Tukimut 2006 Edition - Economic Development News for Nunavummiut

Table of contents

Step by step to a stronger fishing industry

Science and partnerships pay off

Pangnirtung's through-the-ice winter turbot fishery helps power that community's economy
Pangnirtung's through-the-ice winter turbot fishery helps power that community's economy.

A Greenland halibut survey last summer to determine population levels has the potential to turn into a major quota increase. This investment could boost Nunavut's annual turbot quota from 4,000 to 6,500 metric tons, bringing in an extra $10 million in yearly revenues.

"All of a sudden, we're now a player in the Atlantic Canada fisheries," says Wayne Lynch, director of Fisheries and Sealing with the Government of Nunavut's (GN) Department of Environment. The Government of Canada believes strong partnerships will help Nunavut thrive. In this case, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada added the final $50,000 to a $625,000 survey already being funded by the GN, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Baffin Fisheries Coalition.

..."We're now a player in the Atlantic Canada fisheries"...

A 50/50 sharing agreement between Canada and Greenland gives Canada half of the 5,000-ton quota increase recommended by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization in its 0A and 1A Divisions – a result of the turbot survey that Nunavut initiated. The 0A area stretches from Ellesmere Island past Qikiqtarjuaq (the 1A area borders Greenland). The new quota will mean more jobs for Pond Inlet, Clyde River, Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq.

Programs Target Great Ideas, Economic Success

Complementary Programs Stimulate Economy

In 2004, the Government of Canada promised $90 million over five years to northern economic development, to be split between Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

Two Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) programs are bringing about economic development here -- the $360,000-a-year Innovation and Knowledge Fund and the new Targeted Investment Program (TIP), worth $6 million a year. These programs fuel great ideas and strengthen the economic foundations of sectors to drive job creation.

TIP is guided by a territorial investment plan. Reviewed annually in consultation with major partners, the investment plan is the framework under which INAC will spend all remaining funds from the $90 million between 2005-2006 and 2008-2009. The Government of Nunavut (GN) has its own complementary program (see "Strategic Investment Program").

Joopa Sowdluapik of Cumberland Sound Fisheries holds the kite anchor
Joopa Sowdluapik of Cumberland Sound Fisheries holds the kite anchor

Innovative solutions are an industry's secret weapon. For Cumberland Sound Fisheries, the solution to long lines balling up in the water was a perfectly weighted, aerodynamic "kite" metal anchor. Some older anchors were very wide and long, with separate weights. The GN sent Pangnirtung fishermen to Memorial University's Marine Institute in St. John's, Newfoundland, for testing on model kite anchors, then back to Arctic sea ice for real-life testing and modifications.

"The job of the anchor is to stretch the long line when it goes down through the ice," explains Joopa Sowdluapik, chairman of Cumberland Sound Fisheries. And it does, slowly descending and stretching the line with its baited hooks out in the water as the current nabs the anchor.

seamstress Susan Nuluk of Repulse Bay
The Inuit Women in Business workshop, held in Rankin Inlet in November, encourages Inuit women to market their talents, such as seamstress Susan Nuluk of Repulse Bay (left), who makes beautiful kamiit

Another great idea was a jewellry workshop that merged the talents of local artists with the potential of Kimmirut's beautiful blue sapphires, green garnets, orange calcite and other gemstones.

"We have some incredible stones here and it's a shame not to use them in jewellry," says Kimmirut economic development officer Kyra Fisher. She has organized several courses since 2002 and has plans for an Internet gallery and book.

"It's really good to work with Kimmirut stones because they're all different colours," says workshop participant and local jewelry-maker Mary Akavak. Already experienced in lapidary, the art of cutting precious stones, Akavak especially enjoyed learning different techniques from visiting jewelry instructors from Montreal, Nova Scotia and Iqaluit.

Strategic Investment Program

What is it?

A policy to fund economic development projects in key Nunavut sectors — mining, fisheries, tourism, and arts, crafts and cultural industries.

Who is behind it?

The Government of Nunavut (GN) started the program in 2005-2006 and, pending approval from the Nunavut Legislative Assembly, will carry it on in 2006-2007. Part of the program's role is to work jointly with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to steer Government of Canada funds from the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) suite of programs to the best projects.

What kind of projects qualify?

Projects that support private sector strategic economic infrastructure, such as the construction or upgrading of capital infrastructure, projects that generate knowledge and bring about innovations, and high priority endeavours that tie into existing sector and/or community economic development strategies.

Where do I apply?

GN's Department of Economic Development and Transportation.
Phone (867) 975-7833.

The Future Lies in Strong Communities

But Nunavut's special challenges need tailored solutions

Indian and Northern and Affairs Canada (INAC) recognizes that economic growth begins at the community level.

INAC recently redesigned its Aboriginal funding programs and, in Nunavut, the focus is now almost exclusively on helping community economic development in Inuit communities through core financial and project-based support in economic development.

INAC supports the three regional Community Economic Development Organizations (CEDOs) and the Nunavut CEDO, a group representing the regional CEDOs (Kakivak Association, Kivalliq Partners in Development and the Kitikmeot Economic Development Commission). Under the Community Economic Development Program (CEDP), INAC provides $1.56 million annually to deliver economic development services in the three regions.

Given the increased emphasis on community economic development, CEDOs are "taking on a greater role in advising INAC on program management," says Michael Bloor, INAC's manager of economic development.

CEDOs are "taking on a greater role in advising INAC on program management"

Inuit in Nunavut face business circumstances very different from their First Nations colleagues. Program timelines, for example, need to recognize that the Arctic sealift permits a limited window of opportunity. To address concerns, a new national committee will be urged to adjust the programs to address Nunavut's reality.

Year One SINED Dollars at Work

Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED)

An initial $10 million was made available across the North in 2004-2005 while efforts were undertaken by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to work with key economic players in each territory to tailor an investment approach for the remaining $80 million. The Targeted Investment Program is the framework under which all remaining funds from the $90 million will be spent between 2005-2006 and 2008-2009.

INAC funded these programs and organizations in 2004-05:

Broadband Community Access, 2.5 ghz
(Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation)

Investment in Broadband Community Access Program sites
(Nunavut Community Access Program or N-CAP)

Fisheries (Offshore) Training
(Nunavut Fisheries Training Consortium)

Labour Market Analysis - $100,000
(Education, GN)

Carving Stone Geographic Information System
(Economic Development and Transportation, GN)

Landsat 7 (Satellite Mapping)

Mineral Assessment Scanning

Mineral Exploration and Mining Strategy
(Economic Development and Transportation, GN)

Community-based Economic Development Officer Computer Hardware Upgrades
(Nunavut Economic Developers Association)

Financial Institutions Feasibility Study

Fuel Positioning Support for Geoscience Mapping Projects:
South Baffin, Southampton Island and East Kitikmeot
(Economic Development and Transportation, GN)

Exploratory Fishery: South Baffin/Kivalliq
(Environment, GN)

Southampton Caribou Harvest
(Economic Development and Transportation, GN)

South Baffin Aeromagnetic Survey
(Qikiqtani Inuit Association)

Boothia Integrated Geoscience Mapping Projects
(Economic Development and Transportation, GN)

North Baffin Integrated Geoscience Mapping Projects
(Economic Development and Transportation, GN)

For more information, visit the Nunavut Regional Office,
e-mail nuinfo@ainc-inac.gc.ca / ecdevnunavut@ainc-inac.gc.ca,
or call (867) 975-4582

Embracing Broadband

Educating the public now is key

High-speed Internet, or broadband – the "road" that will give Nunavut some real economic reach – arrived in all 25 communities as of last September.

And the Government of Canada, as the $18-million project's primary funder, recognizes the huge potential broadband will unleash.

The Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC) oversaw construction of the Qiniq Network, which connects communities to each other and the Internet by satellite. NBDC is developing exciting services such as multi-point videoconferencing and on-the-land portable modems for camps. Yet, two issues will always dominate: costly satellite bandwidth, and research and development to customize applications for satellite and Nunavut's unique culture.

At Sanikiluaq's CAP site, Lucy Ann Meeko prepares material for the community historical yearbook

"The cost of bandwidth for satellite is extraordinarily expensive," says NBDC project manager Lorraine Thomas. Costs will only increase as the Internet adopts fancier, bandwidth-heavy applications. Finding ways Community Service Providers can create commercial revenue is critical.

Nunavummiut who don't own a computer can still benefit from the Internet through Nunavut Community Access Program (NCAP) sites.

The Intelligent Community Forum, a nonprofit think tank based in New York that focuses on job creation and economic development in the broadband economy, recently named Nunavut one of the "Smart 21 Communities of 2006"

"We get a lot of people coming in who have never used a computer before," says N-CAP administrator Darlene Thompson. Each of the 21 sites (in 16 communities) is staffed with an Inuk youth intern who can explain the technology in Inuktitut. With many sites in schools and hamlet offices, scanning, photocopying, faxing and printing services are available too. All CAP services are free or a minimal cost and the goal is to have sites in all 25 Nunavut communities

Steve Kanayok and Christine Tootoo
Steve Kanayok and Christine Tootoo explore a geoscience application at last May's launch celebration of the Qiniq broadband network


The Intelligent Community Forum

The future is bright for broadband in Nunavut. The Intelligent Community Forum, a non-profit think tank based in New York that focuses on job creation and economic development in the broadband economy, recently named Nunavut one of the "Smart 21 Communities of 2006."


To learn more about broadband, visit The Qiniq network or The Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation, or discover CAP site locations and hours at the Prairie Northern Regions E-Association Web site.

A Tool to Improve Your Life

Budding entrepreneurs will appreciate the evening workshops that many Community Access Program (CAP) sites offer on everything from using Microsoft Word, to setting up a HotMail account, to writing a resumé. With Internet access, they can use search engines to do product or market research, or if just starting up a business, check out websites like the Canada/Nunavut Business Service Centre. CAP sites are mainly open evenings and weekends.

"Now that we have broadband, we've got so many more things that we can use the Internet for," says Nunavut CAP administrator Darlene Thompson. Her key message to the public? "This is a useful tool that you could use to improve your life."

"Now that we have broadband, we've got so many more things that we can use the Internet for "

Kimmirut economic development officer Kyra Fisher, who is launching an online gallery to market beautiful jewellery designs featuring local coloured gemstones, as well as stone sculptures, echoes Thompson's sentiments. "We can only do it because we have broadband."

Restoring the Land

CAM-F and FOX-C sites flagged as priority clean-ups

Inuit-owned companies will soon make more progress ridding two former DEW Line sites in the Baffin Region of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which remain in paint used on site buildings.

Work on sites CAM-F and FOX-C is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to clean up contaminated sites on Crown land.

Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, which is handling remediation and camp construction at the FOX-C site south of Clyde River, did some road improvements after equipment was sealifted there last summer.

Unloading equipment in Grise Fiord
Unloading equipment in Grise Fiord

Equipment for the landlocked CAM-F site on Melville Peninsula was sealifted to Hall Beach late last summer, and will be towed on sleds to the site by Caterpillar tractors in the spring. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for managing these sites. Mikim Contracting Ltd. of Iqaluit is constructing this camp while Biogénie S.R.D.C. Inc. of Quebec is remediating the site.

Photo of FOX-C site
Buildings, garbage, and hydrocarbons and heavy metals in the soil must also be cleaned up at FOX-C (below) and CAM-F

Contracts for all work total almost $32 million, and work will wrap up by 2007 (FOX-C) and 2008/2009 (CAM-F). With about 30 crew members each, both operations aim to be majority Inuit-staffed, giving Northerners in-demand job skills.

Work on sites CAM-F and FOX-C is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to clean up contaminated sites on Crown land

Map of FOX-C and CAM-F Locations

Workers cleaning a site
Restoring Resolution Island "was very important to a lot of us," says former site superintendent Harry Flaherty, because the site was a traditional polar bear denning area

As site superintendent for another contaminated site clean-up on Resolution Island, Harry Flaherty, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation's environmental services director, says that the job "helped me a lot in preparing proposals for new projects, especially other DEW Line sites and other remediation plans, and having to deal with engineers and other professions."

For more information, visit the Nunavut Regional Office, e-mail nuinfo@ainc-inac.gc.ca / nunavutcsp@ainc-inac.gc.ca or call (867) 979-7934.

International Polar Year

Climate change, health and well-being of northerners is Canada's focus

Northern Canadians will play a leading role in the upcoming International Polar Year 2007-2008. International Polar Year (IPY) is a special two-year program of science and research in the Arctic and Antarctic. Past IPYs were held in 1882-83, 1932-33 and 1957-58 and have led to great advances in our knowledge of polar regions. IPY 2007-2008 will help to find answers to urgent questions currently facing Canada's North.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work together with researchers from other countries on issues which affect us all. And for the first time, Northern Canadians will be involved in all aspects of IPY 2007-2008," said Kathleen Fischer, Executive Director of the IPY Federal Program Office. "Researchers will be partnered with territorial governments, northern Aboriginal organizations, communities and other northern stakeholders, and we will be looking to ensure that their proposals incorporate capacity building and training opportunities, especially for Northerners and new, young researchers."

IPY will involve 20,000 or more people at both poles. The Government of Canada has committed $150 million over six years starting in 2006 for Canada's participation in IPY. This will include research on two priority themes - climate change impacts and adaptations, and the health and wellbeing of Northerners.

photo of testers reseaching in the North

Northern provincial regions, the sub-Arctic, the Arctic: Canada defines all as polar areas

A call for science and research project proposals has already been issued. Northern and Aboriginal organizations such as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami have been working to ensure the concerns of Northerners are considered from the early stages of proposal development.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work together with researchers from other countries on issues which affect us all. And for the first time, Northern Canadians will be involved in all aspects of IPY 2007-2008."

A separate call for education, communication, training and outreach proposals is expected in the spring. It is hoped that many proposals will come from Northern organizations, says Fischer, and that Nunavummiut will benefit from the new opportunities for training.

Photo of researcher drilling into ice

Research methods will be sensitive to Northerners' needs and issues

The Nunavut Research Institute (NRI) is identifying areas in which Nunavummiut could get directly involved in IPY. Initially, NRI will also be Nunavut's point-of-contact for IPY information, acting as a liaison between communities and researchers. The Government of Nunavut is also active in planning for IPY.

photo of hovercraft

Canada needs scientific data for a climate change adaptation strategy - something International Polar Year projects can deliver

Benefits of Food Mail easy to swallow

Fruits, vegetables and other nutritious food a good partner to country food

Nutritious food is "brain food," helping children and adults alike face the challenges of school and work. Perishable foods imported from the South such as fruit and vegetables are expensive. At the same time, Nunavut's rapidly growing population adds to the demand for nutritious food.

The Government of Canada's Food Mail Program addresses that problem by bringing quality, affordable foods to isolated Northern communities.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) administers the program and Canada Post delivers the goods. In 2004- 2005, Nunavut accounted for almost 59 per cent of the $35.9 million spent to subsidize perishables such as vegetables, fruit, bread, meat and milk, with almost all shipments going to Nunavut stores.

To learn more about the program, go to the Food Mail Program Web site,
e-mail foodmail@inac.gc.ca or phone (819) 994-4810.

Science Camp Inspires Young Minds

This year, six youngsters from Nunavut travelled to the Yukon to join a group of 80 kids aged 12 to 15 for INAC's First Nations and Inuit Science and Technology Program science camp. The program helps foster dreams of a career in science and technology. Camped outside Whitehorse, the group studied anthropology, including artifacts from the Beringia Period, when a land bridge across what is now the Bering Strait allowed people to migrate from Asia to North America almost 12,000 years ago. Flying by helicopter to visit a mountain-top ice patch, though, was the trip's high point - literally - for many of the young Nunavummiut.

4 youngsters pictured from Nunavut travelled to the Yukon to join science camp.
Left to right: Kayla Bruce of Rankin Inlet, Annie Karpik of Pangnirtung, Levi Nowdluk of Iqaluit, and Kalluk Darlene Sanguya of Clyde River, ready to board a helicopter to the top of a Yukon ice patch.

The Big Dig

At $200 million a year, mineral exploration is a booming business opportunity

"We're kind of looking to do a deal," says prospecting enthusiast Anayoak Alookee of Taloyoak, who, with husband Steve, has discovered gold, nickel, silver, copper, garnets and other minerals in the years since Steve took the Government of Nunavut's Nunavut Prospectors' Training Course.

The Alookees have reason to be hopeful. Nunavut is one of the world's last great mining frontiers. With prospecting permits on federal Crown land encompassing an area bigger than New Brunswick, an estimated $200 million was spent on mineral exploration in 2005.

Bernie MacIsaac is Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's manager of mineral resources in Iqaluit. "Diamonds, gold, copper, zinc, nickel, iron ore and platinum-group elements are sought-after commodities. There's also interest in exploring for uranium."

With prospecting permits on federal Crown land encompassing an area bigger than New Brunswick, an estimated $200 million was spent on mineral exploration in 2005

Photo of Seemeega Aqpik of Kimmirut
A Nunavut prospecting success story:
Seemeega Aqpik of Kimmirut (right)
and brother Nowdluk staked the nearby Beluga sapphire deposit currently being developed by True North Gems

Until more mines open up, though, "there is no reason why you can't target (the mineral exploration industry) as an opportunity for businesses or jobs," he adds.

Expediting, guiding, catering and helicopter transportation are some of the services exploration firms require.

Training for mining jobs in heavy equipment operation and computers also gives Nunavummiut skills they can use in other sectors while waiting for more mines to materialize, a scenario being explored by the multi-stakeholder Nunavut Mine Training Focus Group.

Photo of the Jericho Diamond Mine
The Jericho Diamond Mine, at the north end of Contwoyto Lake in the West Kitikmeot, plans to start production in 2006

The Government of Canada will work with other agencies and regulators to ensure that mining brings Nunavut training, employment and business opportunities, while mitigating environmental and social impacts.

aerial view of Jericho Mine
About 550 truckloads of equipment and materials, including a 200-man modular camp, were delivered to the Jericho Diamond Mine last winter

Learn more about mining in Nunavut at the Nunavut Regional Office.

Near the Finish Line

Jericho Diamond Mine
(350 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay)

Production starting early 2006.

Doris North Gold Project
(160 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay)

Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) Part V review completed February 3, 2006. On March 6, 2006, NIRB recommended to the Minister for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada that the project proceed.

Meadowbank Gold Project
(70 kilometres north of Baker Lake)

Submitted final environmental impact statement November 2005; Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) Part V review scheduled for March 27-31, 2006.

Magnetic Clues Under the Snow

Southwest Baffin aeromagnetic survey helps sniff out minerals

An aerial survey being flown near Cape Dorset is picking up magnetic signals in the bedrock, the first clue to valuable minerals and rocks that may lie below.

Bedrock is the solid rock underneath snow and dirt, and "the different magnetic properties of the rocks (in the bedrock) add differently to the Earth's magnetic field," says Warner Miles, acting section head of regional geophysics of the Geological Survey of Canada, the Natural Resources Canada agency that is doing the survey for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA). "That's what we're measuring - the total magnetic field."

Map of survey section
The white boundary in this radarsat image shows where the survey is being flown

An aeromagnetic survey doesn't pin down exact minerals and rocks, but results will steer ground-based bedrock mapping, which is expected to take place later this year

The Government of Canada knows that to kickstart economic development, Nunavut needs to take inventory of its abundant natural resources. So INAC invested $1 million in the survey to build on extensive mapping and airborne geophysics done in the Kimmirut area several years ago.


"Any information gathered on any land in our area is valuable," says QIA executive director Terry Audla. The survey should bolster local mineral exploration. An aeromagnetic survey doesn't pin down exact minerals and rocks, but results will steer ground-based bedrock mapping, which is expected to take place later this year.

A Colourful Future

Blue, yellow and transparent sapphires and blue lapis lazuli near Kimmirut, yellow amber on Ellesmere Island, purple amethyst around Igloolik - Nunavut's tundra is a kaleidoscope of coloured gemstones.
photo of blue lapis lazuli

Long coveted by royalty and the rich, precious coloured gemstones may be an even greater find for northern Canada than the discovery of diamonds. At the February 2006 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in Arizona, the world's largest gemstone show, the theme was Canadian gems and minerals. INAC presented at the show and has been compiling a database of Nunavut gemstones to help promote this resource around Nunavut's communities. Each year, more information is added to the gemstone database.

photo of pendant
Sedna, Mary Akavak's sterling silver and orange calcite pendant

Coloured gemstones have also injected new life into jewellery design here, adding another dimension to Inuit art. Jewellerymakers have been trained in Kimmirut, their work showcased at the local Soper House gallery. INAC would like to replicate the same feat in other Nunavut communities.

For more information, contact geobaffin@ainc-inac.gc.ca.

National Aboriginal Day

Photo of Greenlandic dancing with masked dancer
The Greenlandic mask dancing of Sarah Laakkuluk Jessen- Williamson enthralls the crowd

June 21 is National Aboriginal Day, the time of the summer solstice and an occasion when many Aboriginal people traditionally celebrate their culture and heritage. Last June 21, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada helped fund National Aboriginal Day activities. QIA organized the celebration which included Qaggiq Theatre performing throat-singing, drum dancing and Greenlandic mask dancing for crowds in front of the capital's Nakasuk School. There was also throat-singing by children, and bands playing Inuit contemporary music along with square dancing tunes, which led to a giant square dance that spanned the school's parking lot. A traditional feast with country food, a hot dog roast, and games and prizes for kids and adults alike rounded out a day to remember.

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