Media Centre

NTI to Host Contaminants Workshop in Iqaluit

NR 05-06 ENV ENG Contaminants Workshop.doc

(February 14, 2005 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. 1st Vice-President James Eetoolook announced today that an environmental workshop will begin tomorrow in Iqaluit at the Association des francophone du Nunavut Building.

Called Contaminants in Nunavut: Inuit Capacity-Building Workshop, the event will bring together a group of more than 40 environmental experts, including Inuit Elders from Nunavut, to discuss issues relating to contaminants and human or environmental health in Nunavut. Representatives from NTI, Regional Inuit Associations, Hunters and Trappers Organizations, Wildlife Officers, Community Health Representatives and technical experts will all participate in the workshop. Students from the Environmental Technology Program at Nunavut Arctic College are also invited to participate in the proceedings.

A large group of experts with different experiences will sit around the table and talk about their research and perspectives on contaminants and the environment. This is an important meeting because this is the first time some of this information will be communicated to Inuit, and it is the first time Inuit will have the opportunity to communicate their knowledge to the technical researchers, said Eetoolook.

Eetoolook also said the results of a 2003 environmental health survey will be discussed throughout the workshop. The survey was conducted in Canada’s four Inuit regions and in the Yukon, and was designed to ascertain what kind of information Inuit and Yukon communities want to know about the environment, contaminants and the potential impact on their health.

These kinds of workshops allow Inuit experts and western scientists to make connections with each other while providing them with the opportunity to share their knowledge. This leads to a more balanced view of our environment and the effect contaminants may be having on our lives, said Eetoolook.

The three-day workshop is funded through the Government of Canada’s Northern Contaminants Program.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Cell: (867) 975-1337
Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006