The Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) signed the Katujjiqatigiinniq Protocol which outlines the relationship between the GN and NTI.
In the presence of government officials and NTI members, Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq and NTI President Aluki Kotierk signed the document at Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit on Jan. 21, renewing their commitment to work together.
“This is just to reinforce our obligations and our commitment to work together for the betterment of Nunavummiut and Nunavut,” said Savikataaq.
With “one strong voice” the odds “vastly increase” to get what is desired at the federal level, he said.
Kotierk said, “I think being united on issues that are priorities of both government of Nunavut as well as Inuit organizations, we can see the fruition of that. And I think we want to replicate that.”
The GN and NTI will aim to collaborate in order to improve the economic, health, social and cultural well-being of Inuit in the territory. Working together, both organizations hope to share information and utilize resources more efficiently to give Nunavut a stronger voice in wider Canadian and international forums.
The Katujjiqatigiinniq Protocol outlines three shared priorities for the organizations.
First is the to mobilize Inuit identity and culture. This means GN’s programs and services must be in Inuktitut. Inuit must also be employed and empowered within the GN. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit must be reflected in government structures and procedures.
The second priority is to foster the quality of life and well-being for Inuit. This involves building a better economic, social and cultural foundation for Nunavut.
Thirdly, the two organizations hope to ensure Inuit participation in the design and development of policies, programs, services and legislation.
“I think the commitment is that we will meet regularly to talk about the priorities that we have as a territory,” said Kotierk.
Both leaders however, admitted there may be disagreements on issues in the future. To combat differences, the GN and NTI plan to work together and discuss issues in order to reach agreements.
The GN and NTI share a history of working together, including the Clyde River Protocol in 1999, Iqqaanaijaqatigiit in 2004 and Aajiiqatigiinniq in 2011.
When asked why the Katujjiqatigiinniq Protocol is being renewed, Kotierk responded, “It’s a new decade.” This was followed by a loud applause from the GN and NTI members.
Savikataaq answered, “I think the timing is just right. We have a new government now and a new minority government, which seems to be a lot more willing to work with their partners.”