A lecture from Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, the 2021 Indigenous Knowledge Holder for the McGill Indigenous Studies Minor Program.
In 2018, the Inuit of Nunavik mandated the Makivik Corporation to “negotiate with Canada and Quebec in order to establish a form of Indigenous government based on Inuit values, identity, culture and language.” In 2019, Makivik and the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Self-Determination, in order to structure the self-determination discussions to come. Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, Makivik’s Chief Negotiator in this negotiation process, reflects on the Nunavik Inuit journey to formalize Inuit self-determination within Canada.
The Indigenous Studies Program seeks to enrich the McGill Community by inviting an Indigenous Knowledge Holder to spend a week at the university to share their scholarship, work, and advocacy. Indigenous Knowledge Holders – whether they be wampum belt holders, storytellers, artists, activists, hereditary leaders, or academics– encompass generations of knowledge embedded within the cultural and epistemological worldview of Indigenous communities that span generations.
Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk was born in Puvirnituq, Northern Quebec (Nunavik). Fluent in Inuktitut, English and French, Lisa acted as Communications Officer for Makivik Corporation for seven years and participated in various regional, national and international fora such as Inuit Circumpolar Council General Assemblies in Kuujjuaq 2002, in Barrow 2006 (as a delegate) and elected in July 2018 in Utqiaġvik as Vice-President International for ICC Canada. She works for Inuit interests in self-determination advocating Inuit political and economic autonomy, social justice (particularly through Inuit law), and protection of the environment, culture and language.