Inuit want to go to Greenland without passport
- Inuit want to go to Greenland without passport
Last Updated Sat, 06 Jul 2002 19:37:08
IQALUIT - Canada and Denmark should work together to ease restrictions on travel to Greenland, say Nunavut's Inuit.
For years, Inuit living in the northern part of the territory have travelled to the Danish island without a passport. Until recently communities such as Pond Inlet, Resolute and Grise Fiord maintained close ties through cultural visits.
But travel regulations changed with the development of the European Union, and now people in Nunavut need passports to visit a land they share a common past with.
Danish officials say tighter controls are needed at the border because entry into Greenland now means access to most of Europe.
Pond Inlet resident Jake Anaviapik says most people he knows won't travel to Greenland any more because they don't have the necessary passports.
Anaviapik says language barriers and the remoteness of northern communities makes acquiring a passport difficult.
People living in Greenland can still travel to Canada without one, and Grise Fiord resident Larry Audlalluk says Nunavut Inuit should be exempted from the rules.
"I think our government could do well to communicate with each other to make some exceptions," Audlalluk says.
Officials are aware the new passport requirement is causing problems for Inuit communities, according to a spokesman at Denmark's embassy in Ottawa.
Embassy officials will meet with the Canadian government next week to try to find a solution, the spokesman says.
Written by CBC News Online staff
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