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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

POLITICAL ACCORD

BETWEEN
THE NUNAVIK PARTY,
THE GOVERNMENT OF QUÉBEC
AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
FOR THE EXAMINATION OF A FORM OF GOVERNEMENT
IN NUNAVIK THROUGH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A
NUNAVIK COMMISSION


PREAMBLE

Whereas
this current initiative is in line with the overtures made in the past years in many occasions by the Québec Government to discuss on self-government in the part of Québec located north of the 55th parallel, hereafter designated as "Nunavik", noticeably as articulated by Premier René Lévesque at the 1983 parliamentary commission on Aboriginal matters held in the Québec National Assembly;

Whereas the parties to this accord agree to examine the creation of a form of government which, within the jurisdiction of Québec and Canada, will take into account the Nunavik arctic realities; which will respond to the needs, desires, and aspirations of Inuit and other residents living in this territory; which will have appropriate resources and powers of self-government for the Nunavik;

Whereas the parties to this accord acknowledge the need to build upon what was successfully negotiated in the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA) and intend to take into account, if necessary, the negotiations for self-government in Nunavik which took place in 1994-1995 and in 1997-1998;

Whereas the Government of Canada appointed a federal representative to the previous negotiations, and intends to carry on with its participation to the coming discussions on a form of government in Nunavik so that the Inuit and other residents of Nunavik continue to enjoy the benefits of a variety of federal services and programs, including existing and future initiatives and arrangements specifically related to services and programs;

Whereas there is renewed willingness to move ahead on this matter in Nunavik, and that the appointment of properly constituted Commissions has proven to be successful means of advancing the new governmental arrangements for both Nunavut and Greenland;

Therefore the Nunavik Party, the Government of Québec, and the Government of Canada agree as follows:

1. GENERAL

1.1 The parties to this accord agree to establish a Nunavik Commission with the mandate to develop a timetable, plan of action, and recommendations for the structure, operations and powers of a government in Nunavik;

1.2 The Nunavik Commission shall develop a timetable, plan of action, and recommendations in a manner which will be ready for implementation in concrete terms, and which will serve as the basis for the discussions to create a government in Nunavik;

1.3 The Preamble and Appendix to this document form an integral part of this Accord.

1.4 For the purposes of this Accord, " Nunavik " means the part of Québec located north of the 55th parallel of latitude except Category 1A lands and 1B lands of the Crees of Great Whale, as defined in the JBNQA and Category 1B-N lands of the Naskapi, as defined in the Northeastern Québec Agreement (NEQA).

2. PARTIES

2.1 The Parties to this agreement are :

THE NUNAVIK PARTY,
as represented by :

  • the Makivik Corporation and its president;

and
THE GOVERNMENT OF QUÉBEC,
as represented by :
  • the ministre délégué aux Affaires autochtones,
  • the ministre délégué aux Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes;

and

THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA,
as represented by :
  • the minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.


2.2 For the purposes of this Accord, and without prejudice to their respective mandates, responsibilities, and authorities, Makivik Corporation, the Kativik Regional Government (KRG), the Kativik School Board (KSB), the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) and the Kativik Regional Development Council (KRDC) are designated as the " Nunavik Party ".

3. NUNAVIK COMMISSION

3.1
The Government of Québec shall establish a Nunavik Commission, hereafter designated as the Commission, to carry out the functions and mandates described in this Accord and shall provide the Commission with the appropriate powers to carry out its mandate.

3.2 The Commission shall be comprised of two Co-Chairpersons and six Commissioners. One of the Co-Chairpersons and two of the Commissioners shall be appointed by the Nunavik Party, one of the Co-Chairpersons and two of the Commissioners shall be appointed by the Government of Québec, and two of the Commissioners shall be appointed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Individuals appointed as Co-Chairpersons shall be mutually acceptable to the Nunavik Party and the Government of Québec.

3.3 The Commission shall complete all of its work and table its recommendations within eight months of its establishment. This deadline may be extended with the consent of the parties to this Accord. The recommendations tabled by the Commission shall be subject to a consensus from all its members.

3.4 The Commission shall meet regularly in order to carry out its mandate as it sees fit, and, except for what is provided for this Accord, shall establish the rules and procedures necessary to carry out its work.

3.5 The Commission shall have the power to travel, hold hearings, strike technical committees, engage the services of consultants and experts and will conduct community consultations.

3.6 The Commission will count on the funding provided in appendix of this Accord to carry out its mandate and functions. Moreover, the Commission shall be entitled to receive funding through contribution agreements, subject to approval by the parties to this Accord. The Commission shall make its financial records available to any of the parties at their request, and shall arrange to have a full audited statement of its revenues and expenses released within 90 days following the completion of its work.

3.7 The Commission shall table all of its reports and recommendations with the Government of Québec, the entities which constitute the Nunavik Party, the Government of Canada, and interested regional organizations in Nunavik, including Avataq Cultural Institute and Taqramiut Nipingat Incorporated. The Commission shall make its final recommendations and reports available in Inuktitut, French, and English.

3.8 The Governments of Québec and Canada and the Nunavik organizations shall cooperate with any request for information made by the Commission within the framework of the laws in order to fulfill its mandate.

4. MANDATE OF THE COMMISSION

4.1 Subject to the provisions of this Accord, the Commission shall make a comprehensive set of recommendations on the design, operation, and implementation of a form of government in Nunavik. More specifically, the Commission shall make recommendations on :

a) the powers, jurisdictions, responsibilities, and competencies of the Nunavik Government;
b) the election process, the representation, the term of office as well as the size and the responsibilities of the structure that will lead the Nunavik Government;
c) the selection of the Leader and the elected members responsible for the Nunavik Government, including the role, powers, and responsibilities of the Executive;
d) the initial administrative design of the Nunavik Government, including the identification of the administrative structures and required personnel and resources;
e) a plan of action and consultation process for a timetable for the consolidation under a Nunavik Government of the powers, competencies, responsibilities, rights, resources, obligations, liabilities, privileges, assets, the administrative and programs functions, and where applicable, the insurance needs and relevant collective agreements of the KRG, KSB, KRDC, NRBHSS, and wherever appropriate, other regional organizations in Nunavik, including Avataq Cultural Institute and Tagramiut Nipingat Incorporated; identifying the necessary agreements, legislation, and amendments to the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement required for the creation of a Nunavik Government;
f) the relationship between governments, including the relationship between the Nunavik Government and the Nunavik Municipalities, between the Nunavik Government and the Québec Government, between the Nunavik Government and the Government of Canada, and between the Nunavik Government and Nunavut and other arctic governments; moreover, the relationship between the Nunavik Government, the Crees and the Jamesians of the region Nord-du-Québec;
g) the financing of the Nunavik Government, including formula based financing (block funding) arrangements, revenue sharing arrangements between the Nunavik Government and Québec Government, and the Nunavik Government and the Federal Government, and issues relating to taxation and the ability to incur debt;
h) measures to promote and enhance the Inuit culture in Nunavik, including the use of Inuktitut in the Nunavik Government;
i) transitional measures, including training programs to encourage the greatest number of Nunavik residents to fill positions within the Nunavik Government, arrangements for the delivery of existing programs and services in Nunavik, and an overall timetable for the implementation of the Nunavik Government;
j) a process for the implementation of a Nunavik Government and such a process shall include a vote among the residents of Nunavik prior to its implementation.

4.2 Where appropriate, the Commission may use for its work all the documents it considered relevant, including the draft documents that were issued as a result of the 1994-1995 and 1997-1998 discussions and negotiations concerning self-government in Nunavik.

4.3 The Commission will develop mechanisms that will allow for an appropriate consultation of other aboriginal parties having rights in the territory and as set out in the JBNQA and the NEQA.

5. OVERRIDING PRINCIPLES

5.1 The work and recommendations of the Commission shall respect and provide for the following principles :

a) the Nunavik Government will be non-ethnic in nature and will be open to all permanent residents of Nunavik ;
b) the Nunavik Government shall come under the jurisdiction of the Québec National Assembly; it shall respect the authority of the latter and of the federal Parliament;
c) any amendment of the JBNQA for the purposes of enabling the creation of a Nunavik Government shall be agreed upon by the parties of this Accord and shall not modify the other rights of the Inuit under the JBNQA or the exercise of those rights. Any rights eliminated or modified by amendment of the JBNQA must be replaced by equivalent provisions;
d) the creation of a Nunavik Government shall not prejudice the rights of Crees or Naskapis as set out in the JBNQA and the NEQA;
e) the design of the Nunavik Government must be implementable within the prevailing legal and economic realities and must take into account the financial resources of Québec and Canada, but it may also be innovative in nature, and not unduly restricted by policy parameters that are essentially incompatible with the notion of a new type of government under the authority of the Québec National Assembly;
f) any modification to the JBNQA for the establishment of a Nunavik Government shall not lessen the Québec and federal governments powers, responsibilities and obligations, or the nature of these powers, responsibilities and obligations, to, and in relation to the Inuit of Nunavik, or to Nunavik's institutions or successor institutions, except as a result of negotiated agreements;
g) the Nunavik Government shall have jurisdiction for matters coming under its responsibility and authority over all Nunavik except for Category 1A lands and 1B lands of the Crees of Great Whale, as defined in the JBNQA and Category 1B-N lands of the Naskapi, as defined in the NEQA, and the Nunavik Government shall exercise its jurisdiction over the Nunavik in a manner which fully respects the rights of all Aboriginal People set out in the JBNQA and the NEQA, as well as the rights and obligations of third parties in Nunavik;
h) arrangements for the establishment of a Nunavik Government shall not modify the land and natural resources regimes established under the JBNQA and the NEQA;
i) The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedom (Québec) shall apply to the Nunavik Government;
j) the establishment of the Nunavik Assembly and Government shall provide for revenue sources specific to the Nunavik Government as well as block funding arrangements (formula financing) which shall replace all, or parts, of current means by which Québec funds institutions, programs, services, and operations for the benefit of the Nunavik and its residents;
k) the powers, jurisdictions, responsibilities, and competencies of the Nunavik Government shall include all those of the KRG, NRBHSS, KRDC, KSB, including, where considered appropriate, those identified in the negotiations and discussions of 1994-1995 and 1997-1998, and other powers, jurisdictions, responsibilities, and competencies appropriate for a new type of government, under the authority of the Québec National Assembly, created to respond to the unique arctic realities of Nunavik;
l) arrangements for the establishment of a Nunavik Government shall respect the arctic character of Nunavik and close relationship between the Inuit of Nunavik and Nunavut.

6. CONTINUATION OF PROGRAMS

6.1 The existence and work of the Commission, including any subsequent negotiations, shall not affect Québec or federal programs, services, or funding which apply, or would normally apply to Nunavik residents and entities. Likewise, the existence and work of the Commission, including any subsequent negotiations, shall not adversely affect other negotiations or other initiatives involving the Government of Québec, the Government of Canada, or any of the Nunavik entities.

7. FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORK OF THE COMMISSION AND DURATION OF THE ACCORD

7.1 Within three months after it has tabled its recommendations as foreseen in section 3.3, the Commission shall meet the parties - together or separatly - to present the results of its work and all the recommendations as well as to exchange on any aspect pertaining to the questions examined by the Commission.

7.2 After the meeting's period foreseen in section 7.1, the parties undertake to start negotiations in order to set up a process aiming at the establishment of a form of government in Nunavik which could be inspired, totally or partly, from the recommendations of the Commission.

7.3 This Accord shall come into effect upon signing by the parties and will remain in effect until the Commission has fulfilled its mandate as per sections 3.3 and 7.1, and until the parties have agreed upon the follow up concerning the negotiations foreseen in section 7.2. This Accord may be amended, from time to time, upon mutual consent of the parties.

8. DISCLAIMER

8.1 This Accord shall not be interpreted as a treaty or a land claim agreement within the meaning of section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982.

9. INTERPRETATION

9.1 There shall be an Inuktitut, a French and an English version of this Accord. The French and English versions shall be the authoritative versions.

. FOR THE NUNAVIK PARTY:


Pita Aatami
president of the Makivik Corporation

Signed in  __________   on __________ 1999
. FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF QUÉBEC:




Guy Chevrette
ministre délégué aux Affaires autochtones
 

Signed in  __________   on __________ 1999
 

and




Joseph Facal
ministre délégué aux Affaires intergouvernementales
canadiennes

Signed in  __________   on __________ 1999

. FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA :




Robert Nault
minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Signed in  __________   on __________ 1999

Appendix

Appendix

Nunavik Commission Funding

1 The Parties to this accord agree that the work to be performed by the Commission requires adequate funding. Therefore, based on prior financial forecasts, the Parties estimate the total financial requirement of this endeavour to be $ 777 000 , this amount covering the period mentioned in sections 3.3 and 7.1.

2 Each party will assume a part of the funding requirements estimated above in the following way :

QUÉBEC 
GOVERNMENT 
$
NUNAVIK 
PARTY 
$
FEDERAL 
GOVERNMENT 
$
Financial contribution given to the Commission 152 000  - 283 000
Expenses to be covered directly by each party  171 000  131 000  40 000
TOTAL 323 000  131 000  323 000

Signature gouvernementale
Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
905, avenue Honoré-Mercier, 1er étage - Québec (Qc)  G1R 5M6 - 418 643-3166
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