August 5, 2016 – Arviat, Nunavut – Today, the Government of Canada took a concrete step to further their commitment to work with Indigenous peoples across the Arctic.
The creation of a Minister’s Special Representative to lead engagements and provide advice to theGovernment provides a direct path for meaningful incorporation of the realities and needs of Inuit and other northerners as Canada begins the important work of implementing the commitments of the March 10, 2016 US-Canada Joint Statement.
Nancy Karetak-Lindell, President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada todaycongratulated Ms. Simon and noted that “this announcement is a concrete step in realizing ameaningful shared Arctic Leadership model, inclusive of Inuit.”
She also acknowledged the appointment of Mary Simon as the Minister’s Special Representative,stating that “she is an accomplished Inuit leader with significant experience at the regional, national and international levels. As a fellow Inuk woman, I am proud to see her appointed to such an important role.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Government of Canada commitments to a renewed Inuit- to-Crown relationship and more ambitious climate and energy policy within the context and framework of land claims agreements across the North. Canada has also committed to addressing the challenges of health, education, Indigenous language, and skill development, particularly among Indigenous youth. This model of Arctic leadership will be advanced through the Arctic Council and other international forums.
Karetak-Lindell states that “she looks forward to working with Ms. Simon to fully realize the opportunity this position provides to advance Arctic and Inuit issues in Canada and globally.”
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