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3170#IdleNoMore "Promises made" - Letter from Cathy Towtongie, president, Nunavut Tunngavik

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  • George Lessard
    Jan 9, 2013
      "Promises made - Chief Theresa Spence�s hunger strike focuses attention on
      the Crown�s not keeping faith with the first nations that entered into
      historic treaties with the Crown (First Nations Bringing Treaty-Rights
      Challenge To The Courts � Jan. 8).
      Unfortunately, the track record of broken promises continues in relation to
      aboriginal peoples who are partners with the Crown in modern treaties that
      cover Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada. For example, in 2006, Nunavut Inuit
      were forced to sue the Crown for numerous fundamental breaches of the 1993
      Nunavut Agreement. These breaches involve, among other things, denial of
      economic opportunities, inadequate pre-employment training, and lack of
      environmental monitoring � all critical to Nunavut Inuit achieving greater
      self-sufficiency, a central objective the agreement. Inuit brought this
      lawsuit after the Crown unilaterally withdrew from negotiations, rejected
      offers to arbitrate, and refused to respond to the recommendations of an
      outside conciliator. We have won a summary judgment on one specific breach
      of our agreement, and our litigation continues.
      In our experience of broken promises under our modern treaty, Nunavut Inuit
      are far from alone. Such problems are so prevalent, a coalition uniting all
      modern treaty groups has been established precisely for the purpose of
      having those treaties appropriately honoured. It is time to learn from
      history, rather than repeat its mistakes. Promises made must be promises
      Cathy Towtongie, president, Nunavut Tunngavik

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