EU Proposal to Ban Seal Products Inconsistent with Request to Arctic Council

    IQALUIT, April 14 /CNW/ - Based on the European Union's (EU) proposal to
ban seal products, Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak strongly objects to the EU
application to become a permanent observer at the Arctic Council.
    "The European Union's proposed ban on seal products ignores the very real
negative impact their discussions already have on the market for all Canadian
seal pelts and on the people of Nunavut," said Premier Aariak. "The proposal
to ban seal products is harmful to Inuit interests, demonstrates a lack of
knowledge of its impacts on Arctic indigenous peoples, and is inconsistent
with the type of partnership we need at the Arctic Council. I call on Canada
to oppose the EU's application for permanent observer status at the Arctic
    The Commission of the European Communities proposed that the Commission
apply for permanent observer status as a first step to enhance input to the
Arctic Council "in accordance with the Community's role and potential".
    "I have very real apprehensions about the role and potential of an
applicant for permanent observer status who has so little regard or
appreciation for the impact of its actions on the Inuit of Nunavut and other
indigenous peoples of the Arctic," said Premier Aariak.

    The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum for Arctic governments
and peoples. It promotes cooperation, coordination and interaction among
member states. Canada is one of eight member states. There are six permanent
participants, including the Inuit Circumpolar Council.

     News releases are available in Inuktitut, English, Inuinnaqtun and
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           Tuhaqtaghat ittut Inuktitut, Qablunaatitut, Inuinnaqtun
                     Uiviititullu talvani
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For further information:

For further information: Karen Kabloona, Office of Premier Eva Aariak,
(867) 975-5059

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