Inuit-Government Relations

Program: Inuit studies 0902X
Term: Winter
Course code: SSC6103

The implementation of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) is one of the central initiatives in Inuit society today. Students examine the political struggle that Inuit undertook between 1970 and 1993 to achieve the Agreement and the historical, legal, economic and political factors that influenced the government's response to their quest.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Trace historical trends in the Crown's approach to Aboriginal peoples since contact with Europeans began in the 1500s.
  • Describe the resource development pressures that contributed to the rise of Inuit political organizations in the 1970s and their quest for a land claims settlement.
  • Describe the federal government's policy on aboriginal rights in the late 1960s, and the impact of various court decisions on its policy.
  • Describe the creation of Inuit political organizations at the national, regional and international levels.
  • Describe the 1975 James Bay & Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) and its impact on land claims negotiations in Nunavut.
  • Describe the organizational and political challenges Inuit faced in the early stages of their land claims negotiations.
  • Analyze the impact of public opinion on government policies relating to northern development and land claims.
  • Analyze the negotiating strategy employed by Inuit to achieve their land claims objectives.
  • Describe the issues and processes associated with the inclusion and definition of aboriginal rights in the Canadian constitution, 1979-1990.
Learning Activities
  • Lectures;
  • Videos (NFB documentaries and past presentations by guest speakers)
  • Class discussions;
  • Presentations by past and present Inuit leaders and government officials who were involved in the negotiation of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement
  • Group conference calls with past and present Inuit and Government leaders
  • Class debates on critical issues associated with the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement

Samples of learning activities include:

  • note-taking assignments
  • class discussions and re-creation of key historical events
  • short essays and/or fact tests
  • final class debate on the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement
  • final essay and fact exam