An Inuit leader hopes allowing offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea will help in the creation of careers for northerners, including the Inuit.

President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association Okalik Eegeesiak told oil and gas industry representatives that aboriginal people not against development but should be included as full partners in it.

"Inuit want to be involved in the future of the Arctic," Eegeesiak said, "We want to have meaningful consultation. We want to in our own future. We want to have a voice at the table."

She spoke to the representatives at the National Energy Board Review last week in Inuvik emphasizing that she hopes the Inuit people have as much as future in such an endeavor as others have had. 

"I was glad to hear that some of you were in the business for 26 years," She told the representatives, "So hopefully an Inuk or Inuit will be in the industry for 26 years, with your help."

The National Energy Board is considering the rules that regulate offshore drilling in the Arctic.