The federal government has endorsed the Inuit Nunangat Policy, which recognizes Inuit Nunangat as a distinct cultural, political and geographic region of Canada, it was announced at the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee meeting on April 21.

“The Inuit Nunangat Policy has been the centrepiece of our work within the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee and we are pleased to see it come to fruition,” said Inuit Tapitiit Kanatami president Natan Obed.

“This policy puts in place the structural change needed for the federal government to effectively respond to the needs of Inuit. It serves as an important step toward Inuit self-determination.”

The document’s stated goal is to work in partnership to create socio-economic and cultural equity between Inuit and other Canadians. “Equity does not denote sameness of treatment, but rather fairness and justice in process and results. Achieving equity involves removing barriers, correcting conditions of disadvantage, and introducing special measures to accommodate differences with the goal of establishing a level playing field for all.”

With this goal in mind, the Government of Canada has committed $25 million over five years, $20 million of which will go toward projects to accelerate policy implementation with Inuit priorities, promising to work with Inuit, according to a release by ITK.

“Inuit have unique rights, interests, and experiences. Today’s endorsement of the Inuit Nunangat Policy is the culmination of years of collaboration and will help ensure Inuit priorities and self-determination are part of the government’s programs, policies and initiatives going forward,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Discussion on Budget 2022 was also on the table, more notably on the seven-year, $845 million investment to go toward housing support across Inuit Nunangat.

The Policy delineates an approach for the renewal and design of federal initiatives, policies and services which apply in Inuit Nunangat or which are considered to benefit Inuit. Allowing for more coordination and engagement with Inuit. It also directs federal organizations to consider the rights, interests and circumstances of Inuit in its approach with Inuit Land Claims Organizations. 

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