Arctic Defenders

(Canada, 2013, 90 mins, DCP)
CAST John Walker Featuring: John Amagoalik, Oo Aqpik, Tagak Curley, Aaju Peter, Suzanna Singoorie & The Canadian Rangers
Discussion with filmmaker John Walker and special guests


The world’s polar regions are entering a new era of international exploration and exploitation due to climate change. Canada’s claim to her sovereignty over the north has never been more important than today. In 1999, Nunavut was established under an historic, comprehensive land claim agreement with the federal government that gave 33,000 Inuit special rights and benefits. The largest territorial re-visioning on Earth was finally established when the Government of Canada signed the agreement giving the Inuit dominion over the land.

The creation of Nunavut (meaning "Our Land") happened after 30 years of lobbying by visionary Inuit determined to redraw the political boundaries of Canada and negotiate provisions allowing them to be intimately involved in the governance of their territory. Canada had finally realized that without the Inuit claim to the land, its own sovereignty of the north would be questioned by an international community determined to gain access to the oil and mineral riches of the northern hemisphere.

John Walker’s film takes us on a journey to investigate the contemporary history of misguided attempts by the Canadian government to assert its sovereignty in the High Arctic and how a generation of radical Inuit changed the political landscape of Canada’s North. But it’s also an incredibly personal film, as it charts Walker’s return to lands he first explored as a wide-eyed teenager.