The following exchange between Eliyassie Sallualuk, then ITN representative, and René Lévesque, then Premier of Quebec, took place in 1983 at the Salon Rouge of the Quebec National Assembly, the same room where the Agreement in Principle (AIP) for the creation of the Nunavik Regional Government was signed on December 5, 2007.
Here we introduce yet another piece of history, which sheds light on how Nunavik has come to be where it is today.
The struggle for self-government by the Inuit of Nunavik traces its origins to the first visits to the region by Europeans.
At the time, Inuit were clearly a self-governing society, and they were in control of their resources, their day-to day lives, and their destiny. However, unbeknownst to them, the European explorers were laying claim to their land and vast tracks of what is now Canada on behalf of the King of England. This territory became known as Rupert's Land, the control of which was handed over to the Hudson's Bay Company. Many years later, much of this area was transferred to the newly constituted Dominion of Canada, and became known as the Northwest Territories. A few more decades passed and the area that is now known as Nunavik was added to the Province of Quebec in what is known as the 1912 Extensions Act.
The Northern Quebec Inuit Association quickly implicated itself in the negotiations of a land claims agreement brought on by the hydro-dam development. The fledging association employed the negotiations to pursue its original objective of establishing some sort of regional government andfurnishing Inuit with real decisionmaking powers.
However, at the time, Quebec was unsure about...
The Quebec Government had held hearings at the National Assembly in
1983, whereby in response to various presentations at the Commission,
then Premier René Lévesque invited the Inuit of Nunavik to come
together to develop and submit proposals for new self-government
arrangements for their region.
Efforts to negotiate new governmental arrangements began anew at a meeting between the Makivik President Zebedee Nungak and Premier Lucien Bouchard in June 1997. The two leaders mused the possibility of restarting the negotiations, and the idea of adopting a commission approach to make headway on this issue was discussed between them.
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Here, you will find the most up to date information (news articles). There are also sections providing historical background, documents about the negotiation, photos, video clips and a glossary of important words.
The Nunavik negotiating team