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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,

Well it has been a very busy and productive quarter and year – from restructuring the Corporate Group, implementing the more than 60 contribution agreements and program delivery, enhancing the focus on education and human resource capacity, developing the first phase of the IFA-101 and stressing Inuvialuit rights at government and other forums to supporting individual beneficiaries in the pursuit of their well-being.

As signatories to the IFA, both the federal government and the Inuvialuit have the responsibility to its implementation to result in meaningful outcomes with long-term benefits for the Inuvialuit, the region, and Canada. We continue to work with them on regional deficits within the ISR, investing in infrastructure like housing, essential capacity and services, and core funding for IFA implementation.

The recent opening of the Inuvik-Tuk Highway is a step forward, but more work is required to ensure safe, secure, and sovereign communities. Areas that need improvement are docks, quality of air strips, condition of health facilities, and investments in projects to develop the economy and re-establish strong, self-reliant and sustainable communities. As Canada develops its Arctic Policy, IRC must also ensure that Inuvialuit views, values, issues and needs are reflected.

IRC continues to work closely with the other Canadian Inuit land claim organizations, developing a strong pan-Arctic approach on Inuit-specific issues. The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee was established to achieve tangible outcomes for the well-being of all Inuit. We have been engaged in the Canadian Indigenous Language legislation.

Closer to home, our education system still needs help. IRC continues to stress the importance of attendance to students and parents as well as show respect to fellow students, teachers, parents, and elders. I have also stressed cultural awareness and programs to reinvigorate pride and understanding to our youth.

IRC will now have a Health Navigation Coordinator to provide much needed support to Non-Insured Health Benefits and other related health matters. The Licensed Practical Nurse program will soon be offered locally in partnership with Aurora College.

IRC continues to work closely with Inuvialuit Game Council, supporting them in the implementation of the IFA. There is now an enhanced Research Unit to provide Inuvialuit with added capacity in traditional knowledge, community based monitoring, MPA management, and climate change.

IRC continues to work with Gwich’in Tribal Council on common initiatives and explore how we might benefit each other in certain areas.

As we look ahead, we have a very busy beginning to the new year with the 42 Directors Meeting which will include an IFA-101 component, the 30th Anniversary of the IRC Native Hockey Tournament, and the 40th Anniversary of IDC.

In conclusion, I would like to wish all a very enjoyable, healthy, and safe holiday season!

Quyanainni! Koana! Quyanaqpak!

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation