A speaker at the public meeting in Pond Inlet. Photo: Vincent Desrosiers (VDOpro.co)

Press release - May 2016

Inuit led Pikialasorsuaq Commission Completes Hearings in Grise Fiord and Pond Inlet

Pond Inlet - The Pikialasorsuaq Commission completed the initial community hearings in Grise Fiord and Pond Inlet, Nunavut. The hearings spanned 5 days in the two communities with additional participation from community members from Clyde River, Arctic Bay and Resolute Bay.

In addition to Commissioner Kuupik V. Kleist, the commission was accompanied by Bjarne Lyberth, Association of Fishers and Hunters (KNAPK) and Alfred Jakobsen (Oceans North Greenland) on the trip to the Canadian High Arctic to assist the Commission, share knowledge and observe the proceedings.

"We are extremely pleased so many people attended the hearings in both communities to share their knowledge and perspectives with us. Participation was lively and included a broad cross section of voices" said Commissioner Eva Aariak. "We are humbled by the warmth and generosity we received."

"Many community members appreciated the timing of the hearings, as outside interest and use of the Pikialasorsuaq (North Water Polynya) has increased significantly" said Commissioner Kuupik Kleist. "I am especially heartened hearing community members speak of earlier times when Inuit on both sides of Pikialasorsuaq visited each other and of the desire to renew these connections."

"Community members expressed a clear desire to work together and want to be directly involved in monitoring and management decisions that impact our food sources and our environment." adds Commissioner Chair Okalik Eegeesiak. "We are one people with a shared history and heritage and a common vision for the Pikialasorsuaq."

The Commission heads to Greenland in August for the next phase of hearings in communities connected with Pikialasorsuaq.

Following the completion of the Greenland hearings, the Commission will bring its findings and recommendations back to the communities before a final report is released to the public and to decision makers.

For more information:

Carole Simon ICC Canada
csimon@inuitcircumpolar.com
613-563-2642

Alfred Jakobsen Oceans North
aerj58@gmail.com

Commissioners:

Okalik Eegeesiak
chair@inuitcircumpolar.com
613-563-2642

Kuupik Kleist
kvk@ggnuuk.gl
+299 54 78 58

Eva Aariak
eva.aariak@gmail.com
867-222-8355