Mr. Speaker, when we celebrate our territorial holiday this year, we will mark three decades since the Nunavut Agreement Act and the Nunavut Act passed in Parliament on July 9, 1993.
On that day, the Crown recognized Nunavut Inuit harvesting rights and land and resource management rights over 1.9 million square kilometres of Canada’s Arctic. Canada also formally transferred ownership of 351,000 square kilometres of land to Inuit.
Mr. Speaker, our land claim is with us every day. It determines the acts of government, the relationship between government and Inuit, and the role we play in protecting our land, water, and wildlife.
Today, I wish to recognize Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated for its role in the creation of our territory and the implementation of the Nunavut Agreement. Katujjiluta celebrates the partnership of government and Inuit organizations.
Next year, on April 1st, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Nunavut as a territory with its own public government – a key milestone for the Nunavut Agreement and Canada’s constitutional history.
Mr. Speaker, this Nunavut Day, on the 30th anniversary of the historic signing of the Nunavut Agreement, I invite all Nunavummiut to join me in celebrating our culture, our languages, and the resilience of our communities.
We will remember the strong leaders who negotiated for our territory, and look forward to a future time when our government has full authority over the administration of this land – our land – that we call home.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.