Greenland premier visits Nunavut, Canada

Skyline in Nuuk, Greenland. Arctic development must benefit Inuit say leaders. Photo: Eilís Quinn Kuupik Kleist meets with Eva Aariak in Iqaluit

Greenland’s premier was in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut this week for a visit where resource development, ownership and management were high on the agenda.

Kuupik Kleist met in Nunavut’s capital city of Iqaluit with Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak and other territorial leaders.

He also travelled to the community of Pangnirtung to look at its fishing industry.

Both premiers were enthusiastic about future prospects in economic development, marketing, training and exchanges.

  “We think that we need to strengthen our co-operation and learn from each other and that is the core purpose of my visit,” said Kleist.

Eva Aariak said she is looking forward to working closely with Greenland government.

Important relationshipKuupik Kleist, Greenland's premier, was in Nunavut this week for a visit where resource development, ownership and management were high on the agenda. (CBC)

During the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Nuuk two years ago, she was cautious about proposed oil and gas exploration in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait. But she says Inuit in both countries have to have ownership of and manage the rich natural resources of the Arctic.

She said that’s why it will be important to have close ties with Greenland and have a good working relationship.

Both agree Inuit need to take full control of potential jobs and opportunities arising from Arctic development.

Kleist said it will be a delicate process.

“We are keen on hearing about hearing processes in Northern Canada and how to include the concerns of the people and organizations when you are actually carry out that kind of activities,” he said.

This was Kleist’s first official visit to Nunavut, made more convenient by scheduled commercial flights now available between Nuuk and Iqaluit. He said he hopes the flights will continue as they will be good for both countries.

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