Nunavut premier full of hope as deal with Ottawa is signed – by Stepanie Taylor (Globe and Mail – January 19, 2024)

As a child growing up in Canada’s northernmost community, P.J. Akeeagok wanted to be a water truck driver. In Grise Fiord, a community on Nunavut’s Ellesmere Island where just 145 people live as of the 2021 census, the water truck driver served as a role model who delivered an essential public service.

Mr. Akeeagok’s public-service instincts led him in a different direction: The 39-year-old is now the country’s youngest Premier, leading the federation’s youngest territory. And on Thursday, he inked his name to an agreement with the federal government that he hopes will open up more opportunities for coming generations.

Mr. Akeeagok and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with other signatories, finalized on Thursday what is formally called the “Nunavut Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement.”

Simply put, the agreement transfers powers over public lands, waters and the non-renewable resources each contain to the territory and – more importantly – away from the federal government. The Northwest Territories and Yukon went through similar processes, known formally as devolution, years ago.

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