have a clear role in improving the quality of services delivered to Inuit, Métis, and First Nations in a distinctions based approach.”
“Finally, this historic change will clearly take time to implement. Legislation will be required to dissolve INAC, and ongoing consultations will be needed with Inuit in the creation of both new departments. I look forward to working in a positive manner with fellow Inuit leaders at the regional, and national levels, to create better results for all Inuit, and all Canadians,” said Jobie Tukkiapik.
Communications Coordinator and Media Relations
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.