Following Nunavut Tunngavik’s discovery of a historic, secret federal cabinet document that instructed Canada’s negotiators not to make guarantees for use of the Inuit language in Nunavut, Ottawa is insisting that that 1990 document is “not reflective of the current Government of Canada’s priorities.”
“The Government of Canada is committed to renewing the Inuit-Crown relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. We work together with Inuit on this journey of reconciliation to create a better future, one built on respect and partnership,” reads a statement sent by Tim Kenny, media relations for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC).
“Since 2017, Inuit leaders and federal ministers have been working together to renew the Inuit-Crown relationship, advance reconciliation, and create prosperity for all Inuit. The work of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee is a reflection of our shared commitment to a renewed Inuit-Crown relationship and to reconciliation based on recognition and respect,” the federal government’s statement continues. “Important work has been done over the past year notably the signing of the Inuit Crown Declaration, the Nanilavut Apology, the Qikiqtani Truth Commission Apology and the Inuit Nunangat Housing Strategy. We continue to work in partnership with Inuit to recognize their rights and improve health, education and economic outcomes. The collaboration and cooperation between the Government of Canada, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and Inuit Land Claims Organizations and governments will continue to be fundamental to advancing the journey of reconciliation.”
When asked about increasing funding to help advance the use of Inuktut, as NTI has requested, the Department of Canadian Heritage pointed to the Government of Canada’s $333.7-million in funding over five years towards the Indigenous Languages Act to “reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages in Canada.”
Read about NTI’s perspective on the secret historic cabinet document here: