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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Québec and the Inuit Implement the Sanarrutik Agreement and Unveil the Inuksuk Project

Québec, June 13, 2002 - Mr. Rémy Trudel, Minister of State for the Population, Regions and Native Affairs, and Mr. Michel Létourneau, Minister for Native Affairs, are pleased to announce tangible measures ensuing from the Sanarrutik partnership agreement signed last April with the Inuit of Nunavik. Moreover, as a token of friendship between Québec and the Inuit, an Inuksuk will be built next to the Parliament Building in Québec City in the fall of 2002.

This event took place in the presence of Mr. Pita Aatami, President of Makivik Corporation, and Mr. Johnny Adams, President of the Kativik Regional Government, accompanied by a delegation of some thirty Inuit.

Hydroelectric development

The Sanarrutik agreement provides for the carrying out of economic, technical and environmental studies on the hydroelectric potential of Nunavik, which is currently estimated at over 6 300 MW. Today, Hydro-Québec is announcing a first phase of studies in Nunavik that will begin this summer and continue on up to 2003 on the Caniapiscau, George, Whale (Rivière à la Baleine) and Nastapoka rivers.

This government corporation will invest a sum of $6.3 million over the upcoming months. To carry out these studies, Hydro-Québec will work in close cooperation with Makivik Corporation in particular by taking advantage of the knowledge of the territory that has been acquired by the Inuit of Nunavik. For this purpose, the corporation will be signing a framework agreement with Makivik Corporation shortly.

Development of parks in Nunavik

The Kativik Regional Government and the Société de la Faune et des Parcs entered into an agreement for the development of parks in Nunavik. This agreement provides for the development of the following national parks: Pingualuit, Monts-Torngat-et-de-la-Rivière-Koroc and Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-à-l'Eau-claire. Québec will pay $8 million over five years to the Kativik Regional Government to enable it to do studies on the development of these parks and to complete the collection of data on two additional parks in Nunavik.

Improvement of the road network in the communities

In addition, Transports-Québec and the Kativik Regional Government signed an agreement yesterday to pave the local roads of the northern villages. This is a measure that will require investments of $35.5 million over a seven-year period.

Enhancement of police services and construction work on police stations

For its part, the ministère de la Sécurité publique signed two agreements with the Kativik Regional Government to implement, beginning today, two actions ensuing from the Sanarrutik agreement in the public security field. Indeed, the ministère de la Sécurité publique is making available in 2002-2003 a sum of $1.5 million to, on the one hand, enhance police services and, on the other, to begin construction on a police station in Nunavik.

Inuksuk, a symbol of closer ties

Prime Minister Bernard Landry had already talked about it in Tasiujaq on April 9th of this year and Ministers Trudel and Létourneau confirmed the project today: an Inuksuk will be built in Québec City next to the Parliament Building. This project is the result of close cooperation between Makivik Corporation, the Commission de la Capitale nationale, the National Assembly, Mr. Michel Létourneau, Minister for NativeAffairs and the Development of Northern Québec, and the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones.

"This Inuksuk will keep a watch over our good relations and will remind us every day of the path that should be followed, namely one of dialogue and respect. The Inuksuk will show us the path of wisdom that leads to mutual understanding and friendship between our nations," stated Mr. Trudel.

"Today's event gives tangible form both to the commitments found in the Sanarrutik partnership agreement and to the collaboration that exists between our two peoples and that will be symbolized by the construction of an Inuksuk. Great things are happening in Northern Québec, things that are beneficial for all of Québec and of which we can all be proud, " added Mr. Létourneau.

Made of large stones, the Inuksuk traditionally represents a reference point for the Inuit on the vast tundra. It is built in the shape of a human. The Inuksuk in Québec City will be built early next fall with fourteen stones representing the fourteen villages of Nunavik. It will be in the company of several leading figures who shaped Québec's history, such as René Lévesque and Jean Lesage, two former prime ministers whose monuments already adorn the site chosen next to the Parliament Building.



Éric Gamache
Press attaché
Office of Minister Rémy Trudel
(418) 644-2128

Véronique Boileau
Press attaché
Office of Minister Michel Létourneau
(418) 528-6789

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