Leona Aglukkaq on Nunavut's 10th anniversary
April 01, 2009

CBC: Well happy birthday Nunavut. The territory turns ten today, a day to celebrate and to look forward. Leona Aglukkaq is Canada's minister of health and the MP for Nunavut.

LEONA AGLUKKAQ: March 31st 1999 was the day that I think for me to sit back and just wait in anticipation of the actual day of division. So many people had put so much time and energy in getting the government in waiting ready and the infrastructures ready at the time and so many people were involved in getting the process rolling and I always say to that you know thank goodness back 30 some years ago there were Inuit leaders who had vision to negotiate a Nunavut land claims agreement and to those individuals that have participated in a negotiations of the Nunavut land claims agreements. You know this is, this is really a reflection of those individuals with vision. My role is small role in that. You know I was part of the group that worked with the office of interim commissioner to put the office infrastructures in place and hiring staff to make sure that the government was operating on April 1 but you know thank goodness for individuals who had vision 30 some years ago but in the last ten years from April 1 1999 we've done a lot and we've seen a lot of development in our communities. We've seen a population growth, we've seen mining sectors but we can do a lot more in partnership with governments, Inuit organizations, municipalities and the industry. I think the message I will give to young people in Nunavut is that you know be a part of the development of your communities and small thing or is big thing goes a long way. I think we all have a role to contribute to the development of our communities and if you see and opportunity to make something better for your community get involved. I think that's the only way we'll be able to see and see the differences in our communities, see positive change in our communities and 30 years from now we may not all be here and it will be your opportunity and your turn to take over managing the resources, managing the territory, managing the people.

CBC: Leona Aglukkaq is the MP for Nunavut and the minister of health for Canada. It was ten years ago today that the territory of Nunavut was officially formed.

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