When the government of the day began developments in organizing the disorganized, they really didn't know and understand that the Indigenous communities were already moving forward in their governance.
Our people knew what it was like to deal with families and extended families in fairness and transparency. There really wasn't any room for prolonged arguments in how the alpha male and alpha female came up with their decisions.
The explanation was brought forward to the group, there was some discussion and then the plan of action was implemented.
Today there is a whole new approach by way of saying we have a procedure to follow.
Bring your ideas to this individual, he/she will bring this to the working group or committee, it will then come to the committee as a whole where further discussions will take place for a final decision. We all know that this process could take days and weeks or even months in ensuring that everything is politically correct.
While going through this step-by-step cycle, the original thought or intent could change the direction to accommodate a compromise. There are some people out there that see a shortcut simply to reduce time and effort and expenditure on a program or service.
To make a long painful process shorter we have endured the colonial system in governance and are now asked to redefine our existence and sovereignty within the scheme of assimilation and colonialism.
If I were to be asked who I am I would respond by saying I am a Canadian of Inuvialuit descent. That does not make me a foreigner, I'm just on the other side of an imaginary line.
My traditions and culture are not foreign to my current place of living; I respect others, relationships and care for people; foster good spirits by being open, welcoming and inclusive; serve and provide for family and or/community; I continue under consensus; I continue to develop skills through practice, effort and actions; work with others for a common cause; I adapt through innovation and resourcefulness and respect and care for the land, animals and the environment. Our inherent traits make us who we are.
I am proud to be Canadian but more so as Inuvialuit.