Several high profile participants are expected at the National Aboriginal Law Conference in Nunavut's capital later this week.
It's the first time the annual gathering — organized by the Canadian Bar Association — is taking place in Iqaluit.
The theme this year is "Nation-Building Under Land Claims Agreements, Treaties and Self-Government Agreements."
“I think it’s very important that we bring northern issues to the table,” says John MacLean, president of the Nunavut branch of the Canadian Bar Association. “This is also an opportunity to showcase the fact that it’s been 15 years since Nunavut was created.”
Among the speakers are former Auditor General of Canada Sheila Fraser, Nunavut Justice Minister Paul Okalik, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations Matthew Coon Come, and former Ontario premier and Liberal party leader Bob Rae. Justice Thomas Berger will appear by teleconference.
The two-day event will include discussions on resource management, governance, revenue generation and social issues.
It will also include a discussion of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and its implementation. Panellists will include Dougald Brown, the federal negotiator for the land claim, and John Amagoalik, considered by many as "the father of Nunavut."
Conference organizers hope the capital will benefit from the event. They're asking participants to make full use of their luggage allowance while traveling North and bring a donation for the Iqaluit food bank.
The event runs June 19 to 20.
The conference is already sold out with about 140 participants.