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Recognizing the Inughuit as a Distinct Indigenous People of Greenland and their Right to Return to their Traditional Lands

INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONFERENCE Meeting of the EXECUTIVE COUNCIL Nome, Alaska, U.S.A. June 26-27, 2003

ICC Executive Council Resolution 03-02

RE: Recognizing the Inughuit as a Distinct Indigenous People of Greenland and their Right to Return to their Traditional Lands

WHEREAS exactly fifty years ago in 1953, the Inughuit of Thule (North Greenland) were forcibly relocated by the Danish government in order to make way for the construction of the USA's Thule Air Base; and

WHEREAS the Inughuit have waited fifty years for their plea for justice to be heard regarding their right to return to their traditional lands; and

WHEREAS the Inughuit are a distinct indigenous people as defined by Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO); and

WHEREAS the Supreme Court of Denmark is expected to rule on the Inughuit right to return and on the level of compensation to be awarded to the victims of relocation and their descendants; and

WHEREAS the Kingdom of Denmark is contesting the fact that the Inughuit are an indigenous tribe as defined by ILO 169; and

WHEREAS Hingitaq 53is the organization established to speak out on behalf of the Thule victims and represent its case before the Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (Greenland) has provided on-going support for Hingitaq 53 over the past 7 years, and is an organization dedicated to the protecting and promoting the human rights of all Inuit and other indigenous peoples.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Inuit Circumpolar Conference call upon the Kingdom of Denmark to recognize the Inughuit of North Greenland as a distinct indigenous people under ILO Convention 169; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the government of Denmark immediately recognize the right of the Inughuit to return to their traditional lands.

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