Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic December 05, 2013 - 5:57 pm

Photo: Inuit lose a friend — Nelson Mandela

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Inuit lost a friend Dec. 5 when Nobel prize-winner and South African leader Nelson Mandela died in South Africa at the age of 95. Here, in 2000, Mandela meets with a delegation of Inuit and northerners, who include Sheila Watt-Cloutier, to Mandela's left, and former Nunavut premier Paul Okalik, now Nunavut's justice minister, to his right. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference received support from Mandela for its efforts aimed at reducing pollution from persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic. The 2000 meeting with Mandela took place during the final negotiations for a landmark United Nations treaty to reduce global POPs emissions. Previously, Mandela had also visited Iqaluit on Canada Day 1990. In his book,
Inuit lost a friend Dec. 5 when Nobel prize-winner and South African leader Nelson Mandela died in South Africa at the age of 95. Here, in 2000, Mandela meets with a delegation of Inuit and northerners, who include Sheila Watt-Cloutier, to Mandela's left, and former Nunavut premier Paul Okalik, now Nunavut's justice minister, to his right. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference received support from Mandela for its efforts aimed at reducing pollution from persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic. The 2000 meeting with Mandela took place during the final negotiations for a landmark United Nations treaty to reduce global POPs emissions. Previously, Mandela had also visited Iqaluit on Canada Day 1990. In his book, "Long Walk to Freedom," Mandela made reference to his long walk across the tarmac of the Iqaluit airport. "As I was strolling on the tarmac, I noticed some people standing at the airport fence," he wrote. "I asked a Canadian official who they were. ‘Eskimos,' he said. In my 72 years on earth I had never met an Innuit (sic) and never imagined that I would." In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: "All of Canada mourns with the family of Nelson Mandela and the citizens of South Africa. The world has lost one of its great moral leaders." Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq said in a tweet that "the world has suffered a great loss. Nelson Mandela was a visionary leader and inspiration to all." (FILE PHOTO)

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