Most young people in the territory have heard of the land claims agreement, but many who were approached by CBC News didn’t know much about it.
“I don’t fully understand how it is,” said Mosesie Petooloosie.
Agaaqtoq Eetak, 23, has been carving for several years to make his living. He said he needs to learn more about the land claim, but said it’s important, especially since it created a new territory.
He said Inuit culture wouldn’t have the same protection if Inuit did not have their own region.
“If we didn’t start, you know, making our own policies and restrictions and what not, I think it would’ve really taken a toll on our people. Eventually we would’ve been brainwashed, I guess,” he said.
Nunavut Sivuniksavut, a post-secondary school based in Ottawa, teaches the land claims agreement to its Inuit students
“The youth today are the leaders of the future and knowing that we have a territory of our own, Inuit have a territory of their own, is a very good thing because it makes us feel proud and makes us want to work towards a better future for Inuit,” said student Christine Tootoo.
This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.