Nunavut MP named NDP critic of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Indigenous Services and Northern Affairs

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Nunavut MP Lori Idlout was named the NDP's critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations, Indigenous Services and Northern Affairs on Friday. (Don Sommers/CBC - image credit)
Nunavut MP Lori Idlout was named the NDP's critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations, Indigenous Services and Northern Affairs on Friday. (Don Sommers/CBC - image credit)

Nunavut MP Lori Idlout has been named the NDP critic of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Indigenous Services and Northern Affairs.

The news came as part of an NDP announcement Friday naming all its critics for the federal government departments.

Idlout said on Twitter that she was excited to take on the critic roles.

"I look forward to working with everyone to advance indigenous and northern issues," she wrote.

Idlout became Nunavut's MP after winning the seat in September's federal election with 48 per cent of the vote. She beat out Liberal candidate Pat Angnakak who received 36 per cent of the votes and Conservative candidate Laura Mackenzie who got 17 per cent.

On election night, Idlout promised to make sure issues she heard on the campaign trail would be heard by her NDP colleagues and the federal government.

"I will be a voice for Nunavummiut and I will work very hard for Nunavummiut," she said.

She said housing was the top of her agenda for the North.

Idlout told the CBC's As it Happens she wants to shift the balance of power in the relationship between Nunavut and the federal government.

"Up to this point, Nunavummiut, Indigenous Canadians, basically are begging for more resources, begging for more services," she said.

"We need to shift that relationship so that we get the federal government to realize that we can negotiate ... in a position of power, because we know that the federal government wants resources from us, too."

Idlout was raised mostly in Igloolik, but also lived in Pond Inlet, Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet before moving to Iqaluit where she lives now.

She's a lawyer who recently acted on behalf of the group of people protesting developments at Baffinland Iron Mines' Mary River Mine.

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