NunatuKavut Community Council extremely disappointed in Canada’s UNDA Action Plan
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, June 22, 2023 – The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) today issued the following statement in response to the Government of Canada’s official release of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDA) Action Plan on June 21:
“Canada adopted UNDRIP in 2016, purportedly as a positive step towards reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, including acknowledging the rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination. Consequently, Canada developed an action plan to advance the implementation of UNDA. The plan, however, does not reflect NunatuKavut Inuit nor appreciate our ongoing relationship with Canada. NCC has a rights-based agreement with Canada around our communal fishery, we were included in the 2017 residential schools apology by Prime Minister Trudeau, we were actively involved in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and we continue to be engaged in negotiations through the Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination (RIRSD) process that Canada welcomed us into in 2018.
Furthermore, NCC received funding from the Department of Justice and worked with integrity to submit our own report with findings and recommendations on the development of Canada’s action plan that would positively impact NunatuKavut Inuit. Upon review of the UNDA action plan, we are extremely disappointed to see the action plan perpetuates a prejudicial and already faulty “distinctions-based” approach by Canada. Under the Inuit Priorities chapter of the action plan, for example, it only speaks to submissions made by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and its four regional organizations. NCC has raised our very deep concerns with this approach and, while we have been assured by Canada that they remain committed to our nation-to-nation relationship, we remind Canada that our knowledge and experiences, our work and vision for the future must be reflected and respected in the action plan.
Canada acknowledges that it is their own policies and legislation that have contributed to the dire realities that Indigenous peoples face today, including the impact on relationships between Indigenous peoples in this country. We see this harm playing out in our own communities today. Additionally, in discussions with departmental officials, there was recognition that the action plan was hastily developed with concerns being raised not just by NCC, but other Indigenous people, including other Inuit, across Canada. Yet they insist on endorsing a flawed document that further perpetuates colonial injustices, particularly those that facilitate lateral violence between Indigenous peoples and groups, which we are experiencing firsthand.
We call upon the Government of Canada to do what is right and immediately address the concerns being raised by NCC regarding the UNDA action plan. Canada should amend the action plan to include NunatuKavut Inuit to reflect our current reality and relationship with Canada and support our inherent right to self-determination and self-government. NCC also calls on Canada to reinvigorate and to advance our bilateral talks at the RIRSD table. Anything less is antithetical to the spirit and intent of UNDRIP, the UNDA and, ultimately, the Honour of the Crown.”
To learn more about NCC and NunatuKavut Inuit, please visit our website at www.nunatukavut.ca and we invite you to check out our new Story Map page which helps tell our story. Please also join in the conversation at facebook.com/nunatuKavut and Twitter @nunatuKavut.
NCC Media Contact:
Director of Communications