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Nunavut Tunngavik Annual General Meeting Wraps Up

NR 07-26 AGM ENG AGM Wraps Up.doc

(December 5, 2007 -Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Annual General Meeting members met last week in Rankin Inlet. As well as approving the audited financial statements from the previous fiscal year and adopting the budget for 2008/09, members approved a number of important resolutions, including the Inuit right to education in the Inuit language, sovereignty, stalled Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreements, several wildlife-related issues, and a proposed reorganization of the NTI Board of Directors and AGM members.

The Regional Inuit Association presidents wrote to Education Minister Ed Picco to remind him that the Government of Nunavut is responsible for implementing the Inuit right to education delivered in the Inuit language. The strength and use of Inuit language is threatened by the overwhelming influence of English, and in order to ensure the Inuit language remains strong, the vast majority of the education program must be delivered in the Inuit language at all grade levels, said NTI President Paul Kaludjak.

The resolution passed by members concerning IIBAs expressed disappointment in the federal government for failing to fulfill its obligation under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to complete the IIBA for National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. Though the IIBA was substantially completed in December, 2004, its completion has been delayed by the Government of Canada because it has refused to provide the agreed-upon funding to implement the IIBA.

Through the resolution, our members recommended that Designated Inuit Organizations not spend additional funds on IIBA negotiations, and not support the establishment of any further protected areas in Nunavut until the Government of Canada fulfills its IIBA obligations to Inuit, said Kaludjak.

Members also considered a number of proposed changes to the structure of the NTI Board of Directors and AGM membership. Kaludjak said the primary goal of such restructuring was to heighten efficiency and save money while continuing to represent Inuit.

Resolutions were also unanimously passed calling on airlines to be competitive and keep their travel rates reasonable, and for government to avoid passing on the cost of fuel to Inuit.

Fuel prices in Nunavut are exceedingly high and place a very difficult burden on Inuit in the communities. High fuel prices also interfere with successful economic development in Nunavut, said Kaludjak.

Copies of the resolutions are available from NTI.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 645-2807