Canada’s Navy forges ties with Inuit Nunangat

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Navy News / June 11, 2019

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) will affiliate each of its six new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) with regions of the Inuit Nunangat. The first such affiliation, between the future Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf and the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut, was formally recognized during a visit by her Commanding Officer, Commander Corey Gleason in Iqaluit.

“On behalf of the Government of Nunavut, I welcome the Commanding Officer to the Qikiqtaaluk and look forward to engaging with the crew of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf,” said The Honourable Joe Savikataaq, Premier of Nunavut.

“I look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship between Canada’s Navy and our vibrant communities. We are excited to welcome you, and work with you to protect Canada’s Arctic.”

Affiliation between an HMC Ship, its sailors and civilian communities is a long-standing and honoured naval tradition, with relationships lasting throughout the service life of the ship. The remaining affiliations within the Inuit Nunangat in the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions of Nunavut as well as the Inuvialuit, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut regions - will occur as each AOPS is constructed and enters service.

“The Arctic is important to Canada’s identity, its security, and its future prosperity. These vibrant communities are at the heart of Canada’s North and form an integral part of Canada’s history and identity,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander Royal Canadian Navy.

“Engaging with the people in the Inuit Nunangat will help the RCN to better understand and connect with this important region and enhance the conduct of our Northern operations for years to come. The RCN looks forward to working with these communities as we begin what promises to be a long-lasting and mutually respectful relationship.”

Over the next several years, the six AOPS’s and their crews will build ties with the communities in these regions during routine operations in Canada’s Northern waters. The relationships established between the Inuit Nunangat and the RCN AOPS will create solid partnerships that generate pride in both the ship’s company and the communities they will represent. Each ship’s company will work with community members, local leaders, and engage with youth groups, to build relationships based on respect, mutual understanding, and shared experiences.

“Affiliation is an important naval tradition, and I am honoured that the crew of HMCS Harry DeWolf will perpetuate this custom with communities of the Qikiqtani region,” said Commander Corey Gleason.

“As Commanding Officer of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, my ship’s company and I look forward to operating in our Northern waters and to engaging with communities throughout the region.”