Media Centre

NTI Pressure Leads to Federal Government Increase in Funding for IPGs

NR 07-23 IPG ENG IPG Funding Increased.doc

(November 20, 2007 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak today reacted to news that funding levels for the Institutions of Public Government have been increased by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

NTI has pushed the Government of Canada to commit to increased funding levels for the IPGS since implementation contract negotiations for the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement began in 2001. The federal government later unilaterally broke off those negotiations, and also rejected NTI’s requests for arbitration, one of the many issues obliging NTI to start a major lawsuit to enforce full and fair implementation of the NLCA.

NTI is pleased to see the IPGs, and especially the Hunters and Trappers Organizations, finally get equipped with badly needed additional funding, said Kaludjak. Although all IPGs have operated with substandard funding for considerable time, HTOs have been particularly hurt because they’ve lacked the funds to employ even a single full-time employee.

While the news is welcome, it appears to still fall short of the realistic amount of money the IPGs need to be able to function at full capacity. The new levels are based on discussions that took place in 2005, and given the passage of time and an ever-changing development and regulatory environment in Nunavut, NTI plans to meet with the IPGs to discuss these shortfalls.

NTI Chief Negotiator Charlie Evalik said it was unclear whether the funding would be retroactive January, 2006, despite earlier assurances given to NTI by DIAND officials.

Though the money is a step in the right direction, NTI will continue to forge ahead with our lawsuit against the Government of Canada for breach of contract, said Evalik. NTI launched the lawsuit in December, 2006. This is a perfect example of why our actions were necessary and appropriate, and NTI will continue to assert, in every way needed, the Inuit right to an effective resources management system in Nunavut.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914 Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006