(October 19, 2005 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak today announced that NTI has started the process of compiling a list of names of Nunavut Beneficiaries who attended residential schools.
To compile the list, NTI will send forms next week to Nunavummiut across the territory. Community Liaison Officers in all Nunavut communities are assisting NTI with the collection of this critical information by assisting Inuit with filling out the forms. NTI has already received several calls from Beneficiaries, and NTI employees are at work on this issue.
We are asking Inuit who attended residential schools to complete the form we have mailed to them, and to return it to NTI or to their Community Liaison Officer by Nov. 18, 2005, said Kaludjak. We want to ensure that Inuit who attended residential schools are treated fairly during the compensation process launched this year by the Government of Canada, he said.
The Government of Canada signed a political accord with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) on May 30, 2005 to resolve the First Nations residential school legacy. NTI is working closely with Makivik Corporation, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) and AFN on this extremely important process.
NTI, like Makivik Corporation and IRC, is taking legal action against the Government of Canada to make sure Inuit are included in this process and receive the same compensation First Nations people may receive for loss of culture, language, and family environment, and for abuses that may have been experienced at residential school.
NTI decided to proceed with its legal action for two reasons. First, NTI is better able to represent the interests of Inuit in negotiations with Canada than southern-based class action lawyers. Second, if the negotiations with Canada are successful, the NTI legal claim is an efficient way to compensate Inuit who qualify under the resulting settlement.
It is important to note that NTI’s legal action does not interfere with the rights of Nunavut Beneficiaries who have been pursuing legal claims against Canada over the last decade. Those Beneficiaries may continue to pursue their own claims.