Implementation of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement Annual Review 1996-1997
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- Summary of Agreement Provisions
- Inuvialuit Wildlife Management Structures
- Joint Implementing Bodies
- Federal and Territorial Governments
- 4.1 Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
- 4.2 Department of Fisheries and Oceans
- 4.3 Environment Canada
- 4.4 Canadian Heritage
- 4.5 Public Works and Government Services Canada
- 4.6 Department of National Defence
- 4.7 Government of the Northwest Territories
- 4.8 Government of the Yukon
- 4.9 Herschel Island Territorial Park
The Inuvialuit Final Agreement was the first comprehensive land claims settlement in Canada's North, and its implementation continues to provide unique opportunities and challenges to the Inuvialuit and to the federal and territorial governments.
This annual review of the implementation of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement was compiled from reports submitted by the Inuvialuit and the joint management structures established under the Agreement, and from various sources within the federal and territorial governments.
Accomplishments in 1996-1997 include the following activities.
- Members of the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Joint Secretariat and the Wildlife Management Advisory Council - Northwest Territories continued to keep beneficiaries informed about wildlife management in the settlement region.
- The Environmental Impact Review Board reviewed DIAND's Sustainable Development Strategy Discussion Paper.
- The Wildlife Management Advisory Council - Northwest Territories placed a high priority on species management plans, responding to strong recommendations from Inuvialuit community conservation plans.
- The Wildlife Management Advisory Council - North Slope continued to advise the Inuvialuit and government agencies on all North Slope wildlife and habitat conservation issues.
The commitment and co-operation of all parties involved in the implementation of this Agreement are evident in their achievements. I am confident that they will continue to work diligently to ensure lasting benefits for the Inuvialuit now and for the generations to follow.
The Honourable Jane Stewart. P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations
|CWS||Canadian Wildlife Service|
|DFO||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|DIAND||Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development|
|DEW||Distant Early Warning|
|EIRB||Environmental Impact Review Board|
|EISC||Environmental Impact Screening Committee|
|FJMC||Fisheries Joint Management Committee|
|FOL||Forward Operating Location|
|GIS||Geographic Information System|
|GNWT||Government of the Northwest Territories|
|HTC||Hunters and Trappers Committee|
|IFA||Inuvialuit Final Agreement|
|IGC||Inuvialuit Game Council|
|ILA||Inuvialuit Land Administration|
|ISR||Inuvialuit Settlement Region|
|MMPA||Marine Mammals Protection Act|
|NAP||Northern Affairs Program (DIAND)|
|NHS||National Historic Site|
|PWGSC||Public Works and Government Services Canada|
|PWNHC||Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre|
|RAC||Research Advisory Council|
|RWED||Department of Resources. Wildlife and Economic Development (GNWT)|
|WMAC-NS||Wildlife Management Advisory Council - North Slope|
|WMAC-NWT||Wildlife Management Advisory Council - Northwest Territories|
|YTG||Yukon Territorial Government|
1. Summary of Agreement Provisions
The Inuvialuit Final Agreement was brought into force and effect by the Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act in 1984.
1.1 Land Ownership
The Agreement provides the Inuvialuit with fee simple absolute title to approximately 91,000 square kilometres of land in the Western Arctic. This area includes approximately 13,000 square kilometres on which they have title to surface and subsurface rights. The Inuvialuit Settlement Region includes the North Slope of the Yukon Territory, the eastern half of the Beaufort Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean, Banks Island, much of the western part of Victoria Island and some of the Parry Islands (see map, Appendix 1).
1.2 Eligibility and Enrolment
Under the Agreement, an enrolment authority composed of one federal government and two Inuvialuit representatives enrol those who are entitled to benefit from the Agreement. The Inuvialuit maintain the official enrolment list.
1.3 Financial Compensation and Economic Measures
Under the provisions of the IFA, the Inuvialuit will receive a total of $152 million over 14 years, ending in 1997. The Agreement also provided for one-time payment, made in 1984, of $7.5 million to a fund to assist the Inuvialuit in social development and $10 million to the Economic Enhancement Fund.
Section 16 of the IFA addresses economic development in the settlement region. Its broad objectives are to provide for Inuvialuit participation in the northern Canadian economy and for Inuvialuit integration into Canadian society through economic development. Since 1984, the Economic Enhancement Fund has helped the Inuvialuit become more actively involved in the local economy and make long-term investments that will provide a solid base for future development.
The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Department of Tourism and Economic Development of the Government of the Northwest Territories have established the Economic Measures Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of section 16. The Committee's purpose is to identify the types of issues and data required during a public review of section 16 scheduled for the year 2000. The Inuvialuit, the GNWT and DIAND jointly fund the Committee.
1.4 Wildlife and Environmental Co-management
Within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), the Inuvialuit have extensive wildlife harvesting rights. They also have a mechanism for integrating their claims against developers for harvest losses and for providing compensation or remedial measures as required.
The Agreement established structures to ensure Inuvialuit participation in wildlife management, conservation and environmental protection in the ISR. These structures include community-based Inuvialuit Hunters and Trappers Committees (HTCs) and the Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC), which has representation from each HTC.
The Agreement also established five joint advisory bodies that have equal government and Inuvialuit representation.
- The Environmental Impact Screening Committee assesses whether proposed developments require detailed environmental impact assessments.
- The Environmental Impact Review Board carries out public reviews of development proposals deemed necessary by the EISC.
- The Fisheries Joint Management Committee advises the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on matters relating to fisheries and marine mammals in the ISR.
- The Wildlife Management Advisory Council - Northwest Territories advises government and other appropriate bodies on wildlife conservation matters in the Northwest Territories portion of the settlement region.
- The Wildlife Management Advisory Council - North Slope advises government and other appropriate bodies on wildlife conservation matters in the Yukon North Slope.
1.5 Inuvialuit Corporations
Under the Agreement, various Inuvialuit corporations administer and manage settlement funds, lands and other benefits, including the following:
- six Inuvialuit community corporations corresponding to the Inuvialuit communities in the ISR which are responsible for directing the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC);
- the IRC, comprising representatives from each of the six community corporations, responsible for co-ordinating Inuvialuit implementation activities;
- the Inuvialuit Land Corporation responsible for administering settlement lands; and
- the Inuvialuit Development Corporation and the Inuvialuit Investment Corporation responsible for carrying on business activities and investing settlement funds on behalf of the Inuvialuit.
1.6 Implementation Co-ordinating Committee
The Agreement established the Implementation Co-ordinating Committee, composed of designates of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The Committee has been inactive since 1989.
2. Inuvialuit Wildlife Management Structures
2.1 Inuvialuit Game Council
The Inuvialuit Game Council represents the Inuvialuit interest in wildlife. Council members review wildlife research proposals from the Canadian Wildlife Service and the renewable resource departments of both territorial governments for projects within the settlement region. They set funding priorities for these and other projects related to wildlife and the environment.
Apart from their regularly scheduled meetings, the council members and their appointed representatives have been busy this year at the local, regional, national and international levels. They worked closely with many organizations in representing the collective Inuvialuit interest on all matters relating to wildlife and the environment.
At the local and regional level, the Council participated in the official signing ceremonies for the creation of Tuktut Nogait National Park. Council members also attended management workshops concerning grizzly bear, caribou and beluga whale, and those concerning protection of the marine environment.
At the national level, many initiatives required the Council's consideration. These included consultation and presentations on the following issues: the Firearms Act and Regulations. Canadian Endangered Species Protection Act, Canadian Environmental Assessment and Protection Act, the ecological monitoring and assessment network, protected areas strategy and sustainable development strategy.
At the international level, the Council dealt with such things as the Wild Fur Coalition regarding the European ban on furs harvested with leg-hold traps. It was also involved in discussions regarding amendments to the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Marine Mammals Protection Act (MMPA). This led to amendments to the MMPA that now permit the export of legally harvested polar bears to the United States.
The Council also sent representatives to international conferences, including the International Union of the Conservation of Nature Conference in Montreal, the International Wildlife Management Conservation meeting in Japan, and the community-based whaling workshop inBerkley, California, that led to the formation of the World Council of Whalers.
2.2 Hunters and Trappers Committees
Each of the six Inuvialuit communities of Inuvik, Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, Holman, Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour has a Hunters and Trappers Committee (HTC). Administrative and operational costs of the HTCs are the responsibility of the GNWT. In 1996-1997, the HTCs were active in several areas.
The Inuvik HTC worked with Community Harvesters Assistance Program funds to assist elders, other committee members and their families to go to whaling camps. The Committee purchased fish and harvested caribou to provide food to those who are unable to fish and hunt, and administered the beluga whale monitoring contracts for the 1996-1997 season.
The HTC reviewed the Town of Inuvik's application for a water licence. This review resulted in research on the effluent problems of the sewage lagoon. The HTC also met with the territorial Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to discuss tagging and monitoring research for caribou and beluga whales.
Other initiatives included search and rescue programs, Ikhil gas well tests and Suncor`s well abandonment program on Garry Island.
The Aklavik HTC, working through the Community Harvesters Assistance Program, helped people to go to their hunting, fishing or trapping camps and to make improvements to them.
The HTC participated in the beluga monitoring program and in research on the Big Fish River. It also participated in the successful harvest of a bowhead whale and its distribution to all the communities.
Tuktoyaktuk HTC members attended major workshops in Inuvik this year. These included the beluga management workshop, the Bluenose Caribou Management Plan and the workshop on traditional ecological knowledge of beluga whales. The HTC also participated in the beluga monitoring program in Tuktoyaktuk and Henderickson Island during the whale hunting season.
The Holman (Olokhatomiut) HTC participated in several projects including a char and seal monitoring program and a water sampling project for the Fisheries Joint Management Committee. It was also involved in environmental sensitivity mapping conducted by DIAND. The HTC participated in building two outpost camps for its members' use and conducted a community caribou and fish harvest for its members and elders.
The Paulatuk HTC participated in the signing ceremony for the Tuktut Nogait National Park. The HTC met with DIAND officials concerning the environmental sensitivity map. It also organized and managed the Aklavik muskox fact-finding trip with members from the Aklavik HTC. The harvesting and processing of muskoxen was included in the fact-finding venture.
Sachs Harbour HTC members attended three workshops held in Inuvik during 1996-1997. The HTC participated in the development of the Aulavik National Park Management Plan and developed a strategy for an annual commercial harvest of muskoxen. The HTC arranged with the Tuktovaktuk HTC for a caribou harvest on the mainland to provide meat for the residents of Sachs Harbour because the quota for Perry caribou remains at one per household.
3. Joint Implementing Bodies
3.1 Joint Secretariat
The Inuvialuit, GNWT and federal government established the Joint Secretariat to provide support services to the wildlife and environmental institutions of public government and to the Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC). The Secretariat administers funding for these institutions and provides administrative and technical support and functions as the focus for all information about their activities. It also performs the library and data collection duties of the Research Advisory Council.
The board held its regular board meeting and its annual general meeting in Yellowknife in June, as well as teleconferences in October 1996 and February 1997. During the February teleconference, the board appointed three representatives to the Inuvialuit Harvest Study Administrative Group. This administrative group will be responsible for the future conduct of a revised harvest study.
A seminar, "Two Ways of Knowing: Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge," was held in November 1996. Hunters, elders, resource managers and researchers from the United States, Canada, Greenland and Russia met in Inuvik. They discussed indigenous knowledge and prepared recommendations for its application in resource management and research. This seminar was a component of a pilot project about beluga indigenous knowledge undertaken under the auspices of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group. The FJMC sponsored the seminar and co-sponsored the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. DIAND provided financial support for the workshop.
The Geographic Information System specialist administered a contract sponsored by the WMACNWT to digitize and verify the sites described in the community conservation plans. Radar satellite images for the Beaufort Sea that relate to data from the beluga tagging project of 1995 were purchased. Vegetation mapping for the ISR began. The GIS specialist also worked on technology issues for the Joint Secretariat, HTCs and co-management boards. E-mail standards were developed, hardware purchased and access to the Internet arranged. Approximately 70 maps were produced for renewable resource committees, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and the Inuvialuit Land Administration (ILA). Development and implementation of effective digital data management have begun.
Other issues that the Joint Secretariat and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation staff worked on included developing the Harvester Assistance Program and improving the level of technical and administrative support to the HTCs. This support was accomplished by way of an ad hoc working group, which includes RWED staff.
Joint Secretariat staff also helped co-ordinate presentations by the international community, the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Gwich`'in Tribal Council to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and to the Canadian Polar Commission.
An ongoing issue that requires similar close co-operation involves reviewing and monitoring new legislation such as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Canadian Endangered Species Protection Act, the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, and the Firearms Act and Regulations.
Joint Secretariat staff, FJMC and IGC representatives attended the annual meeting of the International Association of the Study of Common Property. They made presentations to the community-based whaling workshop held at Berkeley, California. These meetings initiated a process to create an international community-based whaling council.
Joint Secretariat staff participated in the annual workshop of the North Slope Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network and also in the long-term research planning exercise following the workshop. The Joint Secretariat also provided invaluable support to the IGC, WMAC-NWT and the FJMC by participating in the International Union of the Conservation of Nature General Assembly (World Conservation Congress).
Dr. Norman Snow is a member of the Technical Committee on Arctic Contaminants. At the request of the IGC and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Dr. Snow attended the science managers meeting and workshop in Yellowknife and the Northern Contaminants Program Annual Results Conference in Sidney, British Columbia.
The executive director attended the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy - Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Responses Working Group Meeting in Yellowknife as well as the experts workshop in Vancouver. From these meetings, a detailed outline for a circumpolar oil spill response guide was developed. This was passed to the working group for review and ratification. The executive director and chairperson of the IGC were invited as experts to participate in two national round tables on the environment and economy held in Ottawa. They both contributed to Canada's presentation on the oceans component of the Rio 5+ Exercise.
3.2 Arbitration Board
The IFA established the 11-member Arbitration Board as a quasi-judicial body to resolve disputes among the Inuvialuit, Canada and industry resulting from the IFA. The Board also has jurisdiction to arbitrate enrolment disputes arising from the publication of the official beneficiary enrolment list.
3.3 Environmental Impact Screening Committee
The Environmental Impact Screening Committee screens all development proposals within the settlement region to decide whether they require environmental impact assessment. If so, the proposals are referred by the Committee to the EIRB, or to other review bodies, for a public environmental impact assessment.
Forty-three project descriptions were screened during the eight meetings that the EISC held during 1996-1997. Of these project descriptions, the EISC decided that 18 would have no significant negative impact; therefore, it made no referrals for further environmental assessment or review.
The Committee decided that a number of the projects were exempt from screening. It deemed that 21 projects submitted by the FJMC were exempt because they had gone through the IFA comanagement process. In addition, a project from Frontec Corporation concerning refitting the refuelling facilities at the DEW (Distant Early Warning) line sites was exempted because it involved a project that had been previously screened by EISC and was an improvement to the existing system and practice.
3.4 Environmental Impact Review BoardThe Environmental Impact Review Board is responsible for carrying out the public environmental review of development projects. The Board recommends whether development projects should proceed and under what terms and conditions. The Board also recommends measures to minimize the negative impact on wildlife harvesting. If wildlife compensation is an issue, it recommends limits of liability for the developer. During 1996-1997, the Board was involved in the following activities.
- The Board corresponded with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to request that the Board process be substituted for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act review process for developments affecting the ISR, under section 44 of the Act. By February 1997, the preliminary draft Memorandum of Understanding between the EIRB and the Minister of the Environment concerning environmental assessment was prepared.
- The Board continued to review its operating procedures. These procedures are being revised to incorporate comments from the co-management groups that arose following the Driftwood Lumber Salvage Proposal review. Comments from Parks Canada and DIAND will be incorporated. The Board process will replace the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency process within the ISR.
- The Board reviewed progress in implementing the screening and review processes of the Gwich'in, Tungavik Federation of Nunavut and the Council of Yukon First Nations land claims. The Board also examined the manner in which adjacent land claim organizations plan to assess cumulative effects.
- In November 1996, DIAND asked the Board to clarify specific terms of its decision regarding the Driftwood Lumber Salvage Proposal review. The request followed an application by the proponent for applicable permits.
- The Board reviewed DIAND's Sustainable Development Strategy Discussion Paper and submitted comments in January 1997.
3.5 Wildlife Management Advisory Council - Northwest Territories
The Wildlife Management Advisory Council - Northwest Territories provides wildlife management advice pertaining to the Western Arctic region of the Northwest Territories to officials and organizations, including the federal and territorial ministers responsible for wildlife management, the EISC and the EIRB. It prepares wildlife conservation and management plans for the Western Arctic and recommends appropriate wildlife harvest quotas.
The Council reviews and advises the Canadian government on any proposed position affecting wildlife in the Western Arctic Region. To help the Council fulfil this mandate, members and staff participated in the following meetings during the fiscal year.
- John Bailey and Kevin McCormick participated in a workshop focussing on the integration of institutions of public government with the continental management of migratory birds. The Canadian Wildlife Service organized the workshop in anticipation of amendments to the Migratory Bird Convention requiring an increased role for Aboriginal people in the management of migratory birds.
- In October 1996. Andy Carpenter and Bruce Hanbidge attended the World Conservation Congress in Montreal with members of the IGC. They participated in discussions on a number of resolutions of importance to the Inuvialuit and to wildlife management in the Northwest Territories. These resolutions covered issues dealing with sustainable use of wildlife, trade in wildlife and the rights of Aboriginal people to harvest wildlife.
- In November 1996, Andy Carpenter and Frank Pokiak participated in the final workshop in Inuvik to review the Bluenose Caribou Management Plan.
- In January 1997. Herbert Felix, on behalf of the IGC, attended a conference in Saskatoon dealing with an ecological monitoring and assessment network sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service. This national network is of significance to ongoing wildlife management issues in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
- In January 1997, Andy Carpenter and Frank Pokiak attended a meeting of the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee in Edmonton to discuss issues affecting polar bear management in the western Canadian Arctic.
- In January 1997, Andy Carpenter, Frank Pokiak and representatives from the IGC and the other institutions of public government presented a joint submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. The submission dealt with Bill C-65, An Act Respecting the Protection of Wildlife Species in Canada from Extirpation or Extinction.
- Andy Carpenter and Frank Pokiak attended a community workshop in Aklavik in February 1997, to participate in a review of the final draft of the ISR Grizzly Bear Management Plan.
- Herbert Felix and John Nagy attended two consecutive workshops in Whitehorse in February 1997. The first was an ecological monitoring and assessment network workshop sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service. This workshop dealt with the monitoring of environmental change on the Yukon North Slope. The second workshop dealt with the planning of long-term research priorities on the Yukon North Slope.
Boards Chairperson's Meeting
A number of land claims have now been settled in the Northwest Territories and Yukon. Consequently, there is a need to facilitate communication on overlapping research and management issues among the institutions of public government created under each land claim legislation. To address the need for increased communications, the chairpersons of five institutions held an inaugural meeting in Yellowknife on June 13 and 14. Representatives attended from WMAC-NWT, FJMC, the Gwich'in Renewable Resource Board, the Sahtu Renewable Resource Board and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. The objectives of the meeting were to identify issues of common concern and develop a co-ordinated approach to address them. A second meeting was scheduled for the week of November 25 to 29, 1996. During the November meeting, four common issues were dealt with in a series of workshops: options for the development of a joint Bluenose caribou management agreement, international marine mammal management, migratory bird management, and trapping and sealing issues.
Throughout the course of the week, the chairpersons heard presentations by the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, Minister, Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, GNWT; David Brackett, Director General, Canadian Wildlife Service; and Cindy Kenny-Gilday, member of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
The meeting addressed the need for effective communication by providing a structured forum for discussion, and all agreed that it should be an annual event. The Nunavut Management Wildlife Board will host the meeting in 1997.
Community Conservation Plans
The Council participated in implementing recommendations from the December 1994 Inuvialuit community conservation plan implementation workshop on protected areas in the ISR, the development of educational programs and a project to digitize all the land use maps in the six community conservation plans.
Increasing the level of conservation education received high priority in all the community conservation plans. The Council provided funds and expertise to a joint effort with the FJMC, the Inuvialuit Education Foundation and DIAND to develop a school curriculum on native land claims for pupils in grades 1 to 12. By the fiscal year end, a curriculum had been developed for use in the local school system starting in 1997-1998.
A project is under way to digitize the maps from the community conservation plans for retrieval through a computerized GIS. The computerized GIS will enable much more efficient use of information on Inuvialuit land use, wildlife harvesting, wildlife management and environmental impact assessment. This project will assist several institutions of public government to fulfill their mandates more effectively.
The Council is also responsible for monitoring the implementation of all recommendations delegated to the organizations that attended the 1994 workshop. A status review of the implementation of the workshop recommendations was completed. It showed that the majority of the recommendations have yet to be addressed by the organizations responsible for acting on them. In 1997-1998, the Council will encourage responsible organizations to implement these recommendations.
By-Law Development for Wildlife Harvesting
The IFA requires that the Inuvialuit be involved in managing wildlife in the ISR. To this end, the Agreement gives HTCs the authority to regulate Inuvialuit subsistence harvesting rights through the by-laws enforceable under the NWT Wildlife Act. While the Minister has jurisdiction and retains ultimate authority for wildlife management, this authority is usually limited by that of the HTCs. The Council has developed a co-operative process through which information is exchanged between the RWED and the Inuvialuit HTCs to help develop wildlife management by-laws and to incorporate them into the RWED's regulations. This process also involves the IGC which is responsible for review and approval of by-laws passed by HTCs to assure their uniform application to all Inuvialuit. While this process for incorporating these HTC by-laws into the regulatory process for wildlife management in the NWT continues to evolve, it has already contributed substantially to the creation of internationally recognized management regimes for grizzly and polar bears throughout the ISR.
During 1996-1997, 10 new by-laws were reviewed by the WMAC-NWT Council and subsequently passed by the IGC and the affected HTCs. The species dealt with are caribou, wolf and lynx. The by-law passed by the Inuvik HTC established wildlife management areas for caribou on the mainland portion of the ISR. Four by-laws passed by the communities of Inuvik, Aklavik, Paulatuk and Tuktoyaktuk established wildlife management areas and seasons for harvesting lynx.
These actions complete efforts by the Council to create a management regime for these species throughout their range in the ISR. Similar efforts are being pursued for the management of wolves throughout the ISR. During 1996-1997, the Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, Holman, Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour HTCs passed wolf by-laws. The Inuvik HTC is expected to pass a similar by-law in the near future.
One by-law dealing with caribou on Victoria Island was amended by the Holman HTC. This amendment modified the season to accommodate the community's seasonal harvesting activities.
Commercial Harvesting of Wildlife
A small number of Bluenose caribou were harvested for local sale under the existing commercial quota. The amount was within the established quota and was not significantly different from previous years.
Commercial muskox harvesting has been recommended on Banks Island since 1995 to facilitate the recovery of the endangered Peary caribou population. A harvest is anticipated next year. The Council will work with commercial harvesting interests on Banks Island and monitor the impact on muskox and caribou populations.
Migratory Bird Convention
The WMAC-NWT continued its active role in supporting changes to the Migratory Bird Convention to legalize the spring hunting of migratory birds. John Bailey and Kevin McCormick attended the Canadian Wildlife Service workshop on the integration of institutions of public government with the continental management of migratory birds. The workshop was held in anticipation of future amendments to the Migratory Bird Convention requiring an increased role for Aboriginal people in the management of migratory birds.
Canada and the United States signed the protocol to amend the Migratory Bird Convention in December 1995. The WMAC-NWT's last annual report stated that the protocol was proceeding through each country's respective ratification process. The Canadian process is now complete but the American process is not. In anticipation of early ratification of the protocol, the Council is participating in activities to effect resulting changes to migratory bird management. In addition, it is assisting the HTCs to develop by-laws governing spring hunting in the ISR.
Legislation Affecting Wildlife Management
The Council commented on Bill C-65, An Act Respecting the Protection of Wildlife Species in Canada from Extirpation or Extinction. In January, it made a presentation on the Bill to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. While the Council was supportive of an act designed to protect endangered species, it took the position that this legislation will more adversely affect the rights and interests of Inuvialuit than those of most other Canadians. Chief concerns were the Bill's inadequate recognition of Inuvialuit harvesting and management rights and the functions of the organizations created through the IFA for managing wildlife.
Development of Species Management Plans
All six Inuvialuit community conservation plans made strong recommendations identifying the need for species management plans. In response, the WMAC-NWT placed a high priority on their development. Three species management plans were dealt with during 1996-1997: the Bluenose Caribou Management Plan, the ISR Grizzly Bear Management Plan and the Western Arctic Region Wolf Management Plan.
The Bluenose Caribou Management Plan details requirements for maintaining the Bluenose caribou herd throughout its range. The final plan will have a similar format to the existing Porcupine Caribou Management Plan and will include a work plan for research and management tasks. The plan will affect four land claim settlement areas: Inuvialuit, Gwich'in, Nunavut and Sahtu. Therefore, all the wildlife management organizations representing these settlement areas agreed that the RWED should assume the lead role for developing the plan.
During the past year, council members participated in the final consultation tour of the communities within the range of the Bluenose caribou herd. They reviewed the objectives of the plan with residents and collected their comments from previous presentations on the harvesting and management of the herd. Completion of the final plan was delayed due to the large response by all communities visited during the 1996-1997 fiscal year. Completion is anticipated by the summer of 1997.
Completing the ISR Grizzly Bear Management Plan is a priority for the Council. The existing draft plan has a similar format to the Porcupine Caribou Management Plan. It will include a work plan for research and management tasks.
The Western Arctic Region Wolf Management Plan covers the principles of co-operative management to ensure the long-term survival of wolves, their habitat and their prey in the ISR. The format will be a short and concise outline of the guiding principles for wolf management.
3.6 Wildlife Management Advisory Council - North Slope
The Wildlife Management Advisory Council - North Slope for the Yukon North Slope is the counterpart of the WMAC-NWT. The Council's responsibilities include establishing harvest quotas, advising Inuvialuit and government agencies on all North Slope wildlife and habitat conservation issues, reviewing proposals for IFA-funded research projects related to wildlife management, making recommendations to the IGC and advising the appropriate government ministers regarding management of parks in the North Slope.
3.7 Fisheries Joint Management Committee
The Fisheries Joint Management Committee assists the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in the management of fisheries, and provides advice on all matters affecting settlement region fisheries.
The FJMC works closely with government agencies, renewable resource user groups in the Inuvialuit communities, and other renewable resource boards in Canada and Alaska which oversee common migratory stocks. In keeping with the co-management philosophy of the IFA, consultation with local HTCs, the IGC, DFO and other government agencies was an important part of the Committee's activities in 1996-1997.
4 Federal and Territorial Governments
4.1 Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Claims Implementation Branch
The Claims Implementation Branch serves as a liaison on IFA implementation issues for the Inuvialuit, territorial governments and other federal government departments. The Branch negotiates funding authorities and monitors federal implementation activities. It also seeks the compliance of federal departments in outstanding implementation issues. The Branch is also responsible for processing Canada's appointments to the Arbitration Board, leading federal negotiations on proposed amendments to the IFA and preparing the annual implementation review.
Northern Affairs Program
The Northern Affairs Program of DIAND administers legislation concerning the disposition and use of Crown lands, inland waters, offshore and non-renewable resources, and overall environmental protection in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
As the main recipient of decisions and recommendations from the EISC and EIRB, NAP administers funding and monitors the implementation of screening and review processes to ensure that issues are dealt with in a timely manner. Through its regulatory authorities, NAP is also involved in the implementation of measures countering the impacts of industrial development. In addition, NAP administers implementation funding for conducting granular (sand and gravel) inventories.
During 1996-1997, work was completed on a granular resource management model for the Western Arctic Region that will assist both the Inuvialuit and government to discharge their obligations under the IFA for managing granular resources. Initiated during 1994-1995, this contract involved preparing and maintaining a preliminary model, base maps and data-base information on granular resources.
A new contract was set up in 1996-1997 for developing a granular resources management plan for the ISR. A preliminary management plan will be completed in 1997-1998. Additional work was undertaken to provide information on the overall potential of surficial geology features in the ISR to provide granular resources. This work will continue in 1997-1998 because the information will be needed for preparation of the management plan.
4.2 Department of Fisheries and Oceans
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is responsible for making policy and regulatory changes to accommodate Inuvialuit rights concerning the harvest, trade, transport and co-management of fish and marine mammal resources in the settlement region, and for supporting the FJMC which was established by the IFA. Implementation funding has been provided to augment wildlife study programs in the settlement region.
4.3 Environment Canada
Environment Canada, through CWS, is represented on the wildlife management advisory councils which deal with all significant wildlife issues in the ISR.
The CWS is a member of the WMAC-NWT and the WMAC-NS for the ISR, and provides technical input into the Inuvialuit Harvest Study which is documenting the numbers of birds, mammals and fish taken by Inuvialuit. The information gathered during the study is intended for use in wildlife management, for calculating a compensation regime for loss of wildlife and habitat caused by industrial development in the ISR, and for determining the subsistence wildlife use and requirements of the Inuvialuit.
4.4 Canadian Heritage
Parks Canada is responsible for the protection of natural and cultural resources, including the wildlife populations and habitat of the two national parks in the ISR: Ivvavik National Park, in the western portion of the North Slope; and Aulavik National Park, on Banks Island.
Angik Archaeological Field Project, Paulatuk
The archaeological field program that began in 1995 continued in 1996 with Grade 7, 8 and 9 students of Paulatuk. The project was accomplished with the support of Angik School and the Community Education Council of Paulatuk, with funding and support from the Canada/NWT Language Agreement and from the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC). It was directed by the Centre and by Angik School. In good weather, the students spent mornings and afternoons on site learning the basic archaeological field methods for artifact recovery and recording. They spent one day in the classroom learning how to make rubber moulds and plaster casts of objects.
Students received on-site instruction in excavation methods, use of standard excavation equipment, recovery and two-dimensional recording of artifacts and debris, and drawing of floor plans and profiles. Classroom work included viewing a video on excavation methods, instruction in artifact recognition and analysis, and learning definitions of archaeological terms. Students also recorded their daily activities in a journal.
The archaeological site is located on a spit projecting into Darnley Bay just north of the community of Paulatuk. It consists of at least two sod house remains and several pits, and was occupied in the 1930s by Inuvialuit families. Members of these families still live in the settlement region. The family of Asisauna Lester, whose sons were Alec Lester and Fred Lester, occupied the house which the students excavated.
The ruins are a rectangular depression, with two wooden posts rising above ground level which may have been structural supports. Sod has been removed from the pits surrounding the features and banked along the walls in a stepped effect. A nearby pit is probably the remains of an ice house or cold pit.
Excavations were carried to an approximate depth of 25 centimetres. Some structural information was revealed through the excavation. The remains of boards and glass fragments, likely from a window, were found. Artifacts recovered include the fourth leg from a wood burning stove (three were found last year), buttons, a reworked handle made from an early form of plastic, cut caribou antler, a chewing tobacco can and lid, a bowhead whale vertebral disc and a medal commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1920.
Kitigaryuit Oral History
This was the second year of oral history, archaeological research and mapping of the area by the Inuvialuit Social Development Program. The Inuvialuit community of Kitigaryuit was declared of national historic significance in 1978 but was never commemorated as a national historic site. The completion of this work may lead to a cultural resource management plan that will make fuller commemoration of this site possible.
The Pingo (Canadian Landmark) National Historic Site is located six kilometres southsouthwest of Tuktoyaktuk. Included within its boundaries is the largest pingo in Canada and a number of others at different stages of evolution. Created over a number of years, a pingo is an ice-cored mound produced when ice grows in or below permafrost as a result of water pressure
The agreement to create the Pingo NHS is contained in the 1984 IFA. Final legislation passed in 1996 led to the creation of the Pingo NHS. Work is now under way to obtain funding to support the development and presentation of the site.
4.5 Public Works and Government Services Canada
Public Works and Government Services Canada continued to advertise procurement opportunities on the Open Bidding Service and to meet the requirements of the IFA by notifying the Inuvialuit Regional Council of procurement opportunities within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
4.6 Department of National Defence
Headquarters Canadian Forces Northern Area communicates frequently with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and local communities, as required, in advance of Canadian Ranger, Cadet and southern-based Canadian military-unit training and exercises.
Most exercises performed in the Inuvialuit settlement area are in the form of Ranger patrols, Junior Ranger programs, and Cadet Corps activities. Current strengths are as follows:
|Inuvik||24 Rangers and 35 Cadets and Cadet Instructors|
|Paulatuk||25 Rangers and 15 Junior Rangers|
|Sach's Harbour||15 Rangers|
Each patrol conducts Ranger training annually. Each exercise lasts two weeks and consists of a training phase within the local community followed by a four-day exercise in the local area. Exercises are conducted in different areas each year. For 1996-1997, the following Ranger exercises were scheduled:
|Holman||March and April 1996|
|Paulatuk||September and October 1996|
|Sach's Harbour||March and April 1996, February 1997|
Patrol leader training consists of a four- to seven-day classroom session in a designated community in the Western Arctic (not necessarily the Inuvialuit settlement area) conducted every two years. This training was last conducted in December 1996.
Cadets conduct local field training up to three times yearly. Cadet zone exercises include a number of cadet corps. These exercises include approximately 170 cadets and instructors. An exercise was conducted in October 1996, and a drill competition took place in Inuvik in November 1996.
Sovereignty operations are conducted five times a year. These consist of local Ranger patrols augmented by up to 120 personnel from southern-based units. A very successful SOVOPS exercise was conducted at Holman in January 1997.
Flying exercises are conducted from Forward Operating Locations which include Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Inuvik and Yellowknife. Up to six aircraft and 200 personnel are deployed for large exercises while smaller exercises involve two aircraft and 50 to 60 personnel. Fighter Group conducts one FOL exercise annually at the Inuvik FOL. The last exercise was conducted in April 1996.
There are eight unmanned north warning sites, and one logistic support site within the ISR. The operation and maintenance of the north warning site is a joint venture between Frontec Logistics Corporation of Edmonton and Pan Arctic Logistics Corporation, an organization made up of four Inuit groups one of which is the Inuvialuit people.
4.7 Government of the Northwest Territories
Under the terms of the IFA, the Government of the Northwest Territories is responsible for appointing the chairperson and GNWT members; providing a secretariat for the WMAC-NWT; providing the administrative and operational costs of the IGC and of the six community HTCs; designating a member to each of the EISC, the EIRB, the Arbitration Board and the Research Advisory Council (RAC); and providing the budget for the operation and maintenance of the RAC. The RAC now dispenses funds to the Joint Secretariat for the provision of library services. The GNWT provides funding to the Joint Secretariat for technical and administrative support to the various IFA boards.
Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
Ministry officials worked closely with the GNWT program departments and the Joint Secretariat to promote effective administration of GNWT implementation funding and also prepared the GNWT component of this annual report.
Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
The Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development was created in August 1996 by the merger of Renewable Resources; Economic Development and Tourism; and Energy, Mines and Resources. This department has assumed responsibility for implementation activities formerly discharged by the merged departments.
RWED co-operated with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and each Inuvialuit community in encouraging employment opportunities and economic self-sufficiency within the ISR. This was accomplished by helping Inuvialuit businesses and individuals access financing from RWED programs and from other sources. The department also helped Inuvialuit businesses by providing information, counseling and advice. Work continued on implementing the community economic development planning process in all Inuvialuit communities. In this process, RWED and community leaders work to facilitate community economic and business development by identifying economic opportunities and working toward their realization.
Wildlife studies were a significant part of the GNWT's operations. They included the following activities.
- Inuvialuit Harvest Study - harvest data were collected, entered and verified monthly and summarized according to community and species.
- Banks Island Caribou and Muskoxen - studies of caribou and muskox populations and summer and winter forage conditions, the annual mortality rate of muskoxen, and the decline of the caribou population were conducted. Banks Island is working with the Sachs Harbour HTC and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to assess the economic feasibility of conducting a large-scale commercial muskox harvest.
- Bluenose Caribou - a draft management plan for the Bluenose caribou herd was prepared, a workshop was held to present information on the herd and the draft plan commented on.
- Mainland Muskoxen - a survey of the muskox population in the eastern portion of the ISR was completed.
- Anderson-Horton Grizzly Bear - radio-collared grizzly bears were located to determine their reproductive status, and a survival data model created to determine sustainable harvest rates. Sex and age of the harvest were also monitored.
- Richardson Mountain Grizzly Bear - radio collars on female grizzly bears were replaced to help monitor their reproductive status and the sex and age of the harvest.
- Grizzly Bear Harvest - a database was developed for the Inuvik region (Inuvialuit and Gwich'in land claim areas), containing information on harvest and problem bear occurrences and kills for the period 1986 to 1996. This database will be updated regularly and maintained by the RWED office in Inuvik. Quotas and harvest information were reviewed for each community hunting area.
- Grizzly Bear Management Plan - a workshop was held in February 1997 with representatives of HTCs on the mainland to comment on the draft grizzly bear management plan for the ISR.
- Arctic Island Wolf - wolf skulls and carcasses were purchased from hunters and trappers on Banks Island and analyzed to determine age, sex, incidence of disease, diet and general body condition of harvested wolves.
Education, Culture and Employment
The Department of Education, Culture and Employment continued work on its Tuktoyaktuk Traditional Knowledge Project, which is intended to provide information to the Inuvialuit Land Administration and other agencies responsible for the protection of heritage sites in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Archaeological permits were routinely referred to the ILA and the EISC for their review. The staff of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre also assisted the Inuvialuit Social Development Program with an assessment of the Kittigaquit National Historic Site.
The Department of Justice continued to contribute to the ongoing implementation of the IFA by offering legal advice and assistance, particularly in the areas of access to Inuvialuit lands and the application of legislation in relation to the IFA.
The completed plans of survey of all the 7(1)(a) and 7(l)(b) Inuvialuit parcels were submitted to the Land Titles Office for review and registration in February 1997. Upon registration, notifications to issue certificates of title to all Inuvialuit lands may be submitted.
4.8 Government of the Yukon
The Yukon Territorial Government is responsible for appointing the chairperson and a Yukon member to the WMAC-NS; designating a member each to the EISC and the EIRB, the Arbitration Board and the Research Advisory Council; operating Herschel Island Territorial Park; and co-ordinating the Yukon North Slope Conference. The YTG also allocates implementation funding to ongoing wildlife research on the Yukon North Slope and for participation on the EISC, the EIRB and the Arbitration Board.
Radio telemetry was used to locate the Porcupine caribou herd prior to the annual composition count (40 percent of the collared animals were located). Collared caribou were tracked for three days in their usual winter range, and the composition count to estimate calf survival over the winter was completed in March. Approximately 4,000 caribou were classified and 38 calves per 100 cows were counted. This indicates good calf survival for the groups surveyed. Ten additional bull caribou were captured and fitted with conventional radio collars to help locate bull groups for the photo census scheduled for July 1997.
To enable information to be distributed to a wider audience in the communities, a video was produced to accompany the North Slope Wolf Study.
The report entitled "Muskoxen Distribution, Abundance and Key Habitat Utilization" was completed and distributed.
As part of the ecosystem monitoring program, Yukon supported a Parks Canada project by contributing equipment for a remote weather station and a water survey station in Ivvavik National Park. Parks Canada will cover the costs of installation and maintenance of the two stations.
Further work was undertaken toward the production of a wildlife habitat map of the Richardson Mountains. A landcover map was completed, and a map legend was developed. Bryophyte specimens, collected during the 1992 and 1993 field seasons, were identified and catalogued by computer. This information contributes to the North Richardson Mountain vegetation data base.
The Department of Renewable Resources GIS technology and a data base design were upgraded in 1996. GIS technology is a computer-based application which combines a geographic information system, remote sensing image analysis, relational data base management and other related capabilities to manage all the department's land-related data. IFA implementation funds provided resources for the conversion of 1993-1994 digital National Topographic Survey base, wildlife and habitat data to the upgraded system to keep the data operational.
The YTG contributed to a GNWT project on grizzly bear reproductive rates and cub survival in the Richardson Mountains, in which a minimum of 15 radio-collared female grizzly bears are being monitored over a six-year period.
The Government of Yukon also participated in and contributed funds to a number of projects administered by WMAC-NS. Contributions were made to the following activities: evaluation of the Inuvialuit Harvest Study, Biological Survey Foundation for the publication costs of "Insects of the Yukon," completion of the draft muskox management plan, and long-term research planning workshop hosted in March 1997 by WMAC-NS.
4.9 Herschel Island Territorial Park
1996 was the busiest summer on record for Herschel Island Territorial Park. The Park received between 700 and 800 visitors during the1996 operating season, up from 500 in 1995. About one third of these visitors arrived via cruise ship.
The Elder Host Program, a voluntary program established in 1993, continued in 1996-1997. Inuvialuit elders are stationed at Herschel Island for approximately six weeks during the Park's peak operating season. The elders act as ambassadors, greeting visitors and sharing their life experiences. Most used Herschel Island traditionally or lived on the Island before the Park's establishment. Local hunters and trappers often donate traditional food (mucktuk, caribou and char) to the elders who may invite visitors to share in the local cuisine.
Appendix 1: Map of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region
Appendix 2: Financial Compensation Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments
Annex N of the IFA provides that capital transfer payments shall be made to the Inuvialuit on the last business day prior to December 31 of each of the following years and in the following amounts:
Appendix 3: Cumulative Costs of Implementation 1984-1985 to 1996-1997
* These funds represent funds allocated for implementation purposes, as actual expenditure figures are not available.
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