RCI Feature Interview: Nunavut’s Deputy environment minister

Inuit hunter Elijah Palituk looks for seal breathing holes in the ice off the coast of northeast Baffin Island in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut. Photo: Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International.Earlier this month, several organizations, including Canada’s national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, went to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to appeal the EU seal ban.

The European Parliament passed a bill to ban the importation of seal products in 2009 after a campaign by animal welfare activists against the commercial seal hunt. The ban carries an exemption for products produced from Inuit subsistence huts.

But despite the exemption, Inuit say the effect of the ban has been devastating as it has killed the market for seal skin products.

David Akeeagok, Nunavut’s deputy environment minister, spoke with me recently about how Inuit in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut are being affected by the ban.

To hear the interview on Radio Canada International, click here

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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