The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement set a precedent by including self-government provisions within the land claim. Nunatsiavut is the first of the Inuit regions in Canada to have achieved self-government.
The Nunatsiavut Government is an Inuit regional government. Although Nunatsiavut remains part of Newfoundland and Labrador, the government has authority over many central governance areas including health, education, culture and language, justice, and community matters.
At the heart of governance is the power to make laws. In Nunatsiavut, the Labrador Inuit Constitution is the fundamental law of Labrador Inuit. All other laws made by the Nunatsiavut Government will be driven by the principles and guidelines of the Constitution.
The Nunatsiavut Government is driven by a set of fundamental principles that arise from the Labrador Inuit Constitution. These fundamental principles express our core beliefs in:
- Democracy and equality;
- Preservation of our culture and language;
- Pursuit of a healthy society;
- Pursuit of a sustainable economy;
- Preservation of the lands, waters, animals, and plants of our ancestral territory.
The Nunatsiavut Government operates at two distinct, but connected levels: regional and community.
The regional level of the Nunatsiavut Government is organized into seven departments:
The community level of Nunatsiavut Government is comprised of five Inuit Community Governments representing the Inuit communities of Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet. Inuit Community Governments are responsible for serving all residents of their communities. The AngajukKâk of each Inuit Community Government represents his or her constituency in the Nunatsiavut Assembly.
Nunatsiavut is a consensus form of parliamentary democracy designed to ensure a separation of power between the political and operational levels of government.
At the political level, the democratically elected representatives of the Nunatsiavut Assembly make laws and provide broad policy direction for the government. The community of Hopedale is the legislative capital of Nunatsiavut. To learn more, please see our Nunatsiavut Assembly section.
At the operational level, the departments of the Nunatsiavut Government must enforce the laws of Nunatsiavut and turn policy direction from the Nunatsiavut Assembly into programs and services tailored to serve Labrador Inuit and our residents. The community of Nain is the administrative capital of Nunatsiavut.