Charlie Watt

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The Honourable
Charlie Watt
Senator for Inkerman, Quebec
Assumed office
January 16, 1984
Nominated by Pierre Trudeau
Appointed by Edward Schreyer
Preceded by Maurice Lamontagne
Personal details
Born (1944-06-29) June 29, 1944 (age 73)
Fort Chimo, Kuujjuaq, Quebec, Canada
Political party Senate Liberal
Other political
Committees The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans
Website [1]

Charlie Watt (born June 29, 1944) is a Canadian Senator.

A hunter and businessman by profession, Watt is an Inuk and served as Northern officer with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs from 1969 to 1979.

James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (1975)[edit]

At a meeting of representatives from Northern Quebec Inuit communities, held in Inoucdjouac in April 1971,[2] Charlie Watt was elected as one of the six founding directors of the Northern Quebec Inuit Association,[2] incorporated in June 8, 1972,[2] (now the Makivik Corporation).[Notes 1] Although Robert Bourassa was convinced of the viability and economic importance of a massive hydroelectric project on Inuit and Cree traditional lands, since his first meeting, on December 16, 1969, with then, Hydro-Québec president, it was only when Bourassa, became Premier of Quebec on April 29, 1970, that the project was officially introduced in the provincial cabinet in March 1971,[3][4] and announced to the public in April 30, 1971.[5] The James Bay Hydroelectric Development Project ignored the rights of the Inuit and Cree who lived in northern James Bay and northern Quebec.[6] In 1972 the NQIA and the Quebec Association of Indians applied for an injunction to stop the hydro "project of the century" to the Quebec Superior Court.[6] Although the original ruling in their favour was overturned, by 1975 they had successfully negotiated the "first major comprehensive land claims agreement in northern Canada, heralding in a new era in aboriginal land claims."[6] The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA), signed in November 1975, was one of three landmark court decisions that brought about "an important shift in the recognition of the rights of First Nations in Canada."[7]

He has also been active with a number of aboriginal businesses including the Makivik Corporation, Air Inuit, Seaku Fisheries, Uttuulik Leasing, and Kigaq Travel.

Watt served as co-chair of the Inuit Committee on National Issues from 1979 to 1984 and has also served with the Nunavik Constitutional Committee and the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada. Senator Watt also served on the Board of the Circumpolar Chamber of Commerce as one of its first directors. An Officer of the National Order of Quebec (1994), Watt is also the 1997 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now known as the Indspire Awards).

Watt was educated at schools in: Kuujjuaq (Fort Chimo), Quebec; Yellowknife, NWT; Kingston, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Brandon, Manitoba.

He is married to Ida (Epoo), and is father to Donald, Robert, Lisa, Billy, and Charlene.

Watt was appointed to the Senate on January 16, 1984, by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.[8] Appointed at age 39, Watt is the second-youngest person at appointment who is currently serving in the Senate. Senator Charlie Watt represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of Inkerman. He has served in the Senate of Canada since January 16, 1984.


  1. ^ The five other directors were Lazarusie Epoo, Johnny Watt, Jacob Oweetaltuk, Silas Cookie, and Tommy Cain.


  1. ^ "The Hon. Charlie Watt, O.Q". Liberal Senate Forum. 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Taqralik 1974.
  3. ^ Gravel & Vennat 1979, p. 7.
  4. ^ Lacasse 1983.
  5. ^ Gravel & Vennat 1979.
  6. ^ a b c JBNGA & 2010-3.
  7. ^ AANDC 2011.
  8. ^ GC nd.