The signing of a devolution agreement in principle capped a busy week of federal announcements in the capital this morning.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. president Aluki Kotierk , Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett and Premier Joe Savikataaq signed an agreement in principle for the devolution of powers to the territory in Iqaluit Aug. 15. Federal negotiator Fred Caron and Government of Nunavut negotiator Simon Awa look on.
Michele LeTourneau/NNSL photo

“Today’s a good day,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq.

“I have to admit I didn’t think this day would come so quickly. It’s proof how hard our devolution team has worked.”

Savikataaq, along with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. president Aluki Kotierk, and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett formalized the fourteen-chapter document five years in the making with their signatures.

Devolution negotiations began in 2014, and were supposed to take a year to reach an agreement in principle. After an interruption in 2015 due to a change in the federal party in power, negotiations resumed in 2016 with a new federal negotiator, Fred Caron.

Government of Nunavut negotiator Simon Awa emceed the early morning event.

Final negotiations for the transfer of power from the feds to the territory have now begun, and will include offshore resources. That process is expected to take five years.

More to come.

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