Meetings in Kuujjuaraapik: A Summary

What issues were talked about at these meetings?

The meetings discussed owning the land, taking their country into their own hands.

The white man coming as boss. Quebec people do not have to come and tell Eskimos and Indians what they want them to do.

Quebec government taking interest in Nouveau Quebec in 1964.

Quebec wanting to separate from the rest of Canada.

What did the people have to say about one of these issues ?

Land Ownership was of the utmost importance in the minds of the leaders of Kujjuarapik. They were not serfs in their own land. The Eskimos were responsible for themselves.

Joe Kumarluk: “Everybody in his own country does what he wants to do. The white men do what they want in their own country”.

Silassie Cookie:  “We want to take our own country into our own hands”.

Joe Kumarluk:  “We don’t have to expect the solutions to come from the white man all the time. We must take our land in our own hands”.

Is this issue still important today?

The question of land ownership is a volatile issue, especially with all the attention Nunavik is getting today. Mining exploration for the riches of the area that is now known as Nunavik today is getting to the point of attracting big mining companies.

The leaders of that time were rightly concerned about land ownership. Inuit in Nunavik do not own subsurface rights to any land. Although some form of land “ownership” exists, it is only to topsoil (6” inches) of Category I lands in the J.B.N.Q.A. And it is owned communally, no individual Inuk may own land!

If Nunavik is to progress and be partakers of the global economy then it must become
partners, co-owners of any extraction of these non-renewable resources before it is too late. Once the minerals are gone out of the ground they are gone FOREVER!

  • May 1, 2006
  • Harry Tulugak

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The Nunavik negotiating team