Looking 20 years into the future, we see a strong and prosperous territory with Nunavummiut who have a positive outlook on life – as residents of the Arctic, as Canadians and as participants in the world economy.
Our vision is to have more well-educated and self-reliant Nunavummiut. We want a majority of youth to graduate from high school, college or university with the same level of capability as graduates anywhere in Canada.
It is a place where Nunavummiut speak, read and write fluently in at least two languages, and live comfortably in the modern world with traditional cultures and values as a guide.
We envision a demand for our renewable and non-renewable resources. It is a Nunavut where we manage and develop our resources responsibly, and one that benefits our workforce and business operators.
Twenty years onwards would show us a place where physical and mental health has improved and where we are optimistic about our future. The rate of addiction and suicide has dropped dramatically, where fewer people rely on social assistance and our communities thrive economically, socially and culturally.
A chapter in our future sees Nunavut engaged in stronger circumpolar relationships and greater partnership between regional Inuit organizations and Canada to build our territory’s strength and address challenges.
Where We Are Today
Nunavut has one of the fastest growing populations in Canada, as well as Canada’s youngest; more than 30 per cent of the population is below the age of 15. This growing, youthful population places persistent new demands on the territory’s health and education systems, housing stock, infrastructure, and economy.
Inuit in Nunavut have a long history of resilience and self-sufficiency, which has been eroded through changes in the Inuit way of life over the past 50 years. Nunavummiut now face many mental health issues and social ills. Many of our young people are not attending school regularly and fail to graduate with the basic skills needed to pursue post-secondary education, training or employment.
In the near term, community-based solutions must be supported to improve health, social well-being and local economies. In the long term, education and employment are key to addressing many of these issues. Education increases the options available to an individual; through employment, people have more opportunities to assist themselves, their families and the community around them.
As Nunavut’s young people grow towards adulthood, our efforts must emphasize self-reliance through the development of skills and employment opportunities so that they can participate fully in the modern, global economy.
Nunavut covers one-fifth of Canada’s land mass and is becoming increasingly important to our nation’s Arctic sovereignty, particularly with the projected growth of shipping in Arctic waters.
Our territory is rich in wildlife, fish and other natural resources. However, Arctic ecosystems are fragile and have long recovery times. Our wildlife management and conservation efforts are under increasing scrutiny at the national and international levels.
Through our innovative co-management structure, Nunavut’s natural resources need to be managed in a way that ensures economic benefit for future generations, as well as for Nunavummiut today.
Nunavut’s mixed economy has significant potential, but is currently underdeveloped. It includes traditional land use activities, a relatively large public sector, expanding mining and fisheries industries, and small sectors such as arts and crafts, film and tourism.
Growth in the territory’s economy depends on the development of transportation infrastructure, the development of a robust community-based business sector, the responsible development of mineral and petroleum resources, and the development of a skilled local workforce.
Employers in all sectors continue to rely on skilled labour from outside the territory. Nunavummiut need to take advantage of education and training in order to benefit from the territory’s growing economy, whether as employees or as entrepreneurs in community-based businesses.
Our Territorial Government
Nunavummiut expect that the territorial government reflects their values, traditional knowledge, diversity, and approach to life as residents of the Arctic.
The Government of Nunavut remains committed to its role in implementing the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, which ensures that beneficiaries play a significant role in managing lands and resources as well as in preserving Inuit traditions, cultures and aspirations. Collaborative partnerships with local, territorial, national, and international entities are needed to accomplish our mandate.
The government has the tools that we need to continue strengthening the territory’s unique model of governance – one which integrates Inuit societal values, promotes and strengthens use of the Inuit language, achieves a representative public service, engages with circumpolar neighbours, and collaborates with partners to achieve the promise of Nunavut.
Sivumiut Abluqta: Stepping Forward Together
Our government is committed to focusing on four priorities that will enable us to step forward together and make Nunavut an even better place for our children and grandchildren.
- Self-reliance and optimism through education and training
Our top priority is the development of self-reliance and optimism through quality education and training to prepare Nunavummiut for employment. Education and employment will reduce poverty, improve health outcomes and enhance our ability to look after ourselves, our elders and our children.
- Healthy families through strong and resilient communities
Strong communities are made up of healthy families and individuals with the skills and resources to be self-reliant and to contribute to the territory. We must invest in community-based solutions to improve health, social well-being and local economies.
- Economic growth through responsible development across all sectors
Nunavut has abundant natural resources – renewable and non-renewable. We must work towards a more diverse economy that will provide Nunavummiut with a wide range of employment options.
- Good government through wise use of our resources
As a government, we must focus our limited funds on programs and services that enable Nunavummiut to live healthy and productive lives. While implementing our priorities, we must also review existing government programs and contribution agreements to ensure that we are achieving the outcomes we expect.
These priorities are accompanied by practical actions that are expected to yield measurable outcomes over the term of this Fourth Assembly.
Self-reliance and optimism through education and training
Education is the foundation for employment and self-reliance of individuals and families. Government, communities, teachers, parents, and students share responsibility for improving education outcomes to provide the best possible opportunities for the future.
- Review and improve the Education Act to ensure quality education, student achievement, and a curriculum that reflects our realities in the Arctic and who we are as Nunavummiut;
- Promote and recognize the importance of early childhood education to prepare children and their parents for a successful start in life and school;
- Work closely with the District Education Authorities to involve parents more actively in encouraging school attendance and contributing to student success; and
- Ensure our schools are safe and welcoming.
We want our children and our grandchildren to be able to speak, read and write in our official languages. A strong bilingual education will instil pride in our youth and motivate positive life choices that enable self-reliance.
- Strengthen and enhance the use of the Inuit language.
Education will give our territory a skilled and engaged workforce that will help Nunavummiut prosper and grow as a circumpolar people in a globalized economy.
- Emphasize the basics of reading, writing, math, and problem-solving to ensure our graduates are prepared for post-secondary education and employment;
- Enable Nunavummiut to enter into training to become trades apprentices and to complete their certification requirements on the job; and
- Support labour force training, development and employment through strategic alliances with sector partners.
Healthy families through strong and resilient communities
Strong communities are made up of healthy families and individuals with the skills and resources to be self-reliant and to contribute to the territory.
Too many Nunavummiut rely on government to provide for their basic daily needs. We need to reduce this growing dependence.
- Review and reform our approach to social assistance to ensure that those who truly need the support receive it, while also investing in economic development to secure a prosperous future for all.
Many Nunavummiut and their families struggle with mental illness, addictions, suicide, and domestic violence. We recognize a role for both traditional and clinical approaches in helping people to regain their health and well-being.
- Address mental illness, addictions and domestic violence by recognizing and providing resources for community- based solutions that help families and individuals find the care and supports they need for healing and for maintaining sobriety;
- Ensure clinical expertise and facilities are available to Nunavummiut; and
- Working with our partners, renew and strengthen our efforts towards suicide prevention.
Adequate food and housing are fundamental to the health, education and well-being of Nunavummiut.
- Promote and support the use of harvesting skills and community-based solutions to enhance access to nutritious food throughout the territory.
As we continue to invest in housing with our partners, we will:
- Develop more energy efficient and economical solutions; and
- Ensure more affordable housing options and alternatives are available to meet people’s varied needs, including the needs of a growing elder population
Economic growth through responsible development across all sectors
Business and resource development will be the foundation for our future prosperity and success. This development must benefit our territory by making responsible use of our abundant natural resources.
- Apply sound regulatory processes to attract and manage responsible resource development; and
- Ensure that a sound wildlife management system is in place to benefit Nunavummiut.
Local economic development is most effective when based on a community’s own natural resources and skills, as well as its vision for the future. Each community has unique potential to create more employment opportunities for Nunavummiut.
- Encourage and support economic development initiatives that build on and add value to identified areas of potential, including the harvesting, arts and tourism sectors;
- Promote entrepreneurship and business development by simplifying rules and making it easy for small business operators to comply; and
- Support the development of current and future Nunavut artists in all media to produce high quality work and to market their work across Canada and around the world.
Good government through wise use of our resources
We will deliver our programs and services in an effective, efficient and economical manner. We will focus our limited funds on programs and services that enable Nunavummiut to live healthy and productive lives.
At the same time as we are implementing our priorities, we will:
- Review government programs to determine what is working well, what needs improvement, and what we should stop doing in order to focus our resources on enabling Nunavut’s success; and
- Ensure recipients of Government of Nunavut funds are providing the outcomes we expect from our investment.
We must ensure a strong and sustainable public service by providing opportunities for Nunavummiut to enter and advance in government roles. We will continue to work towards becoming a representative public service.
- Continue to improve the fair and transparent practices used for staffing and career advancement in the public service;
- Ensure that all government departments and public agencies work actively towards enhanced Inuit employment; and
- Continue to invest in the education and development of all current and potential public servants, with an emphasis on increasing Inuit employment in professional and leadership roles in government.