WHO IS EQUAL? The Passage of Nunavut’s First Human Rights Act

by Jack Anawak

“Where did we get the power to give rights and take away rights? When did we decide to set aside our time-honoured values and beliefs about the value and integrity of all people? In other words, what are we doing as members of our society supporting such non-democratic behaviour, judgments and attitude? If anything as leaders, we should be confronting this unacceptable way of thinking, loudly and clearly, and we should be busy re-affirming and protecting the rights of all.”

Jack Anawak, Canada’s former Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, gave an impassioned speech in the Nunavut legislature in 2003 arguing against members who wanted to take sexual orientation out of the new act. His speech (which is available in English and Inuktitut in this booklet) helped to precipitate the signing of Nunavut’s first human rights act and in a continued climate of human rights violations, his words continue to resonate.

The author has given permission for this booklet to be downloaded and photocopied in its full PDF format for FREE distribution. It is not for sale under any circumstances. Contact the publisher if you have any questions.

Who is Equal?

Who is Equal? – in Inuktitut