An amalgam of Inuit organizations was formed tonight to get better contracting deals with the federal government.
“We need to be prepared,” said Inuvialuit Regional Corporation’s Duane Smith at the inaugural Inuit super lobby in Ottawa Wednesday evening.
“Shipping is the big ticket item. Bringing fuel from somewhere.” says Smith. “It creates a unity among the Canadian Inuit organizations in enhancing the intensity of meeting our combined objectives.”
Smith said the other amalgamation deal – Air North and Canadian North – was close. “We hope it will be a reality and go through the minister’s process. We hope they will see it’s of value.”
Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson called the occasion “auspicious” likening it to other Indigenous groups in Canada organizing for shared geographic, social and economic interests.
“We’ve got Eagle Spirit pipeline group which has 20 first nations in British Columbia, but the Inuit are not organized in the same way and It’s an amazing achievement when you think of the area that’s covered. By my calculations, it’s about 40 per cent of Canada.”
– Jason Unrau