Media Centre

National Conference on Land Claims Implementation to begin

NR 03-22 RED ENG Land Claims Conference.doc

(November 3, 2003 –Ottawa) Leaders from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. will gather in Ottawa next week as co-sponsors of an Inuit, First Nations and Metis national conference on implementing land claims agreements across Canada.

Redefining Relationships, a three-day conference scheduled for Nov. 11-13, will bring together Aboriginal leaders, politicians, policy makers, negotiators, academics and representatives from the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Participants will address the future of land claims implementation in Canada.

Organizers expect the conference to lay the foundation for more effective collaboration and political co-ordination on Claims implementation among Aboriginal organizations contending with many of the same challenges across Canada.

This conference comes at a very crucial time for NTI as we enter negotiations with the Government of Canada for the funding that will be needed to implement the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement over the next ten years, said NTI President Cathy Towtongie. We plan to discuss many key aspects of claims implementation during the conference and by comparing notes with other Aboriginal groups, we can find concrete ways to ensure that governments deliver on the rights and benefits owing to our peoples under their respective land claims agreements. We have to find new ways to make these land claims agreements work, Towtongie said.

President Towtongie will deliver a keynote address during the event. The conference will also feature many other high-profile speakers, including Dr. Joseph Gosnell, president of the Nisga’a Lisims Government, Grand Chief Ted Moses of the Grand Council of the Crees, Grand Chief Ed Schultz of the Council of Yukon First Nations, William Andersen III, President of the Labrador Inuit Association, and Tony Penikett, former premier of the Yukon.

A Leadership Meeting involving Aboriginal leaders at the conference is scheduled to occur Nov. 14. Participants will establish goals, strategies and action steps for implementing recommendations made at the conference.

Redefining Relationships is co-sponsored by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the NWT Aboriginal Summit, the Grand Council of the Crees, the Council of Yukon First Nations, and the Nisga’a Lisims Government.

For further information, please contact:
Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006
Fax: (867) 975-4943