ARCHIVED - Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Annual Report - 1 December 2005 to 31 March 2007
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The Implementation Committee is pleased to present its first annual report on the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The signing of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement marked an historic event as it is the first modern treaty between the Crown and an Aboriginal people in Atlantic Canada. In addition, the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement is the first tripartite funded land claims agreement in Canada, marking the dawn of a more collaborative approach to implementation among the Parties. This report covers the period from December 1, 2005, when the Agreement came into effect; to March 31, 2007.
The Implementation Committee is composed of a senior official from each of the signatory Parties: the Nunatsiavut Government (Toby Andersen), the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (Ruby Carter) and the Government of Canada (Mavis Dellert). The role of the Implementation Committee is to oversee, monitor, and provide direction on the implementation of the Agreement. The Committee functions by consensus and serves as a forum where the Parties can raise issues and voice concerns.
This annual report describes achievements and developments over the course of the first year and a half of the Agreement. Nunatsiavut, federal and provincial government departments, the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board, and regional Enrolment and Membership Committees have all contributed to a successful 16 months.
In particular, the Implementation Committee would like to thank the Nunatsiavut Government for its strong commitment and support. The willingness of the Nunatsiavut Government to lend its administrative services was instrumental in ensuring that the intergovernmental boards and committees were established, and running effectively. The Implementation Committee would also like to acknowledge the quality of candidates who have been appointed to the intergovernmental boards and committees. Members with strong professional qualifications and experience, management experience, and knowledge of traditional and contemporary Inuit society are on each Board. All members have a high level of enthusiasm and dedication, and they have undertaken significant steps to lay the foundation for fulfilling their mandate.
All Parties are committed to the spirit of partnership and collaboration that are key to the successful implementation of the Agreement. Achievements to date are the result of partners working together to recognize Labrador Inuit rights and benefits in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and a joint, sincere commitment to fulfilling the letter and the spirit of this Agreement.
This annual report celebrates the coming into force of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the establishment of the Nunatsiavut Government.
Features of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (the Agreement) was a long time coming. The claim was first filed in 1977, and negotiations began a decade later, in 1988. It required another 13 years of hard work and discussion between all Parties before the Labrador Inuit signed an Agreement-in-Principle with the federal and provincial governments in June 2001. Ratification of the Final Agreement began in 2003. The Agreement was finally submitted for approval to the Labrador Inuit on May 26, 2004, when Labrador Inuit voted overwhelmingly to support it. This paved the way for ratification by the federal and provincial governments.
The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly passed the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act on December 6, 2004. The Act received Royal Assent the same day. The Labrador Inuit Association, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador signed the Agreement at an official ceremony held in Nain on January 22,2005.
The final phase of ratification was completed when Bill C-56, "an Act to Give Effect to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Tax Treatment Agreement", was passed in the House of Commons on June 15, 2005. This Bill was approved in the Senate and given Royal Assent by Canada's Governor General on June 23, 2005. On December 1, 2005 the Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Constitution came into effect at the first Assembly of the Nunatsiavut Transitional Government, held in Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Agreement is protected as a treaty under the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982. It defines the relationship between the Labrador Inuit and their ancestral lands in northern Labrador and sets out Inuit rights and benefits, including details of land ownership and resource sharing. It also provides for the establishment of the Nunatsiavut Government.
The Agreement established the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area (Settlement Area), which includes roughly 72,500 square kilometres of northern Labrador and 48,690 square kilometres of adjacent ocean zone extending to the limit of Canada's territorial sea. Within the Settlement Area, Labrador Inuit own 15,800 square kilometres designated as Labrador Inuit Lands. The Agreement also established the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve, consisting of about 9,600 square kilometres of land within the Settlement Area.
1.2 Key Elements of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement constitutes a final settlement of the Aboriginal rights of the Labrador Inuit in Canada, and exhaustively sets out those rights as recognized and confirmed by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. In exchange for the rights and benefits specified in the Agreement, the Labrador Inuit relinquished to the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador, all of their Aboriginal rights outside of Labrador Inuit Lands, and any Aboriginal rights related to subsurface resources in Labrador Inuit Lands. Labrador Inuit retained all other Aboriginal rights in Labrador Inuit Lands, as well as any Aboriginal rights that they may have to lands and waters in a defined area of northeastern Québec and adjacent marine areas. The Agreement does not affect the Aboriginal rights that other Aboriginal people may have in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. It may only be amended with agreement from the three signatory Parties.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to Inuit governments and to matters under their authority, and federal and provincial laws will continue to apply to Inuit in accordance with the Agreement.
The regional Inuit government is known as the Nunatsiavut Government. There are five Inuit community governments, one in each of the five Inuit communities of Rigolet, Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale and Nain.
Some of the features of the Agreement are unique, designed to reflect the special history, environment and circumstances of the Inuit of Labrador. Here is a summary of the Agreement's more distinctive elements.
1.2.1 Natural Resources and Mineral Rights
In the designated Labrador Inuit Lands, Inuit have the exclusive right to carving stone, ownership of 3,950 square kilometres (1,525 square miles) of quarry materials and a 25 percent ownership interest in subsurface resources. Existing mineral rights holders on Labrador Inuit Lands may continue to access the lands, and will continue to be regulated by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
1.2.2 Water Management and Inuit Water Rights
New commercial or industrial developers on Labrador Inuit Lands must acquire a Water Use Permit from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, which must be approved by the Nunatsiavut Government. Any developer in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area who proposes to use water in a way that may substantially affect the quantity, quality or rate of flow of water on or adjacent to Labrador Inuit Lands is required to first negotiate a Compensation Agreement with the Nunatsiavut Government.
1.2.3 Ocean Management
The Labrador Inuit Settlement Area includes an adjacent ocean zone extending to the limit of Canada's territorial sea. Any major initiatives to establish marine management plans or to develop non-renewable resources in the Zone require prior consultation with the Nunatsiavut Government. Major developments in the Zone also require the negotiation of Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreements.
1.2.4 Economic Development
Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreements must be negotiated between the Nunatsiavut Government and developers before projects proceed on Labrador Inuit Lands, and before major developments proceed in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area outside the Labrador Inuit Lands. The Nunatsiavut Government is entitled to 25 percent of provincial government revenues from subsurface resources on Labrador Inuit Lands. In the Settlement Area outside Labrador Inuit Lands, the Nunatsiavut Government receives 50 per cent of the first $2 million and five per cent of any additional provincial revenues from subsurface resources. Revenues received from subsurface resources in the Settlement Area outside Labrador Inuit Lands will be capped at an amount that, if distributed equally among all Labrador Inuit, would result in an average per capita income for Labrador Inuit that equals the Canadian average per capita income.
1.2.5 National Parks and Protected Areas
The Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve was established on the effective date of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. A Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement negotiated between the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Canada came into effect at the same time.
The Nunatsiavut Government may establish other protected areas on Labrador Inuit Lands. Any new protected areas in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area outside Labrador Inuit Lands that may affect the rights of the Labrador Inuit under the Agreement require the completion of a Protected Area Agreement with the Nunatsiavut Government.
1.2.6 Land Use Planning
A comprehensive Land Use Plan for the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area will be developed jointly by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Nunatsiavut Government within three years of the effective date of the Agreement, or another date as agreed between the two governments. Once approved, all new development will be required to conform to the Plan.
1.2.7 Environmental Assessment
Federal and provincial environmental assessment laws continue to apply throughout the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The Nunatsiavut Government can make laws respecting the environmental assessment of projects on Labrador Inuit Lands, but federal and provincial laws will prevail if there is a conflict with Nunatsiavut Government laws. Inuit laws must meet or exceed standards under general laws, and developers must secure approval from all three levels of government before proceeding with projects on Labrador Inuit Lands. The Agreement commits the Parties to make every effort to ensure environmental assessment processes are harmonized to avoid duplication and inefficiency.
1.2.8 Wildlife and Plants
Labrador Inuit have the right to harvest wildlife and plants throughout the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area for Inuit food, and for social and ceremonial purposes. If harvesting by Labrador Inuit must be limited, the provincial or federal Minister will set regulations based on recommendations from the Nunatsiavut Government.
A co-management board appointed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government is the primary body for making recommendations to governments on the conservation and management of wildlife and plants in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The provincial and federal governments retain overall responsibility for the conservation and management of wildlife and plants.
With the exception of interest holders accommodated under the Agreement, the Nunatsiavut Government controls who may harvest wildlife and plants on Labrador Inuit Lands. Provisions have been made for non-Inuit with existing cabins on Labrador Inuit Lands to harvest in areas they traditionally and currently use. Existing outfitters and sawmill operators continue under laws of general application. The Nunatsiavut Government has the exclusive right to authorize new outfitting and sawmill operations on Labrador Inuit Lands, and first right to establish new operations throughout the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.
Labrador Inuit have the right to harvest fish and marine mammals throughout the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area for Inuit food, and social and ceremonial purposes. If conservation requires that fishing by Inuit be limited, the federal Minister will establish regulations based on the recommendation of the Nunatsiavut Government.
A co-management board appointed by the Government of Canada, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Nunatsiavut Government is the primary body for making recommendations to governments on the conservation and management of fish in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The provincial and federal governments retain the overall responsibility for the conservation and management of the fishery.
Existing commercial fishing licences are not affected by the Agreement. Inuit are guaranteed a percentage of new or additional commercial fishing licences for specified species within the Zone, and in waters adjacent to the Zone. Labrador Inuit control who may fish or establish aquaculture facilities on Labrador Inuit Lands, and have the first right to establish aquaculture facilities in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.
1.2.10 Harvesting Compensation
Developers who wish to carry out projects on Labrador Inuit Lands and major developers in the Settlement Area outside Labrador Inuit Lands are absolutely liable for any harm that their projects may cause to wildlife or fish. They are responsible for compensating the Labrador Inuit for any damage to or loss of wildlife and fish, wildlife or fish habitat, or harvesting activities which suffer as a result of their projects.
1.2.11 Labrador Inuit Self Government
Labrador Inuit have created their own Constitution, establishing two levels of government: the Nunatsiavut Government, with jurisdiction primarily over Inuit at a regional level, and five Inuit Community Governments. The Constitution also provides for the establishment of Inuit Community Corporations for Inuit who live in the Upper Lake Melville Area and elsewhere outside the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The Constitution came into effect with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
All levels of government are democratically responsible. The Nunatsiavut Government has jurisdiction to make laws governing the Inuit residents of Labrador Inuit Lands and the Inuit communities in areas such as education, health, child and family services, and income support. The Nunatsiavut Government also has jurisdiction over its internal affairs, Inuit language and culture, and the management of Inuit rights and benefits under the Agreement. The Nunatsiavut Government may establish a judicial system for the administration of Inuit laws.
Inuit Community Governments replace the municipal governments that had jurisdiction before the implementation of Agreement. Inuit and non-Inuit residents of the Inuit communities are able to vote for and serve as councillors in the Inuit Community Governments. Inuit Community Governments may enact by-laws with respect to local or municipal matters within Inuit communities.
1.2.12 Fiscal Financing Agreements
The Labrador Inuit remain eligible to receive federal and provincial programs and services. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Canada, and the Nunatsiavut Government negotiate a fiscal financing agreement every five years to provide funding to the Nunatsiavut Government for agreed-upon programs and services for Inuit and, where appropriate, for other residents. The Inuit will contribute to the costs of their own governance, programs and services.
1.2.13 Capital Transfers
The Government of Canada will pay the Labrador Inuit $140 million in 1997 dollars, according to a specified schedule of payments, over 15 years. Inuit will repay their land claims negotiation loans of approximately $50 million over the same 15-year period.
The Labrador Inuit continue to be subject to federal and provincial tax laws. The Nunatsiavut Government may make laws in relation to direct taxation of Inuit for Nunatsiavut Government purposes, and may make laws for the coordination and harmonization of Inuit Community Government taxation. Inuit Community Governments may make laws in relation to the direct taxation of Inuit for Inuit Community Government purposes. Additional powers for the Inuit governments to tax persons other than Inuit may be negotiated through agreements between Inuit governments and the federal and provincial governments.
1.2.15 Dispute Resolution
A tripartite out-of-court dispute resolution process will be created to address disagreements about the interpretation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, and disputes specifically referred to dispute resolution under the Agreement. Examples include disputes over wildlife compensation, terms of Impacts and Benefits Agreements outside Labrador Inuit Lands, and terms governing access to Labrador Inuit Lands for purposes permitted under the Agreement.
An Implementation Plan setting out the timing, responsibilities and costs of implementing the Agreement has been negotiated. The Government of Canada will transfer $156 million to the Nunatsiavut Government for implementation of the Agreement. In exchange for this implementation fund, the Inuit will release the Government of Canada from future funding obligations, except for some specific funding obligations set out in the Agreement.
The Board of Directors of the Labrador Inuit Association became the Nunatsiavut Transitional Assembly on December 1, 2005. The Transitional Assembly was in place until the election of Nunatsiavut Government's first Assembly, held in September and October 2006.
Inaugural Inuit Community Government elections were held on September 6, 2006. AngajukKaks, formerly known as mayors, were elected in Nunatsiavut communities of Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet. In the Upper Lake Melville region, which is outside of Labrador Inuit Lands and the Labrador Settlement Area, Inuit beneficiaries are represented by Inuit Community Corporations. Two Chairpersons were elected on September 6 for the North West River Inuit Community Corporation and the NunaKatiget (Upper Lake Melville and Mud Lake) Community Corporation.
The election of Ordinary Assembly members was held on October 6, 2006 in Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik, Rigolet and in Upper Lake Melville. An Ordinary Member was also elected for the Canadian Constituency for Labrador Inuit living outside of Labrador.
The newly elected Nunatsiavut Assembly members were sworn in on October 16, 2006 in Nain. The first Cabinet was then appointed. This was followed by the first sitting of the Assembly. The first Assembly consisted of seven cabinet members, five Inuit Community Government AngajukKaks, two Inuit Community Government Chairpersons, and three people at large.
A Registry of Inuit Laws was created on March 31, 2006. It included 18 pieces of legislation enacted by the Nunatsiavut Assembly.
The Registrar of Beneficiaries has been appointed and the office established. The Registry of Beneficiaries has been developed in accordance with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and is continually being updated.
The Nunatsiavut Government continues to develop a Land Registry, a project scheduled for completion in 2008. As a first step in this process, the Nunatsiavut Government has developed a Framework Land Use Plan for the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area through a community consultation process. The Framework Land Use Plan is being submitted to the Regional Planning Authority as the proposed foundation for preparing the official Land Use Plan for the Settlement Area.
2.3 Inuit Harvesting
Under the Agreement, the Nunatsiavut Government assumes responsibility for Inuit harvesting within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. As part of this mandate, an extensive harvesting data collection program has been developed and is being implemented. Specific arrangements include a co-operative subsistence salmon harvesting agreement with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and a nine-year communal fishing licence for Upper Lake Melville scheduled for implementation in 2008. An interim communal fishing licence has already been negotiated.
2.4 Healthcare for Beneficiaries
The Nunatsiavut Government Department of Health prepared to assume the authority to deliver the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program for all Agreement beneficiaries residing in other parts of Canada. The program will be transferred from Health Canada on April 1, 2007.
2.5 Nunatsiavut Government Official Buildings
The Nunatsiavut Government has completed the engineering and architectural design of the Nunatsiavut Assembly Building to be built in Hopedale, and the Nunatsiavut Administrative Building to be built in Nain.
2.6 Strategic Plan
The Nunatsiavut Government has begun preparation of a 15-year Strategic Plan by setting out the objectives that the Government would like to accomplish by 2010. A progress review based on the Plan will be undertaken in 2015, the last year of the Implementation Fund transfer payments.
2.7 Other Activities and Achievements
As this was a foundational period for the Nunatsiavut Government, significant effort and attention was placed on start-up issues related to developing the new Government. This included establishing trust funds to manage capital transfers, transitioning from the Labrador Inuit Association to the new government structure, passing important legislation, and addressing development in the Settlement Area. These and other activities are described more fully in the Nunatsiavut Government Community Report December 2005-March 2007.
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement marks the first settled land claims agreement in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Agreement brings clarity to land ownership and the management of resources in northern Labrador, allowing Labrador Inuit to pursue economic development opportunities consistent with their cultural values. Settling this land claims agreement creates a stable environment for investment, benefiting Labrador Inuit and all other citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In addition to meeting its obligations under the Agreement, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador looks forward to establishing new government-to-government relations with the Nunatsiavut Government. For example, the Nunatsiavut Government was consulted on the province's Northern Strategic Plan, Energy Plan, Fisheries Renewal Initiative and tourism matters. Through these efforts, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is confident that the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement will bring new opportunities for social, economic and cultural development that will benefit Labrador Inuit and the Province.
There was significant effort on the part of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to bring the Agreement into effect. The following activities are representative of the spirit of working together to implement the Agreement, and to establish mutually beneficial government-to-government relations.
3.1 Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
The Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs serves as the primary coordinating and monitoring centre for implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
In addition to participation in the Implementation Committee and Implementation Working Group meetings with the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Canada, the Department reviewed government legislation, policies, and programs to ensure compliance with the Agreement.
Departmental staff assisted the Lands Branch of the Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador with survey requirements for Labrador Inuit Lands and the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, and with preparations for the transfer of Crown lands to Inuit Community Governments. This included identifying public and private property, and awarding survey contracts.
Communication was a key function, and the Department prepared information bulletins about the Agreement for key third party stakeholders, in consultation with other Government of Newfoundland and Labrador departments. These stakeholders included outfitters, recreational hunters, and the mineral industry. Presentations about the Agreement were also developed and delivered for Government of Newfoundland and Labrador departments and agencies, and interested third parties.
3.1.1 Co-Management Board Activities
The Department's activities related to Co-Management Boards focused on securing appointments and negotiating funding agreements, which it completed in cooperation with other departments of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department made appointments to the Enrolment Appeal Commission and Implementation Committee; negotiated joint appointments to the Regional Planning Authority; and began the nomination process for appointees to the Dispute Resolution Board.
Funding agreements with the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Canada were negotiated for the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board, Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, and Enrolment Appeal Commission. The funding agreement for the Regional Planning Authority was negotiated with the Nunatsiavut Government.
The Department also developed and delivered an orientation package for Board members of the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-management Board and the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board with support from the Government of Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government.
3.2 Department of Environment and Conservation
The Department of Environment and Conservation is responsible for a wide range of implementation responsibilities, including land surveys for Labrador Inuit Lands and Settlement Area boundaries; land management; wildlife management; environmental assessment; and parks.
3.2.1 Lands Branch
The Lands Branch prepared survey specifications and reviewed contracted surveys for specified areas of Labrador Inuit Lands and the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The branch also prepared for the transfer of Crown lands in Inuit communities to the Inuit Community Governments, including identification of public and private interests, and managing survey contracts; and consulted the Nunatsiavut Government on applications for new land uses in the Settlement Area outside Labrador Inuit Lands.
3.2.2 Wildlife Division
The Wildlife Division appointed a member to the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board, and prepared orientation materials for the inaugural meeting of the Board in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government.
The Wildlife Division also prepared interim policies and procedures associated with Inuit harvesting benefits in Area 12-E in consultation with the Nunatsiavut Government.
3.2.3 Parks Division
The Parks Division appointed an observer to the Torngat Mountains National Park Co-Management Board, and attended meetings of the Board.
3.3 Department of Tourism, Culture, and Recreation
The Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation is responsible for implementation issues related to outfitting operations and tourism; and archaeology and cultural resources held by the Provincial Museum.
3.3.1 Tourism Development
The Department notified outfitters regarding their rights and obligations, including information on renewal of land use permits and the requirement to offer the Nunatsiavut Government the right of first refusal when selling an operation.
3.3.2 Provincial Archaeology Office
The Provincial Archaeology Office consulted the Nunatsiavut Government on permit applications in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, and on Inuit human remains discovered in the Settlement Area. The Office also provided an onthe- job training opportunity for an Inuit Archaeology student.
3.3.3 Provincial Museum, Archives and Art Gallery (The Rooms)
The Provincial Museum provided the Nunatsiavut Government with a list of Inuit cultural materials held at The Rooms, and participated in discussions with the Nunatsiavut Government regarding the establishment of a cultural centre in Nain.
3.4 Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for carrying out Agreement requirements with respect to forestry, and mineral exploration and development, including calculation of payments owing to the Nunatsiavut Government from provincial royalty taxes for mineral exploration and development in the Settlement Area.
3.4.1 Mines Branch
The Mines Branch completed negotiations with the Nunatsiavut Government to establish mineral exploration standards regulations on Labrador Inuit Lands. Branch staff also developed a system to calculate payments owing to the Nunatsiavut Government related to sub-surface resources in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and the Voisey's Bay Area.
3.4.2 Forestry Branch
The Forestry Branch appointed a member to the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board; and prepared orientation materials for the inaugural meeting of the Board.
3.5 Department of Municipal Affairs
The Department of Municipal Affairs is responsible for land use planning and, together with the Nunatsiavut Government, will bring into effect a Land Use Plan for the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The Land Use Plan will be prepared under the direction of the Regional Planning Authority, whose members are jointly appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Minister of Municipal Affairs is responsible for appointing a planner, upon recommendation of the Regional Planning Authority.
During the reporting period, the Department prepared a list of nominees for the Regional Planning Authority, and assisted the Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs with negotiating joint appointments to the Regional Planning Authority. Orientation materials for the inaugural meeting of the Regional Planning Authority, which is scheduled for April 2007, were also prepared.
3.6 Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture is responsible for obligations associated with fish processing and aquaculture, including offering the Nunatsiavut Government the right of first refusal to acquire publicly-owned fish plants in the Settlement Area.
Since the fish plant in Hopedale had not been operational for several years, the Department decided that it was willing to decommission the operation. The Province offered ownership of the plant to the Nunatsiavut Government for the sum of $1, as required by the Agreement. The Nunatsiavut Government did not take any action on the offer at the time.
The Department also appointed a Provincial member to the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board.
3.7 Department of Finance
The Department of Finance is responsible for administering payments to the Nunatsiavut Government for mineral exploration and development in the Settlement Area, as well as payments associated with the Voisey's Bay mining development. The Department is also involved with fiscal financing and taxation agreements with the Nunatsiavut Government.
During the reporting period, the Department made payments to the Nunatsiavut Government according to the Agreement requirements for revenue-sharing for mineral exploration and development in the Settlement Area, and the Voisey's Bay Project.
3.8 Department of Justice
The Department of Justice is responsible for legal advice to Government of Newfoundland and Labrador departments and agencies on legal interpretation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The Department is also responsible for issues related to corrections and the justice system.
The Department reviewed draft Government of Newfoundland and Labrador policies and legislation to ensure compliance with the Agreement; and recommended nominees to the Dispute Resolution Board.
The Financial Administration Division is responsible for budget accounts and making payments in support of activities undertaken by the Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs.
During the reporting period, the Financial Administration Division established and monitored accounts for the Province's financial obligations associated with land surveys and Boards established under the Agreement.
3.10 Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission is responsible for hiring Government of Newfoundland and Labrador employees.
The Public Service Commission monitored staffing in Inuit communities to ensure that the Inuit preference obligations specified in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement were met. The Agreement stipulates that qualified Inuit be given preference for employment in Inuit communities, until employment of Inuit is representative of the population of Inuit to non-Inuit in these communities. At present, approximately 70 percent of Provincial employees in the communities are Inuit; whereas approximately 90 percent of the population in these communities is Inuit.
The Public Service Commission filled all vacancies according to the requirements of the Agreement and developed draft policies and procedures related to the Inuit preference hiring policy.
3.11 Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board manages petroleum resources in Newfoundland and Labrador offshore areas on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Board established a working group co-chaired with the Nunatsiavut Government to develop a draft scoping document for the Labrador Shelf Strategic Environmental Assessment.
3.12 Office of the Auditor General
The Office of the Auditor General is the independent legislative auditor of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, its departments and agencies.
The Office of the Auditor General provided the Nunatsiavut Government with an annual statement outlining the basis for the Province's calculation of revenue-sharing payments for mineral exploration and development in the Settlement Area, as well as the Voisey's Bay Project.
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement reconciles the rights of the Inuit with the sovereignty of the Crown. It symbolizes Canada's hope that the Inuit of Labrador and all Canadians will share a future of mutual recognition and respect. The contribution of the Government of Canada in meeting the obligations of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement involves a coordinated effort between the Implementation Committee; the Atlantic Region Federal Caucus; and the individual efforts of all of the Government departments involved. The Government of Canada monitors the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and fosters compliance with the Implementation Plan; provides an annual report on the implementation of the Agreement to the Parties; and makes recommendations to the Parties on the renewal of the Implementation Plan beyond the initial period.
Through the signing of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, the Government of Canada has established a positive, government-to-government relationship with the Nunatsiavut Government based on mutual respect, recognition, and the accommodation of Labrador Inuit rights and title. This new relationship will assist the Nunatsiavut Government in gaining a greater sense of autonomy and selfsufficiency over the affairs of their communities.
4.1 Atlantic Region Federal Caucus
The Atlantic Region Federal Caucus was formed to provide an integrated federal approach to the operational implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The Caucus supports the efforts of individual federal government departments and follows up on departmental responsibilities to ensure that implementation proceeds in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The Caucus includes representatives from:
Natural Resources Canada;
Fisheries and Oceans Canada;
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada;
Public Works and Government Services Canada.
The Caucus acts as an advisory body to the Government of Canada representative on the Implementation Committee. The Caucus also plays an important role in "informing" the national claims negotiation and implementation process based on experiences gained in this region. Best practices are suggested for other Federal claims implementation processes.
This group began discussions in early 2006, and then convened more formal conference calls in mid-2006. During this time, the Caucus developed a work plan for the shared federal implementation activities within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Meetings of the Caucus include an update of progress related to the work plan, and opportunities for individual departments to share information that has implications for other federal departments.
This is an exciting time for the federal departments in the Atlantic Region as we work with the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in supporting and participating in the evolution of self-government for the Labrador Inuit.
4.2 Environment Canada
Environment Canada's overall mandate is to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment and its renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora and fauna. Environment Canada is also mandated to forecast weather and environmental change; conserve and protect Canada's water resources; enforce rules relating to boundary waters; and coordinate environmental policies and programs for the federal government.
In fulfilling its mandate, Environment Canada derives its authority from a variety of sources, including:
Policy (e.g.Federal Water Policy, Wetlands Policy, Gathering Strength)
Cabinet Directives (e.g. Provision of weather services, Negotiate Treaties and Modern Agreements)
Within the context of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, Environment Canada has legal responsibilities to work with the Nunatsiavut Government on the management of migratory birds, and the conservation and protection of species at risk that fall under federal jurisdiction.
With respect to environmental protection matters that fall within Environment Canada's mandate and are deemed important to the Nunatsiavut Government, Environment Canada will be involved accordingly and at varying degrees, ranging from reviewing environmental protection laws to collaborative work on environmental emergencies.
If the Nunatsiavut Government decides to make environmental laws, Environment Canada has a responsibility to review laws that are within the Department's mandate, to ensure they provide a measure of protection equivalent to or better than that of Environment Canada's standards. In some cases, Environment Canada may also be legally required to consult with the Nunatsiavut Government on specific issues pertaining to environmental assessment or environmental emergencies.
Environment Canada may also have a role in working with the Nunatsiavut Government on issues related to water and wastewater management; oceans management; national parks and protected areas; environmental emergencies; species at risk; aspects of fisheries; and enforcement.
During the 2006-07 fiscal year, Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service conducted aerial surveys of seabird colonies identified as important by Labrador Inuit along the Labrador coast of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Targeted species included Tern, Black Guillemot, Atlantic Puffin, Razor Bill, Common and Thick-Billed Murre colonies, and Gulls. The information from these surveys will be important for determining the local status of bird populations and will help the Nunatsiavut Government and Canadian Wildlife Service determine appropriate local harvest levels. This is required under the terms of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Canadian Wildlife Service is also working with the Nunatsiavut Government on research in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. This research is focused on estimating Inuit harvest levels in various seasons for waterfowl and other important fish and wildlife species such as char, salmon and caribou that have been identified as important in the Settlement Area.
Environment Canada's Environmental Performance Promotion Division is undertaking Aboriginal consultation on the Canadian Council of Ministers on the Environment Municipal Effluent Waste Water Strategy and a pending Environment Canada waste water regulation. The Department is in discussions with Nunatsiavut Government staff on this matter and is planning a consultation meeting with them in fall 2007.
Corporately, Environment Canada is preparing to effectively implement Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement obligations by undertaking an in-depth analysis of the Agreement as it pertains to the Department's mandate. The office will also be actively engaged in an ongoing analysis of issues in order to: identify implications and opportunities for Environment Canada to pursue; ensure clarity and consistency with respect to the Department's role and mandate; and establish appropriate levels of involvement. This will include the development of a performance evaluation process. Environment Canada has also invited the Nunatsiavut Government to give presentations on roles, responsibilities and relationships under the Agreement.
4.3 Department of Fisheries and Oceans
On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs in support of Canada's scientific, ecological, social and economic interests in oceans and fresh waters.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is a national and international leader in marine safety and in the management of oceans and freshwater resources. Departmental activities and presence on Canadian waters help to ensure the safe movement of people and goods. As a sustainable development department, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans integrates environment, economic and social perspectives to ensure Canada's oceans and freshwater resources benefit this generation and those to come.
The Department's guiding legislation includes the Oceans Act, which charges the Minister with leading oceans management and providing coast guard and hydrographic services on behalf of the Government of Canada; and the Fisheries Act, which confers responsibility to the Minister for the management of fisheries, habitat and aquaculture. The Department is also one of the three responsible authorities under the Species at Risk Act.
18.104.22.168 Working Group on Implementation
An Implementation Working Group was formed with representatives from the Nunatsiavut Government and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region. The Working Group will serve as a mechanism to deal with issues respecting implementation of the Agreement and meets on a regular basis.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans staff have been working on enabling legislation in order to ensure that the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement can be effectively implemented. Examples of these include the Newfoundland Fishery Regulations and the Marine Mammal Regulations.
22.214.171.124 Torngat Joint Fisheries Board
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been actively engaged with the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, developing and presenting information at the orientation session and providing support from area and regional offices as required. The Department has appointed two members to represent Canada on the Board.
126.96.36.199 Upper Lake Melville Food Fishing Arrangement
Section 13.13 of the Agreement requires the establishment of a food fishing arrangement in Upper Lake Melville for beneficiaries living outside of the Settlement Area. Negotiations toward a fisheries agreement between the Nunatsiavut Government and the Department are ongoing. In order to facilitate access for the 2007 fishing season, a communal licence was negotiated for the Upper Lake Melville area. The licence will provide Inuit beneficiaries residing in Upper Lake Melville access to a food fishery for salmon, trout and char.
188.8.131.52 Inuit Domestic Harvest Levels
The Fisheries chapter of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement contains provisions for the establishment of Inuit Domestic Harvest Levels to protect the Inuit interest in fish species utilized in food, social and ceremonial fisheries. To this end, the Department has been engaged, along with the Nunatsiavut Government and Memorial University, in the development of a process to aid the development of Inuit Domestic Harvest Levels.
4.4 Indian and Northern Affairs, Implementation Branch
The Implementation Branch of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada serves as a liaison for implementation issues between the Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and other federal government departments. Its activities include:
Monitoring federal land claim implementation obligations contained in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement;
Negotiating and monitoring funding arrangements with various implementing bodies having obligations under the Agreement;
Processing Canada's appointments to the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board and the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board;
Managing discussions on proposed amendments to the Agreement; and
Publishing the annual implementation report of the Agreement.
The Director of the Implementation Management Directorate (Nunavut & Nunatsiavut Government) serves as the Implementation Committee member on behalf of Canada.
The Implementation Branch has participated in approximately six official Implementation Committee and Implementation Committee Working Group meetings to discuss funding for implementing bodies pursuant to the Agreement, and the Branch used a flexible transfer payment to fund implementing bodies under the Agreement.
During the year, other activities of the Implementation Branch included processing appointments of the members for the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board and the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board; and providing funding to the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board and the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board through the Nunatsiavut Government.
4.5 Parks Canada
When the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement was signed on January 22, 2005, the Parties to the Agreement also signed the Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement for the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada and the Memorandum of Agreement for a National Park Reserve of Canada in the Torngat Mountains.
4.5.1 Establishing the Administrative and Visitor Reception and Orientation Centre
The Agreement provides for the establishment of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada. The Park Reserve was officially created on December 1, 2005. From an administrative perspective, the Park Reserve is part of the Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit, which has its headquarters in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement describes the role that Labrador Inuit have in the management of the Park Reserve. It addresses matters connected with the Park Reserve that might have a detrimental impact on Inuit or conversely, that could confer a benefit on Inuit. It respects use of the land and resources of the Park Reserve by Inuit as set out in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve has opened an office in Nain, which now has four full time employees and one seasonal employee. Three of the five employees are Labrador Inuit beneficiaries. Parks Canada's goal is to establish administrative offices and a visitor reception and orientation centre in Nain as outlined in the Impacts and Benefits Agreement and the Memorandum of Agreement. The aim is to integrate the infrastructure requirements into community plans to build a multi-purpose community centre in Nain. In the interim, the Parks Canada office is located in existing commercial space in Nain, which is inadequate for meeting our visitor reception and orientation needs.
4.5.2 Co-operative Management Board
Co-operative management is a defining feature of the new Park Reserve, and is grounded in commitments outlined in both the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement. The Impacts and Benefits Agreement requires the establishment of a Co-operative Management Board within the first year of the creation of the Park Reserve. The Impacts and Benefits Agreement requires the Management Board to have five members: two members appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government, two members appointed by Parks Canada and an independent chair jointly appointed by the two Parties. There is also an observer appointed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. As a result of the recent conclusion of a similar Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement with Makivik Corporation addressing the rights of Nunavik Inuit in the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve, the Co-operative Management Board now consists of seven members, with the addition of two members appointed by Makivik Corporation.
4.5.3 Nunavik Inuit
On December 1, 2006, Parks Canada completed negotiations with Makivik Corporation on the Nunavik Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement for the Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada, which addresses Nunavik Inuit rights in the park. Through this arrangement Nunavik Inuit are partners with Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government in the establishment and operation of the Torngat Mountains National Park. In the spirit of this partnership, Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government waited until this Agreement was concluded before formally establishing the Cooperative Management Board.
Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government have negotiated appropriate revisions to the Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement to harmonize it with the Nunavik Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement. The amended Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement will be signed once the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Nunavik Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement are in legal effect.
The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Nunavik Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement are currently in the federal ratification process. On the effective date of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement the Torngat Mountains National Park will be formally established and will no longer be called the "Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve". In the interim, Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government are proceeding as if the Nunavik Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement is in effect.
4.5.4 Developing the Vision for the Park
The complex logistics and associated high cost of travel to the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve present a challenge not only for Inuit who want to return to this area, but for people wanting to visit the Park Reserve and Parks Canada personnel maintaining a meaningful presence in the area and conducting the fieldwork necessary to support the park management process.
Rather than incur high expenses for single purpose trips, during the first official summer season for the park – summer 2006 – Parks Canada piloted a base camp in the Park Reserve. The objectives of this first base camp were:
To explore options for concentrating most park management projects in a single defined time period;
To adopt the most efficient means, including partnerships, for reducing travel and transportation costs associated with park operations and partnership projects;
To meet obligations under the Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement and Memorandum of Agreement; and
To facilitate the return of Inuit to their traditional homeland.
Parks Canada contracted an Inuk from Nain to organize and manage the base camp and used the services of an Inuit owned and operated long-liner and speed boat for logistical support. The first week of the base camp was dedicated to supporting the Nunatsiavut Government's Youth Division's summer youth camp. It was an opportunity for Inuit youth to learn traditional skills and spend time with Inuit elders who are from this area.
The second week was dedicated to bringing Inuit elders from Nunavik and Nunatsiavut back to their traditional homeland. It was a time for re-discovery and sharing stories. For park managers and Inuit it was an opportunity to get to know each other and more importantly for park managers, it was an opportunity to see the park through Inuit eyes. This was the start of discussions towards a shared vision for the future management of the Torngat Mountains National Park.
Parks Canada will be re-establishing the base camp in the summer of 2007 to support new agendas and projects in partnership with Makivik and the Nunatsiavut Government.
Both Park Impact and Benefits Agreements have an objective to "…recognize and honour Inuit knowledge and the special historical and cultural relationship between Inuit and the land as part of the living legacy of the National Park…" Meeting this objective will continue to be a work in progress that Parks Canada will pursue through initiatives like the base camp and guidance from the Co-operative Management Board. Collaboratively, we will establish a vision for the park that reflects and respects this objective.
This section describes the Boards and Committees, Commission and Authority required by the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. Please see Section 7 Appendix 1: Elections and Appointments for the lists of members appointed to the various implementing bodies.
5.1 Torngat Joint Fisheries Board
The Torngat Joint Fisheries Board was established under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement as an independent public body responsible for making recommendations to the federal and provincial ministers on fisheries management and conservation issues. It consists of seven members; three appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government, two appointed by the Government of Canada, one appointed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a Chair nominated by the Board and appointed by the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
The Torngat Joint Fisheries Board's primary responsibility is to advise the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the provincial Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture on a variety of issues related to the conservation and management of fisheries within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Examples of such issues include the establishment of the total allowable harvest and catches and allocations to the Settlement Area, catch controls, recreational fisheries management, licensing, harbour management, conservation and management of fish habitat, harvesting of aquatic plants, and aquaculture. In order to carry out its work, the Board may collect data, participate in environmental assessment processes, conduct studies and research, and undertake public awareness and education programs. In addition, at the request of either the federal or provincial ministers or the Nunatsiavut Government, the Board may perform any function that relates to any species or stock of fish or aquatic plant, fish habitat, or fishery in the Settlement Area.
The Board's first priorities were to establish the way that the organization will carry out its mandate, and to plan its work for the upcoming fiscal year.
The first official meeting of the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board was held in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in January 2007. The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Implementation Committee conducted an orientation session for Board members on January 11. The session provided an overview of relevant sections of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, the role of public boards, and the Board's funding agreement. On January 12, Board members selected an interim chair person; agreed on the approach to meetings including scheduling, discussion, decision-making and minute taking; discussed priority action items; reviewed the interim budget provided by the Implementation Committee; and selected two members to serve on a joint administrative subcommittee established in conjunction with the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-management Board.
Between January 12, 2007 and the end of the fiscal year, the Board held three more meetings. The primary focus of these meetings was to finalize a work plan for the Board, including the associated budget, and to implement the planned activities. The three Governments provided funding to the Board through a single agreement.
The Board also decided on and recommended a candidate for the permanent chair's position to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada), drafted policies and procedures, planned for the coming fiscal year, developed a budget, and submitted it to the Implementation Committee for approval. Questions about the details of the Board's mandate were clarified, and Board members received training to carry out their responsibilities effectively. The foundation for a good working relationship with the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Comanagement Board was laid, and the joint administrative sub-committee began its work.
Plans were made for hiring the necessary staff to ensure the organization can carry out its mandate; job descriptions were created, and appropriate pay scales and benefit plans were established. The positions that will be filled are: Executive Director, Fisheries Biologist, and Administrative Staff. Office space for both Co-Management boards was obtained, and furniture and equipment was procured. Advice was gathered from appropriate professionals on legal and financial matters, including the Board's needs for insurance coverage.
5.1.3 General Assessment of Obligation Achievement
The Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, with the co-operation of the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board and assistance from the Nunatsiavut Government, successfully carried out almost all of the activities listed in its 2006-2007 work plan. In most cases the achievements actually exceeded the Board members' early expectations. Many activities that the Board planned to simply begin during this reporting period were actually completed. Some activities were deferred until the next fiscal year in order to free up time for higher priority activities. Their delay will have minimal, if any, impact on ongoing operations.
The amount of work completed and the level of achievement has been remarkable, given the circumstances under which the Board began, with no staff, no set budgets or work plans until after the middle of January. Board members also overcame a lack of prior familiarity with the mandate, and a very short two and one-half month time frame. Assuming the timely approval of the proposed 2007-2008 work plan, budget, and salary scales submitted in March 2007, it is reasonable to assume that the Joint Secretariat and Boards should be fully functional by the middle of the 2007-2008 fiscal year.
5.2 Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board
The Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-management Board was established pursuant to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It consists of seven members: three members appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government, two members appointed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, one member appointed by the Government of Canada, and a Chair who is nominated by the Board and appointed by the provincial Minister of Environment and Conservation or Natural Resources.
The Board has a broad range of powers and responsibilities with respect to the conservation and management of wildlife, plants, and habitat within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. It has the authority to establish, modify, or eliminate when necessary the total allowable harvests for non-migratory wildlife, and for plants. The Board can also recommend conservation and management measures for wildlife, plants and habitat including total allowable harvests for caribou, migratory birds, harvesting restrictions, research respecting conservation, establishment of protected areas, plans for reforestation, establishment of commercial wildlife and commercial plant operations, and a range of other issues.
Although the effective date of the Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement was December 1, 2005, the Board did not become operational until January 2007.
With its activities monitored by an Implementation Committee composed of representatives of the three funding Parties, the Board is an independent body that will address the broad range of responsibilities outlined in the Agreement.
To facilitate the Board's operation during the set-up period, the Nunatsiavut Government extended access to its operational procedures. For the longer term, however, the Board, as an independent body, is required to develop its own operational procedures. Significant effort was directed to that end during the report period. A key priority is the establishment of the Joint Secretariat, which will provide a supporting role to both the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board and the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board. The two Boards formed an Administrative Sub-Committee to address the need to develop operational procedures and hire personnel for the Secretariat.
Developing and implementing a full suite of required financial, administrative, and human resource procedures and policies will be a challenging and painstaking process. Nonetheless, much progress has been made to this point.
After the initial appointments, Board members received an orientation to the mandate of the Board under the Agreement; the funding formulas; and the major government departments they will be working with on a regular basis. Further training occurred at other times during the report period.
The Board began its formal work by appointing an interim chair, and discussing the interim work plan. The Board also decided on a nominee for the permanent chair's position, and made that recommendation to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Minister of Environment and Conservation. This formative period required much time discussing internal board policies and procedures. In order to do this effectively, the Board sought legal advice on financial and administrative issues, as well as on general operational mechanisms and procedures. In addition to policy development, the Board developed a work plan and budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year and submitted it to the Implementation Committee for approval. The three Governments provided funding to the Board through a single agreement.
There was much collaboration with the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board on issues that are common to the two organizations. These include internal procedures, insurance and liability issues, acquisition of office equipment, and staffing Secretariat and biologist positions. Much time was spent developing job descriptions, pay scales, benefits packages, interview questions, and hiring committees for the positions necessary to ensure that the two Boards can carry out their mandates. The positions that will be filled are: Executive Director, Finance Officer, Secretary, and Field Biologist. The Board anticipates that all of these positions will be filled during the next fiscal year.
The Board has made great progress towards fulfilling its mandate in a relatively short period. There is a great deal of enthusiasm about the work that the Board has planned to do in the 2007-2008 fiscal year, and about the activities that the Board will accomplish in the years to come.
5.3 Dispute Resolution Board
The Dispute Resolution Board will provide an out-of-court dispute resolution process to address disagreements respecting the interpretation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and disputes specifically referred to dispute resolution by the Agreement. The five members of the Dispute Resolution Board will be appointed by consensus of the federal, provincial and Nunatsiavut Governments.
Governments are currently considering potential appointments to the Board. The three Governments will provide funding through a single agreement.
5.4 Regional Planning Authority
The Regional Planning Authority is charged with preparing a Land Use Plan for the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. It is responsible for directing the work of a planner, who will prepare a draft plan to be submitted in three years to the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Province and the Nunatsiavut Government have negotiated joint appointments to the Regional Planning Authority. The first meeting is scheduled for April 2007, which will include an orientation session conducted by the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The two governments have established funding arrangements for this Authority.
5.5 Enrolment Committees
Enrolment Committees were established on the effective date of the Agreement. Each committee was responsible for creating a list of beneficiaries to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement for a designated geographic area.
Enrolment Committees developed lists of beneficiaries for their regions, based upon the official voters list for the ratification of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, and subsequent applications for enrolment. Their mandate expired when Membership Committees were appointed in December 2006. The Nunatsiavut Government provided funding to these committees.
5.6 Enrolment Appeal Commission
The Enrolment Appeal Commission was mandated to judge appeals for enrolment as a result of decisions by an Enrolment Committee. The Commission consisted of members appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The three Governments provided funding to the Commission through a single agreement. No appeals were submitted to the Enrolment Appeal Commission, therefore the Commission did not meet, and is now dissolved.
5.7 Membership Committees
Membership Committees were established in December 2006, following the publication of the first Register of Beneficiaries. They are responsible for maintaining current lists of beneficiaries for their regions, including assessing new applications for enrolment.
The Committees maintained current lists of beneficiaries for their regions, including assessing new applications for enrolment. They then supplied this information to the Nunatsiavut Government for the purposes of updating the Register of Beneficiaries. The committees are funded by the Nunatsiavut Government.
5.8 Inuit Membership Appeal Board
The Inuit Membership Appeal Board is mandated to decide upon appeals for beneficiary enrolment under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It was established on the date that the first Register of Beneficiaries was published. Its members are appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government.
The Board met once to review and make decisions on each of the four appeals they received. The Nunatsiavut Government provided funding to this Board.
The process of implementing a new land claims agreement is a very large and complex undertaking. Whenever a new government is established, it takes time to establish implementation structures, determine roles for newly elected representatives and departmental officials, and for everyone involved to find their way. The implementation of any land claims and self-government agreement involves the development of relationships that continue to grow and evolve over time.
As the first settled land claims and self-government agreement in the Atlantic region, the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement proved to be both very rewarding and very demanding for all three governments. Some aspects of implementation went extremely well, while in other areas, the implementation process was complicated by delays and unexpected challenges. This section provides an outline of some of the major highlights and challenges faced in the first year and a half of implementing the Agreement.
6.1.1 Human Resource Capacity Building
One of the first priorities of the new Nunatsiavut Government was to define and fill the staffing complement required to undertake the many responsibilities of its operations. Built on the foundation laid by the Labrador Inuit Association, by March 2007, the Nunatsiavut civil service numbered close to 300 workers, about 120 of whom are in the health and social development sector. Approximately 80 percent of these positions are filled by beneficiaries.
A collaboration between the Province's Archaeology Office and the Nunatsiavut Government illustrates what may be achieved when governments work together in the spirit of successful implementation of a land claims agreement. In the summer of 2005, the Provincial Archaeology Office obtained Young Canada Works funding to employ a promising Inuit Archaeology student. The student learned about public management of archaeological resources and assembled copies of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area archaeological records for transfer to the Nunatsiavut Government, as required under the Agreement.
She has since secured an "Archaeologist" position with the Nunatsiavut Government, but she remains at the Provincial Archaeology Office on a temporary basis, where she is involved in developing a Nunatsiavut Government permitting system for archaeological sites on Labrador Inuit Lands and the Inuit Communities.
In addition to providing an excellent professional development opportunity, this also helped ensure that there would be sound professional standards for management of archaeological resources in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, a goal that serves the objectives of both the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Nunatsiavut Government. This collaboration will provide a solid foundation for the intergovernmental consultation required under the Agreement.
6.1.2 Mineral Exploration Standards Regulations
Under the terms of Agreement, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Nunatsiavut Government have established joint standards for mineral exploration on Labrador Inuit Lands. This obligation was a priority for both governments given the current high level of mineral exploration activity and interest on Labrador Inuit Lands. The new standards, enacted into law by both governments, contain comprehensive environmental protection measures and provide clear direction for mineral exploration. Resource development conducted under the standards will benefit the Labrador Inuit, as well as other residents of the province.
6.1.3 Department of Fisheries and Oceans - Nunatsiavut Government Working Group
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Nunatsiavut Government formed a working group to fulfill Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement obligations. The working group ensured affiliated departments were made aware of obligations under the Agreement, and were put on notice of the need for consultation on issues specific to Nunatsiavut fisheries. All divisions within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are represented in the working group. There was cooperation with Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service on issues related to inland fisheries and migratory birds.
This working group supported the Nunatsiavut Government's communal subsistence fisheries for beneficiaries, in which the Nunatsiavut Government's regulations apply and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans enforces the regulations.
Regulation and enforcement of the Nunatsiavut Government's commercial subsistence fishery was developed with similar cooperation. Commercial fishing allocations are given to the Nunatsiavut Government by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which distributes the licenses through permits. The Nunatsiavut Government purchased two vessels to harvest Nunatsiavut and some of Nunavut's fish quotas.
This working group approach is one of the real highlights in the initial stages of implementation and should act as a model for all implementing Parties on how to effectively work together to fulfill obligations.
6.1.4 Health and Social Development
184.108.40.206 Community Freezer Program
The Nunatsiavut Government supports the community freezer program for beneficiaries living in Upper Lake Melville who are unable to participate in traditional hunting, fishing and harvesting. Country foods such as caribou and char are distributed to elders and families in need. The successful program is modeled on similar programs in other Inuit regions.
220.127.116.11 Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hearings
The Nunatsiavut Transitional Government created a committee of all its ministers early in 2006 to address concerns related to the high levels of suicide, increased alcohol and drug abuse, and increased violence and related crimes in the region. Hearings were held in all Nunatsiavut communities in May and June 2006. A report was tabled in the Nunatsiavut Assembly in December 2006.
The hearings focused on the impacts of these issues on individuals, families and communities, and invited suggestions on how these matters can be resolved. Sessions were well attended, and approximately 90 submissions and presentations were made by a wide cross-section of the community, including Grade 3 students, Elders, community members, and professionals. The problems identified included child neglect and abuse, suicide attempts and completions, loss of language and culture, family violence, loss of pride and self-respect, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), and loss of spirituality.
Approximately 200 recommendations were made, with many common themes across communities and some community-specific issues including programs to address addictions, role models, mental wellness, violence prevention and intervention, seniors, justice, education, parenting, children and youth, culture and language, spirituality, health, Nunatsiavut Government staff issues, infrastructure, and alcohol and drug restrictions.
6.1.5 Strategic Planning
The Nunatsiavut Government initiated a planning process to develop a strategic approach for the next 20 years. All ministers and executive officials are involved in the strategic planning committee. The plan will address continued implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
6.2.1 Board Appointments
The complexity and processing time related to making appointments to the Membership Appeal Commission, the Implementation Committee, the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-management Board, the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, and the Regional Planning Authority resulted in many delays.
The Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-management Board and the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board held their first meetings in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in January 2007, approximately one year after the effective date of the Agreement.
Similar delays were also faced in the appointment of members to the Regional Planning Authority. However, Regional Planning Authority members have been appointed, and have scheduled their first meeting for April 2007.
Potential appointees for the Dispute Resolution Board are in the process of being considered.
Board appointments are an area of implementation that presented some of the greatest challenges during this initial implementation phase. Delays in the appointment process led to subsequent delays in the start-up operations of the Boards. A lesson learned from this experience is that it may take governments up to one year to make appointments. In the case of Boards with inter-governmental joint appointments, this process is further protracted. Appointing governments are advised to take this into consideration when setting establishment dates for Boards, and for ongoing board member replacements.
All three governments will incorporate the time considerations required into future nomination and appointment approval processes. New disclosure and transparency processes for the federal government appointment process require additional time for public communication and as such, have timing implications whenever joint or Federal appointments are made.
In spite of the delays faced in the board appointment process, all three Parties commend the high quality members that were appointed to the Boards. The work carried out by the Boards to date represents some major successes of implementation.
6.3 The Way Forward
Implementation of a land claims agreement is an ongoing process. This report summarizes the actions taken and experiences of the Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada during the initial year of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. During this period, governments have been challenged to communicate awareness of the Agreement, as well as initiate steps to effectively implement the Agreement.
Taking action to ensure an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of governments is complicated by the size of governments, staffing changes and the evolving nature of an Aboriginal government operating under a land claims agreement. A variety of communications, policy, and planning initiatives, both within governments and between governments is required for effective land claims implementation.
The Implementation Committee, representing the Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada, pledges to work together to fulfill the letter and spirit of the Agreement, and looks forward to communicating further accomplishments next year.
This is not an authoritative map of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and has been prepared for illustrative purposes only. The authoritative maps of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area are contained in the Map Atlas.