The agreement begins a five-year process that would end with a final decentralization agreement that would transfer responsibility for Nunavut`s land, water and resources from the Government of Canada to the Government of Nunavut. From left: Aluki Kotierk, President of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.; Carolyn Bennett, Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and Joe Savikataaq, Premier of Nunavut, sign nunavut`s decentralization agreement in principle on Thursday, August 15. (Photo by Kahlan Miron) Although legally unenforceable, the PIP generally contains the main elements of the final decentralization agreement. Simon Awa, Nunavut`s chief decentralization negotiator, said the agreement was the next step toward decentralization. Historically, the federal government has used decentralization as a means of not having to meet its financial responsibilities to Indigenous peoples. The most recent example is Prime Minister Trudeau`s commitment to pay only 80 housing units per year for Nunavut, where there is an immediate need for 3,000 units. The Lands and Resources Devolution Negotiation Protocol (Protocol) was signed in 2008 and outlines Nunavut`s decentralization. The protocol was the first formal step in the decentralization process in Nunavut. The agreement was signed by Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq, Nunavut President Tunngavik Inc. Aluki Kotierk and Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. Elder, political leader and “father of Nunavut” John Amagoalik, who has been an active advocate for Nunavut Inuit since the 1960s, was in principle a witness to the agreement. Kotierk expressed particular support for Chapter 9 of the agreement, which will develop a post-devolution personnel and development strategy in accordance with Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement.
“It`s a good thing to get to this point. When Nunavut was created, Inuit expected them to be government employees. Article 23 (of the Nunavut agreement) provides that there will be a representative workforce (in government), which is why I am particularly pleased that the agreement highlights in principle one of the things, that there will be a personnel strategy,” she said. The Government of the North and the transfer or transfer of responsibilities/powers to the territories has been a long-standing policy objective of the Canadian government….