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R.J. Simpson: 40th Anniversary of Inuvialuit Final Agreement – Inuvialuit Day

by ahnationtalk on June 6, 202412 Views

June 5, 2024

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Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to stand before you to commemorate a significant milestone for Inuvialuit and all residents of the Northwest Territories. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, a landmark event that we celebrate each year on June 5th as Inuvialuit Day.

Forty years ago, the Committee for Original People’s Entitlement signed the Inuvialuit Final Agreement with the Government of Canada. This historic agreement was the first comprehensive land claim agreement North of the 60th Parallel and set a precedent for future negotiations of land, resources, and self-government agreements, not only in the NWT, but across Canada.

The Inuvialuit Final Agreement confirmed the Inuvialuit ownership of over 90,000 square kilometers of land, including nearly 13,000 square kilometers of subsurface rights. This agreement has been instrumental in preserving the cultural identity and values of the Inuvialuit people, enabling them to participate equally and meaningfully in the northern and national economy.

Under the agreement, the Inuvialuit received financial compensation and secured wildlife harvesting rights. The agreement also established the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Inuvialuit Game Council, and ensured Inuvialuit participation on various co-management boards, safeguarding their right to be involved in decisions affecting their land and resources.

Mr. Speaker, the celebration of Inuvialuit Day is a reminder of the strength and resilience of the Inuvialuit. It is a time to honour the hard work and dedication of Elders who have preserved and passed down their culture, language, and identity. It is also a time to recognize the importance of our ongoing partnerships with Indigenous governments.

As we commemorate this 40th Inuvialuit Day, we reaffirm our commitment to working collaboratively with the Inuvialuit and all Indigenous governments to build a future that respects and honours their contributions and rights. We look forward to continuing our journey towards reconciliation and shared prosperity.

Please join me in congratulating all Inuvialuit on this remarkable 40th Anniversary of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

NT4

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