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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Québec at the Inuit Circumpolar Conference

Québec City, August 12, 2002 - The Minister for Native Affairs and Northern Development, Michel Létourneau, and the Minister for Housing, Jacques Côté, are representing the Québec government at the 9th general assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) being held in Kuujjuaq August 12 to 16, 2002.

It is the first time that the Inuit Circumpolar Conference has held its general assembly in Québec. Founded in 1967, it has since become a major international NGO. It represents around 150,000 Inuit in Québec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Alaska, Greenland, and Chukotka (Russia). With the ICC, the Inuit can unite their voices and make known the concerns they share to the international community, even though they live in different countries. It gives them an opportunity to bring together their energies with a view to protecting their culture and way of life.

Minister Létourneau is back from a mission to Stockholm where he had an opportunity to present the Québec-Cree "La Paix des braves" agreement and the Québec-Inuit Sanarrutik agreement, in the presence of Ted Moses the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees. Létourneau said he was quite happy to be in Kuujjuaq among over 700 participants, including a delegation of elders and a delegation of young people: "As MNA for Ungava and also as the minister responsible for the Nord-du-Québec region, I'm especially proud to be present here in Nunavik. This conference will enable me to consolidate the ties we've forged internationally and it's an exceptional opportunity to discuss economic, social, and environmental issues that interest northern stakeholders. It's one more step in international recognition of Québec as a northern state."

For his part, Minister Jacques Côté thanked the representative bodies of Nunavik for working closely in developing a standards framework for the "Logement abordable" (affordable housing) program in the region. "This working relationship attests to the merit and much-needed consolidation of the new Québec-Nunavik partnership in housing," said the minister.

The "Nunavik" section of this program aims to create a real housing market in the region by encouraging individual and group homeownership and by developing private rental housing.

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Sources:

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

Éric Côté
Press Attaché
Office of Minister Jacques Côté
(418) 691-2048

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