By Julie Deslile
Plan Nunavik was created in 2012 as a response to Quebec’s Plan Nord. Developed by the Makivik Corporation and the Kativik Regional Government of Nunavik, Plan Nunavik is a document which describes the current situation and concerns regarding housing, health, education, access to territory, mining, energy, tourism, bio-food, wildlife, culture and identity, telecommunications and community development. Each sector contains Nunavik’s recommendations for improvement. Plan Nunavik was submitted to the Quebec government in September 2010. The Kativik Regional Government has stated in the Plan Nunavik that, “Unless the Plan Nord includes concrete proposals and solutions to the problems Nunavik Inuit currently face as a day-to-day reality in the Nunavik region, a Plan Nord is of no value to Nunavik Inuit” (pg. 364). Nunavik will not support Quebec’s plan for economic development on their territory until the recommendations listed in Plan Nunavik are addressed.
Plan Nunavik begins by providing a history of Nunavik prior to 1975, Quebec’s current interest in the Nunavik region, an overview of the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement, a section on agreements and developments since the signing of the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement and an overview of Nunavik reality of today. These sectors provide a crucial and emotional history of how the Inuit have been affected by Quebec’s past developments. These sections also reinforce the fact that Inuit rights exist in the Territory, which Quebec must respect as a result of past agreements and treaties.
One of the main priorities of Plan Nunavik is the housing crisis. There is a housing shortage in Nunavik causing overcrowding and unhealthy environments for families. The recommendation to Quebec is the development of 1,000 social housing units in Nunavik over a seven year period. Another priority of Plan Nunavik is the connection to Quebec’s power grid. Nunavik depends on expensive diesel fuel for electricity. This unreliable and inadequate power source has limited the economic development of the territory, leading to high unemployment and cost of living. These are just two examples of the main priorities and recommendations for the Quebec government included in Plan Nunavik.
Plan Nunavik has led to the development of the Parnasimautik consultations. Parnasimautik is a development plan which consists of consultations within each Nunavik community in order to hear the visions for Nunavik straight from Nunavimmiut. The Parnasimautik consultations focus heavily on the findings and recommendations included in Plan Nunavik. A statement released from the Parnasimautik consultation in Kuujjuaq, states that the overall goal over the Parnasimautik consultations was to create, “a comprehensive vision of regional development according to Inuit culture, identity, language and traditional way of life so as to protect them now and enhance them for the future, and to protect the environment” (Nunatsiaq News 2012) The consultations have led to the creation of the Parnasimautik Consultation Report of 2014. The Report includes the results of the 2013 Parnasimautik consultations and priorities for Nunavik including language development and terms for resource development. The Parnasimautik Consultation Report was presented to the Plan Nord Ministerial Committee in Quebec City in August of 2015.
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