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Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Commit to Moving Forward on Poverty Reduction

24 October 2012 

IQALUIT, Nunavut (October 24, 2012) – Premier Eva Aariak and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) President Cathy Towtongie today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and announced the development of a Nunavut Food Security Strategy.



The MOU is an agreement for collaboration between the government and NTI to implement The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction. The establishment of the Nunavut Food Security Coalition and the preparation of a territorial action plan on food security is a principal goal of The Makimaniq Plan.



“This MOU sustains the Government of Nunavut’s commitment to collaborate with partners to reduce poverty, increase accountability, assess results and ensure it remains a priority for future governments,” said Premier Eva Aariak. “As part of this commitment, we aim to develop a food security strategy that finds practical solutions to one of our most urgent societal issues.”



“NTI is excited to build upon our existing partnership with the GN on poverty reduction in Nunavut. We are proud of the public engagement process, which culminated in The Makimaniq Plan, and we now look forward to working with our partners to produce Nunavut-made solutions. NTI believes and expects these solutions to positively impact Inuit. Action must be taken now on food security,” said President Towtongie.



The MOU specifies that the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction will have two principal purposes: to fulfill the requirements of Article 32 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement with respect to poverty reduction, and to ensure ongoing collaboration in the implementation of The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Commitment to Poverty Reduction.



Development of the Nunavut Food Security Strategy begins this fall with a series of roundtable sessions and includes a Nunavut Food Security Symposium scheduled for January 2013 in Iqaluit. Symposium participants will collaborate on the preparation of a food security strategy for Nunavut, to be released in the spring 2013.



The four-month strategy process will bring together members of the Nunavut Food Security Coalition and representatives from all organizations involved in the production, distribution and

consumption of food in the territory, including harvesters, producers, retailers, Inuit organizations, government departments, communities and non-governmental organizations.



The Nunavut Food Security Coalition is made up of representatives from seven GN departments, NTI and each of the three Regional Inuit Associations. The coalition is co-chaired by GN’s Department of Health and Social Services and NTI’s Department of Social and Cultural Development.



The Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction is co-sponsored by the GN and NTI; however, membership is open to any organization that wishes to contribute toward the reduction of poverty in Nunavut as outlined in The Makimaniq Plan.



For more information contact:

Emily Woods 

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

867-975-5059

ewoods@gov.nu.ca 



Kerry McCluskey

Director of Communications

Department of Corporate Services

Government of Nunavut Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Tel: 867-975-4914 Cell: 867-222-2893

Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006

KMcCluskey@tunngavik.com 



Memorandum of Understanding on the

Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

BACKGROUNDER



On October 18, 2010, the Government of Nunavut, together with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., launched a public engagement initiative for poverty reduction.



During the following year, the government (through the Anti-Poverty Secretariat at the Department of Economic Development & Transportation) and NTI held regular monthly meetings to inform interested organizations and individuals about progress on the poverty reduction initiative, and receive their advice. These meetings were convened as the “Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.”



The public engagement for poverty reduction process was completed at the Poverty Summit in Iqaluit, November 28-30, 2011, co-chaired by Premier Aariak and NTI Vice-President Jack Anawak.



Participants at the Summit drafted The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction. The plan states:

Participants in the Poverty Summit have agreed that the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, representative of all parties with a role to play in poverty reduction, will provide leadership and oversight for The Makimaniq Plan. (p. 9)

Responsibility for drafting terms of reference for the Roundtable was assigned in the Plan to a transition team established by the government and NTI. This team prepared the MOU for the Roundtable.

The MOU lists the purposes of the Roundtable: To provide leadership and oversight for implementation of The Makimaniq Plan, and support collaboration and innovation on the issues identified in the Plan; To extend The Makimaniq Plan by preparing a long-term (five-year) poverty reduction action plan for Nunavut and ensure full public participation in the planning and implementation of poverty reduction measures; and, To support community driven initiatives and the initiatives of local networks of community organizations engaged in poverty reduction.



The MOU also provides: That the Premier and the President will convene a meeting of the Roundtable at least semi-annually. That the minister responsible for poverty reduction, for the government, and the vice president responsible for the Nunavut Social Development Council, for NTI, will participate in the Roundtable. That membership will be open to other organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations and businesses that wish to contribute to the fulfillment of The Makimaniq Plan. That membership in the Roundtable will ensure regional diversity and include a balance of genders, elders, youth and persons with personal experience of poverty.



The MOU responds to the government’s obligation under Article 32 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to collaborate with Inuit on the development of social and cultural policies, programs and services intended to reduce poverty.



Work on the implementation of The Makimaniq Plan has proceeded since the Poverty Summit. The principal collaborative project between the government and Inuit organizations has been the creation of the Nunavut Food Security Coalition, for the preparation of a food security strategy for the territory.