Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit has made a submission to the study on extractive and energy industries in and near indigenous territories being conducted by Prof. James Anaya, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The submission explains that since it was formed in November 2009, Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit has lobbied the institutions created by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to provide mechanisms to ensure the free, prior, and informed consent of Inuit in questions regarding uranium and other mineral extraction in the territory.
The submission documents that the experience of Nunavummiut to date has been rather the opposite of free, prior, and informed consent: that all key uranium-related decisions taken by institutions created by settlement of the NLCA have been made behind closed doors. These institutions have avoided the issue of democratic consent at all costs, opting instead for carefully controlled “consultations” with no real mandate to assess community consent in any meaningful way. The mining industry has been overrepresented in these “consultations”, to the point that both NTI and the GN relied on industry consultants for supposedly unbiased and impartial policy “advice”.
The submission repeats Makita’s call for a public inquiry into uranium mining, to be followed by free and democratic votes – by the residents of Baker Lake and among NLCA beneficiaries – on the wisdom of opening the door to who-knows-how-many uranium mines in Nunavut… with all the cumulative effects they would entail.
The website of Prof. Anaya’s study is http://unsr.jamesanaya.info/study-extractives/index.php/en
Makita’s submission can be found on our website at https://makitanunavut.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/2013-04-01-makita-to-james-anaya1.pdf