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Inuit leader to speak about Arctic land claims

Jose Kusugak, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Knatami, will be speaking at Trent on Wednesday, October 9, at 6 p.m. in the Native Studies lounge (Otonabee College).

A leader of substantial national importance, Mr. Kusugak presides over the largest geographic area of Canada. As president of the Inuit Tapiriit Knatami (formerly known as the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada), he is the spokesperson for all of Canada’s Inuit peoples and his talk at Trent will focus on issues of implementing land claims in the Arctic.

"We are the national Inuit organization in Canada, representing the four Inuit regions – Labrador, Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunavut and the Inuvialuit region in the Northwest Territories. Politically, Inuit are united, which is reflected in our name – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – which means ‘Inuit united in Canada,’" writes President Kusugak in an article on the organization’s website (www.itk.ca).

The 42,000 Inuit peoples of Canada have successfully concluded landmark agreements on comprehensive land claims and, to date, have signed three major land claim settlements (Nunavik, Inuvialuit and Nunavut). An agreement has been reached, in principle, on the fourth and final land claim of Labrador. (Click here for the pdf of a map of Inuit regions)

These achievements have reshaped Canada’s north and have placed governance and autonomy back in the hands of its first peoples. That process has created many challenges, and Mr. Kusugak’s discussion at Trent will shed light on some of those issues.

For more information about Mr. Kusugak’s visit, or details about his lecture at Trent, please contact the Native Studies Department at 748-1011, ext. 1466.

Posted October 7, 2002

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Last updated October 9, 2002