British parliamentarian pays a visit

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 04/97) - Inuit aren't the only advocates for Nunavut on the political scene. A member of the European Parliament who visited the NWT last week says Nunavut is the road to opportunity for aboriginals in the Eastern Arctic.

Richard Balfe of Cambridge, England, toured Iqaluit, Inuvik and Yellowknife during a week-long stint north of 60.

He said he believes that the Nunavut hiring practices are a good start to giving the Inuit the tools to succeed. "The most important thing about Nunavut is that people have access to education so that they aren't forgotten about as a society," he said.

Balfe, while in the territorial capital, made a stop at Muriel Betsina's traditional camp in Ndilo, where he was served bannock and trout on a spruce twig and sat in a teepee.

"This is wonderful," he said.

Balfe said that aboriginals, who are in the midst of a changing society, have to strike a balance between the traditional way of life and progressing into the future.

"And Nunavut is the road to a new balance," said the 18-year parliamentary veteran.

Balfe will be meeting his wife and three children in Calgary on Monday to begin a three-week holiday in the Rockies.