A new deal signed December 5 between the Inuit of Nunavik and the federal government will see self-governance become reality for the Inuit.

The Makivik Corporation met with both the federal and provincial governments at the National Assembly to formally endorse an agreement-in-principle on the creation of the Nunavik Regional Government. The deal will create a form of self-government on Inuit territory, which includes all land in the province north of the 55th parallel. This pact, which was reached last summer, will build upon the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

The Nunavik deal will be unlike the one reached by their Inuit counterparts in Nunavut because Nunavik will not have full sovereignty over the region and the new government will still have to answer to Quebec. What it actually will do is give the Inuit communities the ability to elect their own assembly and have control over various government services like education and health as well as all matters in relation to the preservation of their native culture.

All of Nunavik’s existing municipal governance will be consolidated into one institution that will be governed by a regional assembly of 21 members with a leader who will have less power than a premier but more than a mayor.