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3171#IdleNoMore NTI Representatives Meet with Attawapiskat Chief Spence

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  • George Lessard
    Jan 10, 2013
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      Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Cathy Towtongie, Vice-President Jack
      Anawak and Chief Executive Officer James T. Arreak met last night with
      Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence at her camp on Victoria Island near
      Towtongie said the NTI delegation felt it was important to meet with Chief
      Spence to express support and discuss the commonalities Inuit and other
      Aboriginal Canadians share in respect to the failure of the Government of
      Canada to live up to its obligations under land claims agreements and
      modern treaties. Chief Spence has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 11 in
      a bid to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about treaty issues. That
      meeting is scheduled to take place Jan. 11 between First Nations leaders
      and federal representatives. Chief Spence has since decided not to attend
      that meeting.
      �In Nunavut, and across Canada, Inuit and other Aboriginal Peoples face
      similar struggles with inadequate education, housing, health care, food
      security and poverty, despite the fact that many of us have signed land
      claims agreements with the federal government in an attempt to reclaim and
      advance our economic and cultural self-sufficiency,� said Towtongie. �The
      intention of these agreements is to close the gaps in fundamental
      well-being between Aboriginal Peoples and non-Aboriginal Canadians. The
      Government of Canada has failed to implement and respect these agreements
      in many respects, which is a major factor in the perpetuation of poverty
      and other disadvantages facing Aboriginal Canadians.�
      Towtongie said the Government of Canada breached the Nunavut Land Claims
      Agreement and forced NTI to launch a lawsuit in 2006 against the Crown for
      its failure to live up to the obligations they promised to fulfill in that
      agreement. Towtongie said NTI recognizes the importance of the upcoming
      meeting with the prime minister on Jan. 11, and urged the Government of
      Canada to take advantage of that meeting to commit to a thorough and
      overdue review of federal policies that impair the full and fair
      implementation of land claims agreements and modern treaties across Canada.

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