What Is The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement
On the night of December 7, 1989, a meeting was held on Parliament Hill between Inuit leaders, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the GNWT to conclude the final questions related to the Nunavut AIP land claim. In preparation for the meeting, the Minister had written to the territory government asking for assistance in defining a process and timetable for a decision on Nunavut. At the meeting, GNWT and TFN agreed to develop, within six months of the IPA, a procedure for creating Nunavut outside the foe-la claim agreement, in accordance with the 1987 Iqaluit Agreement, including the requirement for a territorial-scale referendum at the border. The commitment was set out in section 4 of the fundamental law AIP, confirming the principled support of the three parties for the rapid creation of Nunavut. Article 4 reached agreement on the remaining legal issues. However, self-preservation dictated that the federal claims team remained highly agnostic in the creation of Nunavut. If we proposed that the claim could not be resolved without Nunavut, or if we invited a dialogue on how the claim package might be different with Nunavut, we risked being put on hold until the end of the political development process. Our only option was to keep our heads down and keep Dener with the land agreement in the hope that it could be approved without Nunavut, or that it would ultimately trigger a decision on Nunavut. In 1982, a referendum was held in the Northwest Territories to test public support for the division. A small majority of participating voters approved of the concept.
The Constitutional Alliance was created, made up of members of the NWT Legislative Assembly and representatives of Aboriginal organizations, to follow the initiative. It created two subgroups, the Western Constitutional Forum and the Nunavut Constitutional Forum. In 1987, they negotiated the Iqaluit Agreement, which proposed to support the border between Inuit land claim and land rights to the Dene-Métis and Inuvialuit and to allow the border through a plebiscite. The Inuit and Dene-Métis, however, were unable to agree on a line between their claims. As a result, the agreement was not implemented and the two constitutional forums and the constitutional alliance were dissolved. Some of the Inuit who initiated the Inuit land claims “Movement” in the 1970s and the Nunavut Project met for the first time in Churchill during a period of national and international fermentation that led to Lyndon Johnson`s Great Society and Pierre Elliott Trudeau`s “Just Society.” Some of the most difficult debates took place within DIAND between the Landclaims negotiating team and the Northern Program. Northern Program was responsible for the country`s land and resource management activities in the NWT. She was also responsible for the political development process in the territories. Inuit proposals to transfer much of the northern program`s authority and land and resource management to Nunavut-based co-management councils with guaranteed Inuit membership were seen as creating regulatory complexity and undermining the federal government`s ability to manage northern resources.