Iqaluit – Day 2
Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure to meet the Minister of Environment of Nunavut, the Honorable Daniel Shewchuk.
“Here the supermarket is the land” said the Minister who nevertheless rejects the Europeans unfair exemption for traditional Inuit hunting provided it is limited to personal consumption. Nunavut claims the right to give Inuit the opportunity to improve their standard of living through trade in seal products.
His message is clear: the lifestyle of the Inuit is linked to the seal hunt and the Inuit fate depends on the success of the commercial seal hunt in Canada. For a market needs a critical mass to be viable. Therefore, there are not two hunts in Canada, but actually one. Nunavut is totally supportive of the Atlantic region.
The Minister is very open about the work we can do to ensure the sustainability of the seal hunt in Canada. Like me, the Minister wants to better inform the public, educate about the realities of the hunt in Nunavut and its interdependence with Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Minister supported what we must unite our forces and it is in this spirit that I submitted the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals. I welcome the positive reception this Declaration has received. The Declaration will be submitted to the Nunavut Cabinet in the coming days.
There is no doubt that all the seal hunters in Canada and all those who defend this cause like myself have a great ally in the name of Minister Daniel Shewchuk.