My project is basically to interview my father, Dennis Patterson, who was very involved in the settlement of the Nunavut land claim and related events, including the commitment to establish Nunavut. The period of time involved is the time my father was involved in public life in the NWT, 1979 – 1995. During that time, he was involved in the Nunavut caucus of the Legislative Assembly and also was a member of the cabinet of the Government of the Northwest Territories, which played an active role in events leading to division and the creation of Nunavut and the settlement of the Inuit land claim.
I have discussed this already with my father, and he tells me that if I am to interview him properly, I should become familiar with the development of the Inuit land claim. He says that although this is an oral history, there are some key documents I need to understand if I am to do a thorough interview. Therefore, I have budgeted some time to research the land claim on the internet and by getting copies of key documents. These include the Nunavut declaration made at the ITC general assembly in Igloolik in the 1970s, the Agreement in Principle for the Nunavut land claim, especially Article 4, the letter written to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney by Paul Quassa and Dennis Patterson in 1983, and the final land claim agreement. I also want to review speeches made at the signing of the final agreement in Iqaluit. [Read more …]