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Québec and the Inuit Sign a Framework Agreement for the Negotiation of a New Form of Government in Nunavik

Québec, June 26, 2003 – Mr. Jean Charest, Premier of Québec, received at his Montréal office Mr. Pita Aatami, President of Makivik Corporation, for a meeting during which leaders signed a framework agreement establishing the basis for negotiations between Québec and the Inuit, which will lead to the merging of certain institutions and the creation of a new form of government in Nunavik.

Just a few days after his talk with the chiefs of the ten Amerindian nations of Québec at the summit of the AFNQL on June 17th, this meeting with a representative of the Inuit nation, which is not a member of the AFNQL, once again underscores the willingness of Mr. Charest to establish and maintain close relations with the Aboriginal people of Québec.

“Our government believes in the virtues of dialogue. One cannot hope to establish sound and constructive relations without first holding discussions between elected members,” explained the Premier. “Our commitment of last week to establish with the AFNQL a political exchange forum and the framework agreement signed today with the Inuit allow us to envisage a future marked by relations of trust and mutual respect between the Aboriginal people and the Government of Québec.”

This framework agreement, signed by Pita Aatami, President of Makivik Corporation, and by Benoît Pelletier, Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and Native Affairs, establishes a formal process for arriving at a final agreement dealing with the merging of the main institutions of Nunavik into a single entity. The agreement stipulates in particular certain leading principles, as well as a set of topics that should be the subject of negotiations. It also provides for the putting in place of a mechanism to consult the other aboriginal groups concerned and a new funding regime adapted to the merged organizations.

Once the Kativik Regional Government, the Kativik School Board, the Nunavik Health and Social Services Regional Board and the Katujjinik Regional Development Council have been merged into one unified entity in Nunavik, the parties agree to undertake, during a second phase, negotiations for a supplementary agreement for the creation of a new form of government in Nunavik.

“This is an important step forward for the Inuit. For three decades we have been trying to work out a government for Nunavik. With the signing of this framework agreement, the governments of Québec and Canada will work together with us to realize our long-standing dream and to see such a government become a reality,” stated Pita Aatami.

“The signing of this framework agreement marks a turning point in our relations with the Inuit of Nunavik. The merging of the institutions will promote a harmonious and more unified development of the region’s public services. Eventually, it will also permit the achievement of greater government autonomy for the Inuit, as well as for all other citizens of Nunavik. This agreement is perfectly in line with the achievements of the last thirty years, while offering promising prospects for Québec as a whole,” pointed out Minister Benoît Pelletier.


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Sources :

Lisa Koperqualuk
Responsable des communications
Société Makivik
(514) 745-8880

Damir Croteau
Attaché de presse
Cabinet du ministre déléguée aux Affaires
intergouvernementales canadiennes et aux Affaires autochtones
(418) 953-7848

Christian Barrette
Attaché de presse
Cabinet du premier ministre
(418) 643-5321

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