(May 4, 2015 – Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) President Cathy Towtongie today announced that a settlement agreement has been reached by all parties in NTI’s lawsuit against the Crown (Government of Canada) for failure to implement various promises made in the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA). A number of the breaches of the NLCA go back to 1993. The settlement agreement both resolves the lawsuit and provides for going forward positively on a number of key implementation issues. The settlement agreement was initialed by officials representing NTI, the Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut (GN) on March 5, 2015, was signed by President Towtongie, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and GN Premier Peter Taptuna in a signing ceremony today in Iqaluit.
The settlement agreement comes into effect immediately. The lawsuit that was launched in December 2006 in the Nunavut Court of Justice will be formally terminated.
Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, NTI will receive, among other things, the amount of $255.5 million in compensation from the Government of Canada. NTI has committed to spend the major part of the money on providing training for Inuit employment. The Government of Canada also agreed to carry out an extensive new labour force analysis in Nunavut, which will provide valuable information on the best ways to achieve government employment that is fully representative of the Inuit population in Nunavut (approximately 85 per cent).
Under the settlement agreement, NLCA Article 38 will be replaced by a new dispute resolution process which provides for informal discussion, negotiation, mediation and allows, as a last stage, a party to go to arbitration without the necessity of having other parties’ consent, as was previously the case.
The Government of Canada also agreed to establish a Nunavut-specific NLCA Article 24 contracting policy to be completed within the next two years.
“NTI negotiated these favourable outcomes for Inuit through this settlement agreement. At the same time, NTI avoided the additional costs, delays and uncertainty inherent in a trial, and the potential for appeal. NTI hopes that these commitments will open a new chapter in its relationships with the Government of Canada and the GN, and that Inuit will be able to further take advantage of the promises contained in the NLCA,” said President Towtongie.
“Our Government remains focused on jobs, growth and economic prosperity for all Canadians. Today’s signing ceremony is a clear demonstration of our Government’s commitment to moving forward and working with our partners to implement the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement so that ultimately, we can unlock new economic opportunities and create jobs for Nunavummiut,” said Minister Valcourt.
“We are pleased the settlement has been finalized, and are committed to working with NTI in advancing initiatives that further support training of Inuit within the GN Public Service, as outlined in Article 23 of the NLCA,” said Premier Taptuna.
For more details on the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement please go to NTI’s website at www.tunngavik.com
Final Settlement Agreement Signed (PDF)
Plain Language Settlement Agreement – English (PDF)
Plain Language Settlement Agreement – Inuktitut (PDF)
NTI President Speaking Notes – English (PDF)
NTI President Speaking Notes – Inuktitut (PDF)
For further information:
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914 Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Director of Communications
Government of Nunavut