Media statement: NunatuKavut Community Council calls for greater engagement and cooperation among Indigenous groups
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, July 28, 2020 – NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) President Todd Russell today issued the following statement:
“We were disappointed to hear of Nunatsiavut Government’s decision to apply for intervener status as part of the Innu Nation’s Federal Court application, which asks the court to quash the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Canada and the NunatuKavut Community Council on the Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination (RIRSD).
The RIRSD process is part of a modern federal approach that explores new ways of working together to advance the recognition of Indigenous rights and self-determination. While the MOU is a significant milestone that was reached after nearly 30 years of exhaustive and extensive work, it is an early step in the RIRSD process. The MOU itself sets out how NCC will work with Canada to develop a joint mandate(s) for future negotiations. It is about NCC moving forward to achieve our vision and to act on priorities that advance the health and well-being of our people. It is also about positive change, which protects and enhances our Inuit culture and way of life for many generations to come. The MOU and RIRSD process respects the rights and interests of all Indigenous peoples. It in no way, shape or form diminishes or negatively impacts Nunatsiavut beneficiaries, its agreement or that of any other Indigenous peoples.
The MOU clearly contemplates discussions of overlap with other Indigenous groups in Labrador. Overlap discussions are a common feature of processes where multiple overlapping interests exist. Overlapping “claims” speak to the historical and modern reality of our respective peoples’ land use and cultural expression. NCC has indicated time and again openness to sitting at a table with all Indigenous groups in Labrador to share information and discuss issues in a respectful way. We reiterate that call again today and emphasize the great possibilities and how we can all be strengthened when we work together.”
NCC Media Contact:
Director of Communications