Our people - the Labrador Inuit - are direct descendants of the prehistoric Thule, hunters who spread from Alaska across the circumpolar regions of Canada and Greenland. We are one of the founding peoples of Canada.
Our homeland - the lands, sky, waters and oceans of Nunatsiavut - is a rich, bountiful and challenging place. It has enabled our ancestors to thrive as self-reliant, self- sufficient people. It has defined our culture, our skills and our strengths as a people. It has sustained us through a long history of change brought about by colonialism, resettlement and dislocation from our traditions. Now, it is the solid base from which we can protect our cultural foundation and re-claim control over our economic and political destiny through self-government.
The Path to Self-government
In 1973, the Labrador Inuit Association (LIA) was formed to promote Inuit culture; improve the health and well-being of our people; protect our constitutional, democratic and human rights; and advance Labrador Inuit claims with Canada and Newfoundland to our land and to self-government. In 1977, the LIA began the long journey towards self-government by filing a statement of claim with the Government of Canada seeking rights to the ‘land and sea ice in Northern Labrador'.
For three decades, our negotiators pursued the dream of self-government for Labrador Inuit through the settlement of our land claim. This dream was realized on Dec. 1, 2005, when Labrador Inuit celebrated the beginning of the Nunatsiavut Government, a regional Inuit government established through the provisions of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
We are the first Inuit region in Canada to achieve self-government, a proud accomplishment for all Labrador Inuit.
Milestones to Nunatsiavut
The Labrador Inuit Association (LIA) files a statement of claim with the Government of Canada (Canada), entitled "A Statement of Claim to Certain Rights in the Land and Sea-Ice in Northern Labrador".
Canada accepts Labrador Inuit Land Claim for negotiation.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (Newfoundland and Labrador), at the invitation of Canada, agrees to participate in the negotiation of the Labrador Inuit land claim.
Canada selects Labrador Inuit Land Claim for active negotiation.
A framework agreement outlining the agenda, process and timetable for land claim Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) negotiations is signed in November.
Parks Canada, LIA and Newfoundland and Labrador announce a joint public study to assess feasibility of creating a national park in the Torngat Mountains region of northern Labrador.
Final study report concludes that a national park in the Torngat Mountains is feasible.
The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and the President of the LIA agree in July to "fast track" land claim negotiations.
The AIP is initialed by chief negotiators and recommended to their respective parties for ratification in May.
The LIA membership ratifies the AIP in July.
Tripartite community-based land selection negotiations commence in April.
The LIA and Newfoundland and Labrador sign the Memorandum of Understanding on Interim Measures Related to the Proposed Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve in June.
Land selection negotiations conclude in March.
The LIA, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada sign the AIP on June 25.
Negotiations begin between Parks Canada and LIA, and Parks Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador, on agreements to establish the National Park Reserve.
The LIA, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada sign an Interim Measures Agreement to protect Inuit rights and benefits negotiated in the AIP on November 16.
The Labrador Inuit adopt the Labrador Inuit Constitution on April 15.
The LIA, Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada sign the Voisey's Bay Interim Measures Agreement; the LIA sign an Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreement with Voisey's Bay Nickel Company Limited and Inco Limited; the LIA, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and the Labrador Innu Nation sign the Voisey's Bay Environmental Management Agreement in July.
Negotiators for the LIA, Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada initial the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (Agreement) on August 29.
Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement between Parks Canada and LIA, formalizing their relationship with respect to the National Park Reserve, concluded in November.
The Labrador Inuit ratify the Agreement with the support of 76.4 per cent of eligible voters with an 86 per cent turnout on May 26.
Overlap Agreement is initialed with Makivik Corporation of Nunavik in October.
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act, which gives effect to the Agreement was passed and received Royal Assent in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly on December 6.
Overlap Agreement is initialed with Innu Nation in May.
Bill C-56, An Act to give effect to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Tax Treatment Agreement, is passed on June 15, 2005.
On June 23, Bill C-56 received third reading and approval in the Senate and Royal Assent from the Governor General of Canada.
On December 1, 2005 the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Constitution came into effect at the first Assembly of the Nunatsiavut Transitional Government, held in Nain.