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Inuit Partnership Accord
|Date:||31 May 2005|
|Sub Category:||Political Accord (Canada)|
|Location:||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
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|Subject Matter:||Collaboration / Partnership | Cultural Heritage | Economic Development|
|The Inuit Partnership Accord (the Accord) was entered into by the Inuit of Canada as represented by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada as represented by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The Accord was signed on 31 March 2005. In addition to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the President of the ITK, the signatories to the Accord are the Presidents of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation, Labrador Inuit Corporation, Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association, Inuit Circumpolar Conference Canada, and the National Inuit Youth Council. |
The Accord is of a political nature and commences by acknowledging the constitutional recognition of the Inuit as an Aboriginal people of Canada living in Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Nunavik, Nunavut, the Inuvialuit Settlement region and centres of southern Canada. It further acknowledges the signing and ratification of comprehensive land claims agreements and the importance of their implementation.
The preamble paragraphs also acknowledge the contribution of the Inuit to Canada's history, identity, national unity and sovereignty in the Arctic. Further, they note the assertion of the Canadian Government's commitment to improve the standard of living and participation in national life of Canada's Aboriginal peoples, specifically in the 2 February 2004 'Speech from the Throne' and previously at the 'Canada-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable' of 19 April 2004. The preamble further acknowledges the commitment to a strengthened relationship with the Inuit of Canada and notes the significance of the establishment of an Inuit Relations Secretariat as the 'focal point' for this renewed relationship. The Accord recognises that the establishment of an Action Plan in the context of the Accord is the best way of achieving progress on matters of shared priority between the parties.
|The Accord sets out five principles to which the Inuit and the Crown agree. These recognise the constitutionally enshrined status of the Inuit as Aboriginal people of Canada; the necessity for taking into consideration the demographic, socio-economic and geographic realities of the Inuit in the design of government institutions and the delivery of programs and services; the importance of the sustained involvement of Inuit in policy development; the recognition by government of the representative role of Inuit institutions and organisations; and the importance of a constructive partnership based on a shared commitment to evidence-based discussions and decision-making and the participation by Inuit in decisions affecting Inuit rights and interests. |
The Accord sets out five longer term objectives. These are designed to ensure that the Crown and its departments and agencies develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature of Inuit rights, interests and aspirations. The objectives also set out a commitment to support Inuit communities to become self-reliant, to assist with Inuit efforts in dealing with challenges and opportunities of an international nature and to increase public awareness and understanding of the Inuit as 'a distinct, unified and dynamic people.'
Six shorter term objectives are also identified in the Accord. These include concluding within 60 days of the signing of the Accord, a mutually agreed Workplan for the Inuit Relations Secretariat and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the establishment of governance structures to improve the socio-economic, cultural and environmental circumstances of the Inuit, and the development and delivery of Inuit-specific policies, programs and services.
The Accord also foresees the development of a 'Canada-Inuit Action Plan' which will reflect the objectives of the Accord. This is to be negotiated by 31 March 2006 and appended to the Accord upon completion. This Action Plan will be replaced by further Action Plans, as required, every three to five years. The progress and implementation of the Action Plan is to be monitored by a joint steering committee composed of Ministerial and ITK President appointed officials. Working groups and special project teams may be constituted as directed by the steering committee, in order to achieve tangible results. An annual public report will be prepared by the steering committee and submitted to the Minister and the President of the ITK who will meet on an annual basis to discuss the report and determine future priorities relevant to the Action Plan.
The Accord sets out three objectives regarding the Inuit Relations Secretariat. The Secretariat is to provide an important contact point on Inuit matters for departments and agencies of the Government. It will also support action plans on Inuit issues and facilitate collaboration across federal agencies and the provinces and territories in developing governance structures.
Finally, the document articulates the vision of the Accord as 'a living document reflecting a renewed relationship and strengthened partnership between the Government of Canada and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.' Duly ratified amendments may be incorporated into the Accord on the agreement of the Minister and the President of the ITK. It may be terminated by consent of either or both the Minister and the President of the ITK. The Partnership Accord does not create any legal obligations which are binding on the parties.
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