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December 2018 Message from the Chair

This message will be updated at quarterly intervals alongside the IRC Board Summary Newsletter.

Please check back often for a new message and update from the chair. 

 Hello Inuvialuit,


      What a busy year for the Inuvialuit! It began with the regional leadership participating in the 42 Directors Meeting where healthy discussions provided IRC with directions on moving forward with priorities and issues. IRC continues to work on improving the social and economic well-being of the community corporations and membership wherever they may reside.


      In the Fall, IRC completed its annual Corporate Group Tour to all the communities. Beneficiaries came to listen to our reports; and also shared their concerns and questions. There were some excellent discussions on community and individual needs. 

      Representation is a responsibility that IRC takes seriously. Working closely with the other Inuit land claim organizations, the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee (ICPC) is making progress. After a successful negotiation and receipt of federal housing funds to build units in the ISR, IRC is poised to make similar funding arrangements in the future. The recent announcement by the Federal Government to hand over control of child welfare services to Indigenous governments in an effort to drive down the massive number of Indigenous children in foster care is good news after our collective efforts. It is imperative to keep the dialogue open with the Federal Government.



      IRC welcomes the commitment from the Federal Government to work with Inuvialuit rights holders as well as the territories on the next steps for future offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic. As the Beaufort Sea comprises a significant portion of the ISR under the IFA, we need to clarify the rights, the appropriate distribution of benefits and management of resources in our offshore area.


      During the 2018 Indigenous Connectivity Summit in Inuvik, IRC spoke on the need to take advantage of new technologies and high-speed Internet bandwidth, not only for the preservation of our cultural identity and values, but to enable Inuvialuit to become equal and meaningful participants in the Northern and national economy and society.


      Focusing on youth, IRC fully endorses the Regional Youth Advisory Group (RYAG), a youth-led formula based on peer-to-peer programming. It was a proud moment to have Inuvik member, Faith Raymond, participate as the Youth Observer at the recent IRC Board meeting. IRC staff also delivered these youth initiatives in the communities - the Leaders-in-Training Conference, RYAG Youth Retreat, and Influencers Motivating Influencers (Magic Show).


      IRC is pleased with the release of the eLearning Program, one of the components in the IFA-101 Project. Check out In this first phase, it is comprised of 4 modules. This eLearning Program is designed to help not only beneficiaries, but all Canadians, achieve a better understanding of how the IFA is the tool that recognizes and protects our rights as Inuvialuit as well as the obligations of Canada to work proactively with IRC to ensure the successful implementation of the IFA.


      Looking ahead, 2019 will mark the 35th anniversary of the signing of the IFA. Let’s celebrate the Elders who had the vision for the future of Inuvialuit. Let’s celebrate the many Inuvialuit successes! 


Quyanainni! Koana! Quyanaqpak!

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation