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Nunavut signs power transfer agreement with the Federal Government

In a historic deal marking the largest land transfer in Canada’s northernmost territory, an agreement has been signed between Nunavut and the Federal Government. This landmark agreement involves transferring the stewardship of public lands, waters, and resources from Ottawa to the Nunavut Government, encompassing approximately two million square kilometres. This represents a significant portion of Canada’s territory. As a result of this transfer, Nunavut will now administer 20% of Canada’s landmass.

The Northwest Territories and Yukon have previously undergone similar devolution processes. P. J. Akeeagok, the dynamic Premier of Nunavut, expressed his enthusiasm about this significant achievement, stating, “This marks a monumental step forward in the evolving narrative of our magnificent territory.” He also highlighted the promising future, emphasizing the empowerment of Nunavut’s people through direct control over their land and resources. The majority of Nunavut’s residents, predominantly Inuit, will now have direct governance over their territory.

The agreement also paves the way for economic growth and diversification in Nunavut. It offers the territory opportunities to develop new revenue streams through the management of its lands, waters, and natural resources, which were formerly under federal jurisdiction. Experts anticipate that the transition process, including the transfer of human resources and federal buildings to the Nunavut Government, will be completed by April 2027. The majority of federal government employees currently in Nunavut are expected to transition to roles within the territorial government. Additionally, the agreement includes a one-time financial contribution of CAD 15 million from Ottawa to facilitate the transition.

Nunavut, established as a distinct territory from the Northwest Territories in 1999, began its journey towards self-governance in 2008. The process of devolution first occurred in Yukon in 2003, followed by the Northwest Territories in 2014. Nunavut is the latest to achieve this milestone, assuming control over its territories, resources, and the associated revenues.

Source: Nunatsiaq News