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July 2019 Message from the Chair

This message will be updated at quarterly intervals alongside the IRC Board Summary Newsletter.

Please check back often for a new message and update from the chair. 


 

Aaqana Inuvialuit,

I would like to commend all Inuvialuit graduating from their educational institutions as well as their families and communities for continued support. To all Inuvialuit graduates, we look forward to working with you in whatever field of work you choose. Inuvialuit Day 35 Year Anniversary celebration means that we need to honour those who made it possible. One way we have agreed to recognize this ongoing work is through the continuation of the Wallace Goose awards.

At the last regular meeting of the IRC Board, the Board considered and recognized that 2019 is the 35th year of the signing of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. Considering the 35th year celebration, the Board agreed to provide nominations of Wallace Goose Award Recipients from their respective communities. The Wallace Goose Awards were first given in 1986 to recognize individuals for their contribution to the advancement of Inuvialuit culture and language. The award is named after Mr. Wallace Goose, an Inuvialuk Elder who was the first Chair of the Inuvialuit Elders Committee and who dedicated his life towards the establishment of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. He gave unselfishly to assist in the formation of an Inuvialuit Elders Committee and was also involved in the Inuvialuit Social Development Program.

As we mark 35 years since the IFA with celebrations, we will also continue to encourage all to read and know this document so we can best meet and push for its ongoing implementation with Canada, and for all beneficiaries.

On a Federal level, we can celebrate some incremental progress in recognition of Indigenous language accorded in Bill-91. It will require more obligation and concerted action to revitalize Inuvialuktun, but we applaud the beginning. Basic provisions in Bill-92 add respectfully to the work IRC has been doing for 35 years in support of communities, families and children in care.

Examples of progress show what can be achieved with codevelopment and cooperative dialogue. Balanced approaches and recognition of Regional needs for self determination is vital.

We now call upon those seeking leadership in Territorial and Federal elections to step up to meet the challenges while showing real understanding of the Arctic realities, including feasible plans for necessary infrastructure investment, improvements to our health and education systems and housing conditions, and opportunities for our youth.

Even as I’ve had to express my regrets in attending the Regional Elders Gathering, I was glad to hear of the opportunity to consult with elders from all 6 communities on a range of important topics, and will personally look forward to reading the report and outcomes of this event as we advocate for and move forward on many shared topics of concern.

Finally, I would like to express my personal condolences in the loss of our loved ones over the last few months.

Taima. Quyanainni! Koana! Quyanaqpak!

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation