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Benefits of Inuit role in directing Arctic shipping highlighted

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  • George Lessard
    Benefits of Inuit role in directing Arctic shipping highlighted [excerpt]
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2009
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      Benefits of Inuit role in directing Arctic shipping highlighted



      The leader of Canada's 50,000 Inuit says the country should strengthen its
      claims to the disputed Northwest Passage by creating a joint Inuit-federal
      "authority" to oversee ship traffic in the Arctic sea route.

      In a presentation on Arctic sovereignty to the House of Commons defence
      committee, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Mary Simon said Thursday that
      such a "creative partnership" between the federal government and Canada's
      original Arctic inhabitants might launch an era of "tackling challenges in
      ways that could be freshly beneficial for Inuit and for Canada as a

      The Canadian Rangers, a federally funded Inuit patrol troop that monitors
      northern outposts, already participates in Arctic search-and-rescue
      operations and in security exercises conducted by the Department of
      National Defence.

      "It might be productive to explore the possibility of a joint
      Inuit/federal government Northwest Passage authority that would offer a
      pro-active regulatory regime against the expected increase in ship
      traffic," Simon said in her presentation. "If we can have a seaway
      authority for the St. Lawrence on a joint Canada-U.S. footing, there is
      room to consider an analogous authority for the Northwest Passage built
      around an Inuit/federal government partnership."
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