Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Nation within a Nation within a Nation?

Today hopefully marked a seminal milestone here in Nunavik, the top third of the province of Quebec. The governments of Canada, Quebec and Nunavik signed an AIP in Quebec City to give us even greater autonomy in terms of our governance. A tad less than self-government, we will acquire many of the powers to establish a pretty comprehensive administration which will direct most of the aspects of our life up in northern Quebec.

What strikes me as bizarre is the use of the word "nation" here in Canada. Quebec has long contended it is a nation, which is offensive to many people living in TROC (the rest of Canada) who feel that the province is verging on declaring itself as a sovereign country, or at least demanding a special status within our confederation. And within Quebec Nunavik, as well as some of the more militant First Nations communities see themselves as nations, with special rights (the Indian Act notwithstanding) not afforded to other residents of the province. And this too is anathema to some Quebecois who feel that they should have the same right of hunting, fishing, and commercial activity as a disadvanted people who have lived here for millennia. Yet here are three levels of government agreeing to establish just such an structure.

I earnestly hope that Canadians, Quebecois and Nunavimmiut can start to see different models of building relationships between peoples other than 19th century political concepts and get behind this unique framework for regional/ethnic administration.

I know most of the Nunavik negotiators for this agreement, and I really want to take my nassak off for their decades of hard work and smarts in forging this deal. I know that many have had to back off from entrenched and heartfelt positions, but their willingness to compromise in order to move this process forward has been courageous.

To be sure, there will be many missteps along the way. But at least those missteps will have been of our own making.

Now if we could only get some subsurface rights in this mineral rich territory.

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4 Comments:

Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

The Nunavimmiut can't officially be a nation until they build a casino. The natives here finally realized that the crap land we dumped them on on wasn't going to produce any crops so they got smart and started a new crop - the gambler. That and they get another chance at scalping the invaders - this time at the Blackjack table...

It would be interesting to try some seal meat, I would expect it to be a bit on the fishy side. How do you usually cook it??

9:32 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Phos: I don't eat seal because, as you imagined, it has a strong fishy flavour. Up here people simply boil it like they prepare almost every other meat.

8:46 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

OK, scratch seal from the menu. I've had alligator and frog's legs - both a tad fishy. You are what you eat, I suppose.

9:04 PM  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

Maybe Salluit could separate from Nunavik... You could be the king or president or whatever...Hhhehe.... Small is Beautiful!!!!
BTW I've checked at the Regie des Alcools for your stuff.... The man was looking at moi like if I were completely crazy.... They knew nothing about it...Hhheh... But I live in Limoilou (downtown Quebec) and my RĂ©gie is very very small.... :) Sorry!

12:00 AM  

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