Public Engagement and the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction: Attempting to Understand Nunavut’s Poverty Reduction Strategy
Keywords:Nunavut, Makimaniq Plan, poverty reduction policy, Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, participatory policy development, Inuit, settler colonialism, healing, collaboration
The Northern Review 42 (2016): 69–96
The 2009 Government of Nunavut Report Card, a review of the first ten years of Nunavut’s existence, recommended the development of an anti-poverty strategy to help address severe social inequality in the territory. Between October 2010 and November 2011, the Government of Nunavut (GN), jointly with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), oversaw an extensive poverty-reduction public engagement process that resulted in the creation of the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and the territory’s poverty reduction strategy. The strategy suggests that the tension that exists between Inuit forms of governance and the model of public governance used today is the root cause of poverty. However, it does not offer an official definition of the term. Knowing the way in which poverty is perceived in Nunavut is key to understanding the direction of the territory’s poverty reduction strategy. Drawing upon interviews conducted in Iqaluit and in Ottawa in 2015, as well as on records from the Nunavut Anti-Poverty Secretariat, this article examines how the territory’s poverty reduction strategy was developed. It argues that the roundtable’s participatory methods, closely aligned with principles of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, have fostered a politicized discussion about poverty that has resulted in Nunavut’s poverty reduction strategy’s focus on collaboration and healing.
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