Makivik president gives thumbs-up to Aug. 22 meeting with PM
Rankin Inlet meeting marks third time a PM has met with Inuit leaders
Jobie Tukkiapik, president of Makivik Corp., says he’s pleased with the meeting between Inuit leaders and Prime Minister Stephen Harper that took place Aug. 22 in Rankin Inlet.
Tukkiapik talked about Nunavik-specific issues, an Aug. 23 news release from Makivik said.
These issues included the “alarming housing crisis, the rising cost of living and the need for continued support for telecommunication infrastructure.”
Tukkiapik also brought up Nunavik’s exclusion from programs under Canada’s Northern Strategy.
“I am hopeful that this meeting will serve to renew discussions on these important topics and lay a path for progress in ways that will truly benefit families living in Nunavik and all the Inuit regions of the country.
Like ITK, which said the meeting the the “first ever” meeting between a prime minister and Inuit leaders, Makivik called the meeting “the first of its kind.”
But Inuit leaders met in Ottawa with Pierre Trudeau, then the prime minister, in May 1983. The late Enok Obed of Labrador, Nunatsiaq MP Peter Ittinuar, Johnny Peters and Josepi Padlayat of Nunavik, and John Amagoalik and Piita Irniq of Nunavut all attended.
“Ittinuar, William Anderson, Enok Obed and I were chosen by ITC [Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, now Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami] to go to Botswana to attend the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species Conference in Gaborone. When we came back we met with Pierre Trudeau,” Peter Irniq said.
During the 1983 meeting with Trudeau, Inuit leaders discussed constitutional issues.
An even earlier meeting took place in 1957 with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, attended by Singiittuq, Ayaruaq and George Koneak, Irniq said.