On Monday November 19, 2018, Inuit Art Foundation Executive Director and Inuit Art Quarterly Publisher Alysa Procida was honoured to present at the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic as part of a session to consider the significant and rapid changes to the Arctic and the impacts on Inuit. This session also heard from Gary Baikie, Superintendent, Torngat Mountains National Park (Parks Canada), William Huffman, Marketing Director, Dorset Fine Arts (West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative) and Belinda Webb, Deputy Minister, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (Nunatsiavut Government).
Gary Baikie and Belinda Webb began the presentations focusing on the importance of the Torngat Mountains National Park as a tourism destination in northern Labrador that has a positive economic impact on the region. Both also discussed the Torngat Mountains National Park being a site of reconciliation where Parks Canada has been working with Inuit communities to develop visitor experiences that will connect people to the park as an Inuit homeland and help tell the story of Inuit to the rest of the world in a culturally appropriate way.
Following Baikie and Webb, speaking on the arts and cultural policy, Procida and Huffman presented on the economic and cultural impact of the arts on Inuit communities. The following points and recommendations were discussed: increasing equitable access to grant funding for Inuit living across Inuit Nunangat; creating more opportunities for Inuit in arts and culture as administrators, writers and curators; investing more in telecommunications infrastructure, housing and wellness; building dedicated museums and performing arts spaces in the North; and finally reconsidering policies such as Marine Mammal Protection Act so artists who work with marine mammals can export their work.