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We are here today because those who came before us had the knowledge and skills to ensure that their descendants would thrive. It is due to their resilience and ongoing adaptation that we are here today, in this land we now call Nunavut. 

We must continue to adapt. 

When Nunavut was created in 1999, Nunavummiut had high expectations of change for the betterment of our lives and our communities. Some improvements are being made, but much too slowly. 

Many of us struggle with trying to reconcile the ways of the past with the ways of the present. Many have lost the sense of opportunity that drove the creation of Nunavut. For the majority of the population in the territory, reclaiming our Inuit language, culture, and voice is necessary to right historical wrongs and address our social issues. 

Although the territorial government is a public government, we must support Inuit in exercising the right to self-determination under the Nunavut Agreement. Each successive government has added to the understanding of what we must do to address the social and economic challenges and opportunities in Nunavut and how we can best do it. 

As Premier, I believe that the next four years will mark a real turning point in our development as a territory. The Fifth Assembly is bold and positive in our vision for Nunavut, practical in the priorities that we have chosen for the next four years, and oriented to action. 

Guided by traditional knowledge and modern practices, we will build on the progress of previous governments to benefit from opportunities and address the complex issues that we face in Nunavut. We will continue to emphasize community empowerment. Through partnerships with Inuit organizations, the federal government and the private sector, we will bring new energy and new solutions to long-standing problems in the best interests of our people, our land, and our future. 

Honourable Paul Quassa
Premier of Nunavut

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