With the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people and contractual rights in Section 35 of the Constitution Act in 1982, the Government of Canada faced increasing demands to change its overall requirement policy and, in particular, requirements for the abandonment or suppression of Aboriginal rights across the country. In 1985, the federal government established a task force to hold national consultations and recommend a review of its damages policy. In late 1986, the federal cabinet adopted a revised comprehensive requirement policy, including a number of amendments favourable to Inuit negotiations. In December 1991, the final land claim agreement was finalized until another decisive meeting was held between India`s Minister of Northern Affairs and Development, Inuit leaders and GNWT for a final meeting. Again, the central theme of the meeting was Nunavut. At a night meeting on Parliament Hill in mid-December, negotiations on outstanding issues related to Nunavut`s land application were concluded, including agreement on a new Article 4 on political development. For the federal government, the division of the NWT and the structure of the territory`s government were a matter of public government that concerned all NWT residents, not a question of Aboriginal rights. Canada was not prepared to negotiate Nunavut around a table of focal claims. Negotiations on the 1978 and 1979 foment claims had made little progress because of the impasse in the fight against Nunavut. In this article, I consider the evolution of these two initiatives, in my view, as a member of the federal negotiating team on Nunavut`s fomentary claim from 1979 to 1993. Equally important, the overall 1986 recovery policy resulted in substantial structural changes in in-depth claims negotiations through a new federal mandate procedure. Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and an amendment in 1983 acquired the status of constitutionally protected treaties.
The constitutional status of the agreements required greater political control and control over negotiations. A limit was essential both for the foe claim contract and for the political development process. Following an investigation that revealed a persistent disagreement between Inuit and Dene, the federal government asked John Parker, a former NWT representative, to recommend a uniform boundary between the two claim areas. Despite great dissatisfaction with parts of the Parker Line, Inuit leaders reluctantly accepted the border in July 1991, subject to a number of concessions at the national action table on land quantum and property rights. The urgent need for a demarcation line for the Nunavut and border process was the decisive factor for Inuit leaders. Had Nunavut not been in the equation, the border issue could have resulted in or fragmented the land`s claim to the founder or fragment into three regional Inuit claims.