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Opinion

Don’t squander the chance for Arctic Policy Framework to be a gamechanger for Inuit

By Natan Obed      

For too long, Inuit have suffered from incremental change that ultimately led to the management of poverty, rather than its elimination.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett announced in November, along with her cabinet colleagues, that a new Arctic Policy Framework would guide the federal government’s northern priorities until 2030. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Inuit welcomed the Government of Canada’s announcement in December 2016 that it would co-develop a new Arctic Policy Framework (APF) with Inuit, replacing Canada’s 2009 Northern Strategy and the 2010 Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy. The inclusion of Inuit in the announcement as co-development partners signalled that there could be a potential shift by the Government of Canada from a paternalistic and colonial approach to developing and implementing Arctic policy to one that respects Inuit self-determination and is inclusive of the priorities identified by the region’s majority Inuit population.

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