Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
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Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI; Inuktitut: Nunavut Tunngavik; Syllabics: ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃ) is the legal representative of the Inuit of Nunavut for the purposes of native treaty rights and treaty negotiation and one of the four regional members that make up the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. NTI continues to play a central role in Nunavut, even after the creation of the Government of Nunavut. As the successor of the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut, which was a signatory of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement on behalf of Inuit, NTI is responsible for ensuring that the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is implemented fully by the Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut and that all parties fulfill their obligations.
NTI is governed by a ten-member board of directors. Three of the directors--the President, the First Vice President and Second Vice President--are elected directly by beneficiaries of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement who are 16 years and older. Six of the directors are the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the three Regional Inuit Associations located in Nunavut. One director is appointed by the Nunavut Trust, the body responsible for holding in trust the monies received from the Government of Canada as part of the settlement of the Nunavut land claim in 1993. The four member Executive consists of the presidents of NTI and the three RIAs.
NTI’s mission is: “Inuit economic, social and cultural well-being through implementation of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.”
Organizationally, NTI consists of ten departments:
- Lands & Resources
- Claim Implementation
- Human Resources
- Business & Economic Development
- Legal Services
- Social & Cultural Development.
For NTI, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is the central structure for identifying policy priorities and directions. This follows two main paths:
- First, policy and program priorities are determined by what Claim obligations, either Inuit or government, have yet to be implemented.
- Second, priorities can stem from the necessity of meeting ongoing Inuit obligations.
NTI has gone through a transformation from the political activist body it began as to an organization with significant responsibilities for administering the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. Nevertheless, it continues as an advocate for the rights of Inuit.
The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement was signed in May 1993 by Inuit and government. Inuit were represented by the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut, which went on to become Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. The Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories signed the NLCA on behalf of the Queen.
Negotiators worked hard to make Inuit rights and benefits clear in the NLCA. The NLCA brings many rights and benefits to Inuit. The NLCA recognizes the contributions of Inuit to Canada’s history, identity and sovereignty in the Arctic.
Once the NLCA was signed and became law in Canada, TFN transformed into NTI. NTI was created to ensure that all 42 Articles of the NLCA were implemented. NTI continues to implement those articles today. NTI also works to protect the rights and benefits of Inuit as outlined in the NLCA.
NTI has an eight-member Board of Directors that guides the organization. The Board of Directors includes the NTI president, vice-president, and the presidents and vice-presidents of the three Regional Inuit Associations. NTI’s president and vice-president each hold office for a four-year term.
NTI also has a five-member executive committee. The president and vice-president of NTI and the presidents of the three RIAs make up the executive committee.
Approximately 75 people work for NTI in Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, Iqaluit and Ottawa. Most of NTI’s employees are Inuit.
NTI’s executive officers, board of directors and employees all work toward ensuring the NLCA is implemented.
NTI plays a lead role in helping Inuit and Inuit organizations understand their rights and obligations under the NLCA. Finding out what the NLCA says is the first step for anyone who wants to use his or her rights or benefits.
Nunavut is a territory with a public government. It is also the Inuit homeland. The NLCA will protect this reality by giving special duties to Inuit organizations like NTI with respect to language, culture and social policy. These duties might be handled directly by NTI or through by Designated Inuit Organizations.
The Government of Nunavut protects the interests of all residents of Nunavut. NTI protects the rights of Inuit in Nunavut.