Salon Rouge, 1983: A Historic Exchange

The following exchange between Eliyassie Sallualuk, then ITN representative, and René Lévesque, then Premier of Quebec, took place in 1983 at the Salon Rouge of the Quebec National Assembly, the same room where the Agreement in Principle (AIP) for the creation of the Nunavik Regional Government was signed on December 5, 2007.

“Eliyassie Sallualuk: If all exisitng groups of Nouveau-Québec decide to work together for the creation of such a government, could you tell them: OK, let’s go?

René Lévesque: My answer is yes. (...) It is quite simple: if the Inuit unify their approaches in the way of an autonomy within Québec, in order to have better management of their affairs, to pass laws in fields that concern them directly, to organize their life, we would be ready at once to discuss that with them and to accept this consideration. We could negotiate from this base whenever they want. (...) We would be ready anytime but it is up to them to decide.”

Parliamentary Commission of the Quebec National Assembly, November 23, 1983

  • January 24, 2008
  • Webmaster

The Neville-Robitaille Report

Here we introduce yet another piece of history, which sheds light on how Nunavik has come to be where it is today.

The Neville-Robitaille Report: Background Info
The Neville-Robitaille Report: Observations
The Neville-Robitaille Report: Recommendations
The Neville-Robitaille Report: Conclusions
Meetings in Kuujjuaraapik: A Summary

  • April 3, 2006
  • Webmaster

Historical Overview

The struggle for self-government by the Inuit of Nunavik traces its origins to the first visits to the region by Europeans.

At the time, Inuit were clearly a self-governing society, and they were in control of their resources, their day-to day lives, and their destiny. However, unbeknownst to them, the European explorers were laying claim to their land and vast tracks of what is now Canada on behalf of the King of England. This territory became known as Rupert's Land, the control of which was handed over to the Hudson's Bay Company. Many years later, much of this area was transferred to the newly constituted Dominion of Canada, and became known as the Northwest Territories. A few more decades passed and the area that is now known as Nunavik was added to the Province of Quebec in what is known as the 1912 Extensions Act.

  • January 22, 2005
  • Nunavik newsletter

The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement

The Northern Quebec Inuit Association quickly implicated itself in the negotiations of a land claims agreement brought on by the hydro-dam development. The fledging association employed the negotiations to pursue its original objective of establishing some sort of regional government andfurnishing Inuit with real decisionmaking powers.

However, at the time, Quebec was unsure about...

  • January 21, 2005
  • Nunavik newsletter

A New Round of Negotiations

The Quebec Government had held hearings at the National Assembly in
1983, whereby in response to various presentations at the Commission,
then Premier René Lévesque invited the Inuit of Nunavik to come
together to develop and submit proposals for new self-government
arrangements for their region.

  • January 19, 2005
  • Nunavik newsletter

The Nunavik Commission Approach

Efforts to negotiate new governmental arrangements began anew at a meeting between the Makivik President Zebedee Nungak and Premier Lucien Bouchard in June 1997. The two leaders mused the possibility of restarting the negotiations, and the idea of adopting a commission approach to make headway on this issue was discussed between them.

  • January 18, 2005
  • Nunavik newsletter

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The Nunavik negotiating team