NW Week

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

An Inupiaq man in the N.W.T is attempting to avoid deportation to Alaska

Inupiaq man in the N.W.T

Key Takeaways:

  • Herman Oyagak has been living in Canada with his wife for the past three years.
  • An Inupiaq man living in the N.W.T. is fighting deportation, which would send him back to Alaska.

Herman Oyagak rode his snowmobile across the Arctic in 2018 to live with his wife, Carol Oyagak, in her hometown of Aklavik, N.W.T., about 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The CBSA moved to deport him three years later. He was arrested by police, transported to Yellowknife, and released on bond.

On December 13, he will be deported to Juneau, Alaska, a city he has never visited. “I don’t want to think about that date,” Carol said. “I don’t even want to say how I’m going to feel and what I’m going to do.” According to his lawyer, Nick, Oyagak was deemed inadmissible to Canada due to criminality.

He was condemned in Alaska of criminal mischief for property damage under $250 also , before that, of burglary and walrus poaching off the Alaskan coast, according to Sowsun. According to Duane Ningaqsiq Smith, the chair also CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the impending deportation is “not about protecting the community or Canada; it is about blindly following the process.”

In a statement opposing the deportation, he said, “Indigenous rights take legal precedence over the process.” Sowsun claims that Oyagak has the right to remain under the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian Constitution Act.

“They’re both Inuit,” says one. They were considered one person before the land claims process. However, they were divided into two groups due to the land claims process, and the border now separates families and friends. This border is arbitrary for these people, and it offends their social and cultural traditions.

Source: CBC News

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