Media Centre

NTI helps establish a Nunavut Inuit voice on the environment

NR 03-19 ENV ENG Environment Workshop .doc

(SEPTEMBER 26, 2003 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) hosted a productive workshop in Iqaluit on developing an Inuit Environment Policy. Inuit representatives from across Nunavut met for three days from September 23 to 25th.

The care and protection of the land and water of Nunavut has been entrusted to us, said NTI President Cathy Towtongie. We have a duty to pass them on to our children in the same condition or better than they were when we received this trust.

During the workshop, participants expressed the need for a strong Inuit voice on global climate change, trans-boundary contaminants, marine environment, and wildlife management. Local concerns such as infrastructure and waste sites were also identified.

The workshop heard presentations from the Regional Inuit Associations, the Government of Nunavut, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and the Institutions of Public Government. They explained their roles in the management of lands and resources, as well as their responsibilities for care of the environment.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami spoke about their work in Northern Contaminants and Climate Change. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference discussed the influence Inuit have at the international level on environmental issues and noted that many regions of the world look to the Inuit of Nunavut as custodians of one of the most fragile environments in the world.

We must have an Environmental Policy to state to government and the world that for our own land Inuit will be heard. We need an Environment Policy to explain how Inuit expect their environment to be cared for, said NTI 1st Vice President James Eetoolook.

Over the next few months NTI and the Regional Inuit Associations will work together to produce an Environmental Policy in time for their Board meetings in May 2004.

For further information:

Leevede Atagoyuk
Assistant Director of Communications
Tel: (867) 975-4921
Fax: (867) 975-4943 Neida Gonzalez
Senior Policy Advisor