Nunatsiaq News - Are QIA, NIRB and governments ignoring Pangnirtung?

From Nunatsiaq News

May 30th letter to the editor, written by Andrew Nakashuk and Levi Ishulutak of Pangnirtung:

Are QIA, NIRB and governments ignoring Pangnirtung?

"Peregrine Diamonds held a community consultation meeting recently here in Pangnirtung regarding the Chidliak, Qilak and Cumberland projects that are being planned.

The organizations and government agencies that had known about these projects do not seem to have any interest in hearing community concerns that have been brought forward a number of times.

We had invited QIA, NTI, INAC, DFO and the Government of Nunavut departments of Environment and CLEY. We also invited NIRB but were told they would visit the community some other time.

These organizations have done very little to inform the community about procedures and regulations and have not asked community members of what they think of the projects.

These organizations and agencies were invited way in advance by community members and responded, but never showed up.

It is clear that there is a major communication gap between the organizations and the unilingual Inuit, who have no way of knowing who to contact and who don’t understand the processes once these projects get underway.

The Inuit who are unilingual speakers are being taken advantage of, because they don’t often understand who they should contact to voice their concerns on their own.

QIA president Okalik Eegeesiak was very public on the radio after she got elected that she would come to Pangnirtung and be part of the consultation, but she never showed up and never followed up on her word.

We won’t mention the organization’s name but one has admitted that they do have a communication problem with unilingual Inuit when Inuit should be provided with the right information and be part of decision-making.

When Peregrine Diamonds come to Pangnirtung for community consultation, we should not have to remind these organizations to take part in the consultation as they stated they would.

We voluntarily have been working to provide the missing communication gap between organizations, agencies and unilingual speaking Inuit when these organizations and agencies who get paid to do their jobs are not providing it.

A lot of us have concerns because as soon as the land is destroyed it is going to affect our traditional harvesting grounds."

Andrew Nakashuk
Levi Ishulutak

Look to your left (under "attached files") to download a PDF file of the article.