Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Remembers Peter Green
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation mourns the loss of Peter Green, lead IFA negotiator and former President of Committee for Original Peoples’ Entitlement. We extend our condolences to his family, as well as to his community of Paulatuk and all Inuvialuit, and remember his lifelong contributions and leadership.
Green was the President of COPE from 1982 to 1984, and a picture of him holding up the signed IFA document that he negotiated became one of the most famous images of the historic moment.
According to newspaper articles at the time, he signed the document on a table draped with a umingmak hide in front of a cheering crowd of 400 in Tuktoyaktuk. When asked if he was happy, Green responded: “You’re damn right I am, and you can quote me on that.”
Peter continued to work for “the claim” throughout his life and served in leadership roles as Paulatuk Community Corporation Director and Corporate Manager. He was appointed by the IRC Board to the boards of the Inuvialuit Charitable Foundation and Inuvialuit Education Foundation, and was PCC’s appointee to the Tuktut Nogait National Park Management Board, which conferred on him the Exemplary Service Award in 2006.
Born in 1944, Green was known as a formidable, well-spoken leader who stood firm in negotiations and fought for Inuvialuit rights, culture and continued livelihoods, as well as the land.
Having been forcibly sent to residential school as a young boy, he cared deeply about Inuvialuit education, educating governments, and encouraging young people, and helped develop IFA 101. Equally committed to his own education, Green was the oldest high-school graduate of an Alberta distance-education centre, earning his diploma at the age of 64 in 2009 after completing his schoolwork by mail over 12 years.
“There are three goals to the IFA,” Green said. “We wanted to make sure there were provisions in the agreement to maintain and to keep what the Inuvialuit always stood for and where we came from: how we lived, what language we spoke, where we hunted, how we fished, and trapped. Our livelihoods must be preserved. The second goal was to ensure that we have equal and meaningful participation in the northern and the national economy and society. That meant we did not want to be treated differently, or in any way that would diminish our place in the Canadian economy. We wanted to be full partners in businesses happening around us, we wanted to ensure that we benefited when others were benefiting from our lands. The third goal was to ensure that the environment and the wildlife were protected.”
Green’s life and legacy will be remembered always as a part of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, and his strong character, inquisitiveness, hard work and generosity will be deeply missed.