(September 12, 2017 – Iqaluit, Nunavut) NTI President Aluki Kotierk today released a report that confirms enormous economic implications from the shortage of Inuit in federal and territorial government work forces in Nunavut.
The report estimates lost wages to Nunavut Inuit in government work forces to be $1.284 billion from 2017-2023. The report also estimates unnecessary costs to governments over the same period to be $519 million.
In today’s terms, Inuit representative government would be approximately 85% across all occupational groupings and grade levels. The Government of Nunavut work force has been stalled at an approximately 50% Inuit participation rate, concentrated at lower pay grades, while Federal Government work force is at even lower level.
Full implementation of Article 23 was an important part of litigation brought by NTI in 2006 and resulted in the out of court settlement in 2015. The settlement provided compensation for lack of Article 23 implementation up until 2015.
“The lack of Inuit representation in government work forces is arguably the single biggest impairment to the ongoing economic well-being of Nunavut Inuit”, said Kotierk.
Kotierk added that the economic losses are only part of the story. “The absence of Inuit representation in government undermines the underlying Nunavut Vision of enhanced Inuit self-determination, and the building of government programs and services fully attuned to Inuit language and culture”, said Kotierk. “No other part of Canada would accept a situation where, for example, 70% of our teachers have to be recruited from outside of Nunavut, and are not expected to have Inuit language skills, values and community insights.”
NTI expressed frustration that a full set of Inuit employment plans, with targets and timelines for expanded Inuit employment, were supposed to have been completed for each federal and territorial department by 1996. These are not yet completed.
“This is unacceptable. We need a radical shift in political attention and will”, said Kotierk.
For further information:
A/Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4941 Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006