Québec government announces new five-year program for sustained development. Thanks to the sums invested, First Nations and Inuit communities will have the financial tools to benefit from improvements in education and entrepreneurship.
Nearly C$2.6 billion will be spent on the sustainable development of Nunavik and Québec’s northern regions over the next five years, the provincial government announced on 19 December.
Located along Hudson Bay and on the Ungava Peninsula, Nunavik is one of four Inuit homelands in Canada that make up Inuit Nunangat. Inuit are Indigenous people of the Arctic. The word Inuit means "the people" in the Inuit language of Inuktut. Many Inuit in Canada live in 51 communities across the northern regions of Canada in Inuit Nunangat, which means "the place where Inuit live."
Besides, there are 11 different Indigenous nations in Quebec, each with their own distinct identity: a history, language and culture all of their own. The 10 First Nations and the Inuit Nation represent just over 1% of Québec’s population. They make up 41 communities spread out across Québec. The Inuit live in Québec’s Far North, above the 55th parallel.
The Northern Action Plan for 2023-2028 includes 45 new projects such as finalising access to high-speed internet in Nunavik, building youth centres across the North, and building new housing in communities.
The plan was announced by Québec’s Natural Resources and Forests minister and minister responsible for the Northern Plan Society in a statement to media in Baie-Comeau, Québec, Canada.
The new five-year plan is the result of a collaboration between more than 25 departments and agencies and northern Indigenous groups.
The plan organises the 45 actions into four categories: Increasing connectivity to the territory, building on northern economic strengths, stimulating community vitality, and preserving the unique environment.
Projects for Nunavik include boosting high-speed internet services through the deployment of fibre optics and improving the reliability of a northern network. That’s expected to make it possible to offer more services remotely including health, justice and education.
The plan also includes a commitment to build youth centres across the north, clean up hazardous waste from northern communities and increase access to justice services, such as confidential face-to-face meetings and remote testimony or hearings.
Thanks to the sums invested, First Nations and Inuit communities will have the financial tools to benefit from significant improvements in education and entrepreneurship, said Québec’s minister responsible for relations with the First Nations and the Inuit.
First Nation is one of three groupings of Indigenous people in Canada, the other two being Métis and Inuit. Unlike Métis and Inuit, most First Nations hold reserve lands.
This is the third action plan development for Québec’s northern regions.