Media Centre

Terminology Change to Use of Terms Nunavut Agreement and Inuit

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) Acting President James Eetoolook today announced NTI would use the term Nunavut Agreement when referring to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in all future communications. The changes were agreed upon by NTI’s Board of Directors, as well as the members of the annual general meeting in Rankin Inlet last month.

The full title of the 1993 agreement is Agreement Between the Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area and Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada. The term Nunavut Land Claims Agreement does not actually appear in the agreement. Furthermore, the Nunavut Agreement contains many critical promises that involve matters beyond the ownership and management of lands, including Article 4 (creation of Nunavut and Government of Nunavut), Article 23 (Inuit employment in government), Article 24 (government contracting), and Article 32 (Inuit participation in social and cultural policy-making).

In addition, persons enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement will be referred to as Inuit and not as beneficiaries. The term beneficiary is used in the Nunavut Agreement in regards to the Nunavut Trust to describe the recipients of income from the Trust. The term beneficiaries has also been used to describe Inuit in terms of enrolment under the Nunavut Agreement. In future, NTI will use the terms Inuit, Nunavut Inuit or person(s) enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement to properly reflect the authority and rights of Inuit under the Nunavut Agreement, as well as domestic and international law.

“The Nunavut Agreement is the result of two equal parties putting aside unresolved legal issues concerning rights in Nunavut in exchange for a constitutionally protected treaty. Inuit are not passive recipients of benefits. We are very much active participants and decision-makers in the negotiation, design and implementation of the Nunavut Agreement,” said Eetoolook. “We hold a vast variety of rights in the Nunavut Agreement and we use these rights to govern many aspects of the territory.”

To ensure consistency, NTI is asking all designated Inuit organizations, the governments of Nunavut and Canada, media organizations and all other parties to make these important changes in terminology.

For further information:
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated