Nunavut Tunngavik issues code of conduct statement
President says rainbow flag comments were in support of elders speaking out
Nunavut Tunngavik issued a news release Thursday afternoon highlighting the code of conduct policy for its members and directors, following comments made by the organization's president.
At the Baffin mayors forum in Iqaluit on Wednesday, Nunavut Tunngavik president Cathy Towtongie commended an Iqaluit city councillor for speaking against the raising of a rainbow flag during the Sochi Olympics.
She congratulated Iqaluit city councillor Simon Nattaq for voicing his opposition to the flag.
"As President of NTI, I commend you for speaking up,” Towtongie said.
“The Inuit culture have had no time to discuss same sex. In fact it was an agenda that was hijacked and there was the excuse of [homophobia] which Inuit should have had time to digest.”
The City of Iqaluit raised the flag during the Winter Olympics to protest Russia's anti-gay laws and crack down on gay rights in that country.
Other Northern communities including Whitehorse and Yellowknife also flew the rainbow flag during the Games.
The news release states members and directors are to promote the rights and opportunities of the Inuit of Nunavut, "while respecting the dignity of every person and avoiding discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or mental or physical disability."
The release says Towtongie's comments were in the context of "commending an elder to speak out on difficult and sensitive issues, and the needs in our democratic society to discuss these issues."