Northern Development Ministers’ Forum

NEWS RELEASE – Ministers Meet to Discuss Tradition, Knowledge and Innovation for the North

Iqaluit, Nunavut (September 26, 2003) – Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for Northern development gathered in Iqaluit this week. The two-day forum focused on the importance of science and innovation in advancing Northern interests.

The Northern Development Ministers Forum promotes the diverse and common interests of Northerners and raises awareness of the accomplishments, contributions and potential of the North.

Sustainable Development Minister Olayuk Akesuk chaired the forum on behalf of the Government of Nunavut.

“It was a great pleasure for me to host the annual forum in Iqaluit and to showcase Nunavut and our unique circumstances in this territory,” said Minister Akesuk. “Once again, we heard that our Northern regions are places of tremendous opportunity for innovation and knowledge. This forum provides an excellent occasion to share new ideas and discuss common issues.”

Representatives from all Northern jurisdictions in Canada attended the forum, including the Hon. Robert D. Nault, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

“The enormous potential of Canada’s North lies in the marriage of tradition and innovation,” said Minister Nault. “This forum is a valuable opportunity for governments to compare notes on new initiatives and, more importantly, to make sure we integrate our respective strategies to maximize the benefits to Northern and Aboriginal people. Together, we can support Northerners in building a bright future for themselves and their children.”

As the host of the 2004 forum, the Hon. Nathalie Normandeau, Minister for Regional Development and Tourism for Quebec, stressed that innovation has always been at the core of development of the Nord-du-Quebec Region and today offers more and more opportunities to Northern residents.

“Research, science, technology and innovation are now endorsed as essential driving forces of economic and social development and well-being of Northern residents. I am pleased to share with my colleagues the challenges and opportunities we face in regards to developing and improving the quality of life for Northern residents,” said Minister Normandeau.

Participants renewed their commitment to work together on issues of common concern. These include economic development projects, telecommunications, recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce and the development of a public awareness campaign about the North and Northern innovations.

In attendance were:

The Hon. Robert D. Nault, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Nancy Karetak-Lindell, MP for Nunavut

The Hon. Pearl Calahasen, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development,
Gary Friedel, Chair of the Northern Alberta Development Council and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Peace River

British Columbia
Roger Harris, Skeena MLA and Chair of the Northern Caucus

Harvey Bostrom, Deputy Minister of Manitoba Aboriginal and Northern Affairs

Newfoundland and Labrador
Ron Bowles, Regional Director, Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs

Northwest Territories
The Hon. James L. Antoine, Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development

The Hon. Olayuk Akesuk, Minister of Sustainable Development

Deputy Minister Cameron Clark, Northern Development and Mines

The Hon. Nathalie Normandeau, Minister for Regional Development and Tourism

Deputy Minister Alan Parkinson, Saskatchewan Northern Affairs

Deputy Minister Eugene Lysy, Department of Economic Development


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For more information, contact:
Kerry McCluskey
Communications Manager
Department of Sustainable Development, Government of Nunavut
Tel: (867) 975-5929
Fax: (867) 975-5980

Kristen Connolly
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister
Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Tel : (819) 997-0002
Fax : (819) 953-4941
E-mail :