ARCHIVED - Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Annual Report - April 1st 2008 to March 31st 2009
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The Implementation Committee for the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement is pleased to present its third annual implementation report for the fiscal year April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009.
A collaborative effort of the Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, this report provides an overview of the achievements of each government during the fiscal year. As well, it highlights the contributions of the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co- Management Board, the Regional Planning Authority, the membership committees and the Inuit Membership Appeal Board.
Building on last year's theme of Putting the Pieces Together all parties are committed to Moving Forward Together in meeting the challenges that lie ahead to ensure the successful implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Implementation Committee is comprised of three members – one from each of the parties to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, namely the Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The role of the Implementation Committee is to monitor, oversee, and provide direction on the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It also serves as a forum for the three parties to discuss issues and resolve potential disputes regarding the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. During the 2008-09 fiscal year, the Implementation Committee held three meetings and a number of teleconferences. Implementation issues discussed included the following:
overseeing and approving board work plans, budgets, and funding agreements;
recommending the approval of amendments to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement;
managing and monitoring obligations;
the establishment and funding of the Dispute Resolution Board;
preparing Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement annual reports; and
educating governments on their roles and responsibilities under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
As the parties entered the fourth year of implementing the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, the focus of the implementation process began to shift from consideration of initial start-up issues to issues more relevant to ongoing implementation. The theme of the 2007-08 Labrador Inuit Land Claims Annual Report of "putting the pieces together" is reflective of the issues and challenges associated with the initial start-up phase of implementation. The current theme of – "moving forward together" reflects the desire of all parties to move beyond this initial stage into the ongoing and more substantive issues and challenges that lie in the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, which came into effect on December 1, 2005, is protected as a treaty under the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982. It defines the relationship between Labrador Inuit and their ancestral lands in northern Labrador, and sets out details of land ownership, resource sharing and self government. It provides for the establishment of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area (or LISA) totaling about 72,520 square kilometers in northern Labrador and 48,690 square kilometers of Tidal Waters. Within this area, Labrador Inuit own 15,799 square kilometers designated as Labrador Inuit Lands. The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement also provided for the establishment of the Torngat Mountains National Park, consisting of about 9,600 square kilometers of land within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.
The Nunatsiavut Government has many of the responsibilities and rights of other governments, such as planning for sustainable economic development, protecting and preserving Labrador Inuit culture and traditions, and implementing social programs on behalf of Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Nunatsiavut Government operates at two distinct but connected levels: regional and community. The regional government's legislative centre is in Hopedale and its administrative centre is Nain. Inuit Community Governments are based in Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville and Rigolet. The AngajukKâk of each Inuit Community Government represents his or her constituency in the Nunatsiavut Assembly.
In areas where significant numbers of Labrador Inuit live outside of Nunatsiavut, non-profit Inuit Community Corporations provide Labrador Inuit the opportunity to participate in self government. There are two Inuit Community Corporations: one representing Beneficiaries in North West River and the other representing Beneficiaries in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Mud Lake. The chair of each Inuit Community Corporation also represents his or her constituents in the Nunatsiavut Assembly.
The Canadian Constituency of Inuit living outside of Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and Upperlake Melville is also represented by an elected member of the Assembly.
The Nunatsiavut Government is comprised of seven departments, each reflecting the unique principles of the Labrador Inuit Constitution:
Finance and Human Resources
Health and Social Development
Education and Economic Development
Lands and Natural Resources
Culture, Recreation and Tourism
The Nunatsiavut Secretariat is responsible for the workings of the Nunatsiavut Executive Council, Intergovernmental Affairs, Communications and the Community Healing Initiative. Under the direction of the President, the department is mandated to serve the needs of Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
First Elected President
On May 6, 2008, Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement went to the polls to elect a new President for Nunatsiavut. It was the first election for President since the Nunatsiavut Government was officially formed on December 1, 2005. James Lyall of Nain took the oath of office on May 21, 2008.
Priorities and Planning
Building on the work carried out leading up to his election, President Lyall embarked on an ambitious goal to establish a strategic plan for Nunatsiavut. A strategic planning committee was established in 2007 to work closely with government departments to develop short and long-term plans (four and 20 years respectively). In an attempt to move the file forward, the Nunatsiavut Secretariat began the process of engaging the services of a consulting firm with expertise in strategic planning. A consultant is expected to be hired early in the next fiscal year.
The Nunatsiavut Government continued to enjoy good working relationships with both the federal and provincial governments in implementing the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Nunatsiavut Secretariat represents the Nunatsiavut Government on the Land Claims Agreement Coalition, a body mandated by its members to engage the Government of Canada in the development of a new and forward-looking national policy on land claims implementation. Coalition members work to ensure comprehensive land claims and associated self-government agreements are respected, honored and fully implemented in order to achieve their objectives. Membership includes all settled comprehensive land-claim governments and organizations in Canada.
The President also sits on the board of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Canada's national Inuit association representing four Inuit regions – Nunatsiavut, Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunavut, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories.
The Communications Division was actively involved in a number of projects during this fiscal year, including the development of annual reports of the Nunatsiavut Government and the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It was also involved in the planning for the Inuit Arctic Tour – an annual initiative of ITK which provides senior federal government officials the opportunity to learn about the Inuit of Canada. As well, the division played an active role in the planning to bring the Olympic flame to Nunatsiavut as part of the national torch relay prior to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. The torch is scheduled to visit the Inuit community of Hopedale in the fall of 2009.
The Communications Division, through the Nunatsiavut Government's Resource Centre, continued to build on its efforts to increase in-house capacity and decrease dependence on outside firms for the design of print materials and promotional items.
Through its Community Liaison Offices – located in all Labrador Inuit communities as well as Upper Lake Melville – the division continued to ensure Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement were kept abreast of Nunatsiavut Government initiatives.
Joint Management Committee
The Secretary to the Executive Council represents the Nunatsiavut Secretariat on the Joint Management Committee. Chaired by the Minister of Finance and Human Resources, and made up of the AngajukKâk of each Inuit Community Government and the Nunatsiavut Government's Comptroller, the committee deals with operational and capital works funding and other financial matters of the five Inuit communities within Nunatsiavut. The committee meets on a quarterly basis, rotating between each Inuit community.
Community Healing Initiative
Established by the President, the Community Healing Initiative partnered with several Nunatsiavut Government departments in coordinating various events and programs during the fiscal year. Events included:
an elders' gathering in Nain in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism;
the facilitation of a care and caregiver program, involving the Department of Health and Social Development and mental health and day-care workers from Nain and Hopedale;
providing assistance during a crisis situation in Hopedale; and
providing support for a senior/elder's meeting in St. John's.
Under the direction of the First Minister, Nunatsiavut Affairs serves as an advocate for Labrador Inuit. It oversees the running of the Nunatsiavut Government and is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It also oversees the registration of Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, infrastructure and public property, legal services and community justice, housing and transportation.
Registrar of Beneficiaries
The hiring of a membership clerk and a coordinator has enabled the Office of the Registrar of Beneficiaries to function more effectively. As of March 31, 2009 there were over 7,000 Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement enrolled on the Registry.
During the 2008-09 fiscal year, two workshops were presented by the department's legal services division with the Office of the Registrar, the Membership Committees, the Membership Appeal Board and the Community Liaison Officers. These workshops helped to clarify the membership eligibility criteria and enrolment process. A draft Enrolment Procedures Manual and a new enrolment application form, which will be attached to a proposed draft amendment to the Beneficiaries Enrolment Act, were completed and scheduled to be presented at the 2009 spring sitting of the Nunatsiavut Assembly.
Following some delays, construction of the new Nunatsiavut Government administration building in Nain began in late summer 2008. The building is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy in early 2010.
A contract for the preparation and installation of water and sewer lines was awarded for the Hopedale Assembly Building at a cost of $1.4 million dollars. The contract, which included extensive blasting and rock removal, was completed in October. The contract for the building is expected to go to public tender in June 2009 with construction beginning by the end of the summer. A target date for completion is March 2010.
The department continued to work on developing a housing corporation for Nunatsiavut to complement the Torngat Regional Housing Association. It is expected the new entity will be established over the next couple of years.
The Nunatsiavut Government received a total of $2 million for Inuit housing from the federal Off Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust. The money was turned over to Torngat Regional Housing Association to oversee Inuit housing projects in 2009 and 2010.
The department continued to lobby both the federal and provincial governments on transportation issues – namely marine services, airstrip upgrading, winter trails and a road link from Upper Lake Melville to Rigolet, Postville and Makkovik. Talks also continued with existing airline companies to look at the possibility of establishing a joint partnership.
Finance and Human Resources
The Department of Finance and Human Resources is primarily responsible for all areas pertaining to finance and funding, the management of the Nunatsiavut Civil Service, as well as Information Technology.
Openness and Accountability
The Nunatsiavut Government continues to employ sound management practices to ensure long-term social and economic growth for Labrador Inuit communities, while protecting the interests of Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Going into 2008-09, the Nunatsiavut Government incurred a budget surplus of $15.4 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008. This included $14.2 million from accrued revenue derived from mining royalties from the Voisey's Bay project.
The fourth anniversary Federal Capital Transfer Payment of $34,364,095 (minus $4,641,250 for repayment of loan amounts), as per Chapters 19 and 23 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, was received on December 1, 2008. In light of the global economic crisis during the second half of 2008, and the resulting downturn in investment returns, the Nunatsiavut Government decided not to invest these funds, as was the practice in previous years.
The department, for the first time ever, held pre-budget public consultations in the fall of 2008 in all constituencies in an attempt to determine priorities for Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
In light of fiscal realities and the downturn in investment returns, all Nunatsiavut Government departments were notified at the end of the fiscal year that they would be required to reduce spending in 2009-10 in order to ensure a balanced budget.
The Nunatsiavut Government passed its fourth budget in March 2009. A total of $30 million was set aside for program spending, with $18.6 million being budgeted for administration for a total of $48.6 million.
While there have been several new initiatives during the 2008-09 fiscal year to support human resources development, the Human Resources Division placed emphasis on recruitment for new and vacant positions. During the year several new positions (permanent and temporary) were created.
In addition to the new positions, there were about 70 job postings across the seven Nunatsiavut Government departments. Most vacancies were in the Department of Health and Social Development.
Efforts were made throughout the year to identify or determine reasons for the high turnover in positions. Many community members left their jobs to pursue careers in industry (such as mining) where salaries are much higher, and others left for employment with the provincial public sector. Another factor behind the high turnover and inability to recruit is the unavailability of suitable housing. As a result of some of these findings, the division began the process of performing a review of salaries and northern benefits to present to the Nunatsiavut Government in the upcoming fiscal year. The goal is to provide a competitive salary and benefits package to reduce turnover and to reduce the number of vacancies currently within the government.
The Nunatsiavut Government employed more than 240 permanent, temporary and casual employees during the 2008-09 fiscal year – of which more than 80 per cent were Inuit.
Distribution of Nunatsiavut Government BUDGET (2008-2009)
Administration of Government
% of total
A - Nunatsiavut Secretariat
B - Nunatsiavut Affairs
C - Dept. of Finance and Human Resources
D - Dept. of Lands and Natural Resources
E - Dept. of Health and Social Development
F - Dept. of Education and Economic Development
G - Dept. of Culture, Recreation and Tourism
H - General Administration
I - House of Assembly
J - Co-management boards
K - Nunatsiavut Government Capital Infrastructure
Total - Administration of Government
L - Health
M - Education
N - Inuit Community Governments
O - Housing
P - Inuit Community Capital Infrastructure
Q - Economic Development
R - Fisheries
S - Culture and Language
T - Self Government
Total - Programs
The Information Technology Division faced numerous challenges during the fiscal year, particularly with respect to network outages within Labrador Inuit communities. These outages were the result of failures due to aging equipment, ongoing problems with network connectivity, and infrastructure problems from the service provider.
The network connectivity issues were, for the most part, addressed, the internet service provider performed a number of upgrades, and some older equipment was rotated out of service and replaced.
As well, the division commissioned an external security assessment of the Nunatsiavut Government network. The results indicated that, overall, the network infrastructure has an acceptable security posture, but that there was room for improvement in specific areas. The IT staff implemented these specific recommendations in the first quarter 2009.
In concert with the security assessment, the division began the development of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan for Nunatsiavut Government's IT infrastructure. The plan has three phases: (1) an evaluation of the current infrastructure and departmental workflow; (2) a review of various options available and recommendation of a preferred solution and; (3) the implementation of the disaster recovery solution that best fits the Nunatsiavut Government's capacity and network environment. Phases one and two were completed in 2008-09, with the final phase scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2009.
Health and Social Development
With its administrative office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development is mandated to improve the health and social well-being of Labrador Inuit, with emphasis on ensuring healthy individuals, families and communities.
Community health aide positions were established in the communities of Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet during the 2008-09 fiscal year. The health aides received extensive training in February on issues such as tuberculosis, food safety, rabies, breastfeeding, human resources and post-natal follow-up. They also participated in a new video production by Pauktuutit on child-birth education.
The first phase of a Nunatsiavut-designed Home Support Worker Training Module was completed during the fiscal year. It is expected a training package will be completed by April 2010, with implementation in 2011. The product allows the training to be delivered at the community level, in a culturally-appropriate manner.
Nunatsiavut Public Health is one step closer to the implementation of the Panorama surveillance system, following a report completed on the changes required to transition from a paper to an electronic process and the inventory of both existing and required infrastructure.
Non-Insured Health Benefits
A new Non-Insured Health Benefits manager and an additional analyst were hired in 2008- 09 to assist with the workload in pharmacy, dental, optometry and supplies.
The dental service within Nunatsiavut continued to run well during the fiscal year, with a noticeable reduction of cavities in children.
The department began working with providers of optometry services to Labrador Inuit communities to ensure that this service continues.
A report on the use of tele-health was completed, advising both the department and Labrador-Grenfell Regional Health Authority on where progress can be made to improve access to service electronically, and where savings can be found with respect to travel to both St. John's and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Residential Schools Gathering
The department, in collaboration with the Legacy of Hope Foundation, hosted a three-day Storytelling Gathering in Hopedale from September 30 to October 2, 2008. The Foundation brought in an interviewer and a film crew and documented individual stories from nine residential school survivors. These stories will be kept in an archive for reference should future generations want to access them. The gathering was also documented for a DVD on residential schools in Labrador.
Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative
Following intensive Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative training during the 2007-08 fiscal year, community health workers began using their newly-acquired knowledge and skills to deliver a wide variety of promotion and prevention programs. Each community began offering programming and information geared towards diabetes education and prevention, as well as promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Some of the activities included cooking classes/ demonstrations, community presentations, diabetes awareness bingo, "biggest loser" contests, grocery tours and walking groups.
Susan Aglukark Tour
Renowned Inuit singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark traveled to all Nunatsiavut communities, as well as Upper Lake Melville from March 6-12, 2009 to deliver two presentations: the first was for the whole community and included her story and several songs; the second was on self esteem and geared towards youth. Her presentations incorporated music and workshops dealing with hope for the future.
Mental Health and Addictions
The department made much progress during the year in making mental health and addictions services even more relevant and helpful for Labrador Inuit. A report was prepared, entitled A Comprehensive Review of the Continuum of Addictions Services, Nunatsiavut Government, which listed 80 recommendations based on written and verbal feedback from all communities within Nunatsiavut. As a result of the report, the department developed a framework upon which all of its work will be based. Both focus on the strength of Labrador Inuit and will ensure that quality, culturally-appropriate mental wellness and healing services are provided.
The department temporarily closed the Saputjivik Treatment Centre in North West River and developed a new model for delivering treatment services. The new treatment model will deal with both addictions and trauma. Intensive training around the new treatment model was completed with the department's mental health and addictions staff, outlining the roles they will play in supporting clients throughout the process.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
The development of the Behavioral Health Aide Training Program during the fiscal year helped to enhance the capacity of Labrador Inuit and Innu communities and their partners to respond to the intervention needs of children, their families and other caregivers affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The project was designed to address the need for skilled paraprofessionals who would be available to provide support and intervention services in the communities. A pilot of the training program was delivered in Hopedale from November 2008 to March 2009.
Education and Economic Development
By determining the best opportunities and use of natural and human resources, the Department of Education and Economic Department strives to foster a positive climate in an attempt to provide long-term economic stability for Nunatsiavut and Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The department is responsible for the Post Secondary Student Support Program and Inuit Pathways, as well as economic development initiatives.
Post Secondary Student Support Program
Funded by the Government of Canada, the Post Secondary Student Support Program provides financial assistance to eligible Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement who wish to further pursue their education. Administered from St. John's, the program is complemented by the Education Counselor's Office in Makkovik. During the 2008-09 fiscal year, 218 students registered under the program (44 part time and 174 full time). A total of 24 graduated.
Labrador Social Work Program
Delivered by St. Thomas University through the Happy Valley-Goose Bay campus of the College of the North Atlantic, the Labrador Social Work Program got under way in September with 23 students registering. This cost-shared program between Labrador- Grenfell Health and Nunatsiavut's departments of Health and Social Development and Education and Economic Development requires all students to sign a return-in-service agreement committing to return to work for a minimum of three years in central or northern Labrador where a need is identified.
Inuit Nursing Access Program/Collaborative Nursing Program
Students enrolled in the Inuit Nursing Access Program/Collaborative Nursing Program are about to embark on their final year of studies. A total of six students graduated with their Bachelor of Nursing degree. Another student will enter the third year of the program with expectations to graduate in 2011. There were nine students who left the program with, or who qualify for, the Personal Care Attendant Certificate and the Home Support Worker Certificate. One individual received a certificate in Northern Community Health Care. Up to the end of the 2008-09 fiscal year, a total of $1,926,269.51 had been spent on the program, with Health Canada contributing $1,038,000.00. The remaining $888,269.51 came from the Post Secondary Student Support Program.
Social Work Degree Program
During the spring of 2008 a partnership was formed with Nunatsiavut, Nunavut and McGill University of Montreal to develop and deliver a three-year Bachelor of Social Work Program in Labrador and Nunavut. It was determined that a foundation year would have to be developed for Nunavut, but students in Labrador could access existing services through the College of the North Atlantic and/or Memorial University. Development funds were secured through an agreement under the federal government's Aboriginal Health and Human Resource Initiative, with both Atlantic and Quebec regions contributing. Throughout the year recruiting took place with a number of students being placed in post-secondary studies to build up their academic backgrounds in order to meet the minimum requirements for the program. In June 2008 it was determined that only six students met the entrance requirements for McGill, so the program was postponed. It is hoped the program will be up and running within the next year.
Education Degree Program
Memorial University initiated a meeting in May 2008 with the Nunatsiavut Government and Aboriginal groups to discuss the development of a new education program for aboriginal students. The program will have more culturally-relevant curriculum for all aboriginal groups. Memorial University is moving to increase its presence in Labrador and to develop other programs that are more suited to aboriginal students.
Native Liaison Office
The Native Liaison Officer position at Memorial University was eliminated in April 2008 due to decreasing enrollment in recent years. In consultations with Memorial, it was stressed that there is a need for this type of support for aboriginal students and the Post Secondary Student Support Program offered to contribute financially to the position if the University agreed to maintain it. Memorial agreed and took over the position.
Indian/Inuit Studies Support Program
In 2008-09, the Post Secondary Student Support Program received $103,634.00 for the Indian/Inuit Studies Support Program for the development and delivery of programs.
Aboriginal Initiatives Task Force
Memorial University established a task force with representation from all aboriginal groups in the province. This group is mandated to develop a set of recommendations to present to the University to help improve services and programming for aboriginal students. Throughout the year a series of consultations took place across the province with all aboriginal groups, post-secondary institutions, local governments, school boards and students to gather input on what the needs are and how they can be met.
Nunatsiavut Government Departmental Needs
Throughout the 2008-09 fiscal year education staff consulted with each department on their current and long-term training needs. The purpose was to identify the number of positions currently required, and to identify people to enter training programs to help prepare them to fill those positions. In doing this each department committed to require each trainee to sign a return-in-service agreement for the positions identified. While the consultations identified a number of positions, recruiting attempts failed in 2008-09. Attempts will be made to increase consultations with each department in the coming year in order to meet recruitment needs.
The Nunatsiavut Government continues to have a multi-year agreement with Human Resource Skills Development Canada to implement the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy. This agreement is administered through the Inuit Pathways Funding Program, which has a small staff of four who work out of Makkovik. The program provides services to all Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy is designed to help improve employment opportunities of aboriginal peoples to allow them to fully participate in the Canadian economy.
Support is available to Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement in a wide range of initiatives, from academic upgrading, pre-employment training, wage subsidies for work experience, and new business self employment through Inuit Pathways labour market programs. Inuit Pathways is able to utilize these labour market program funds to provide people with valuable and much-needed training and work experience. This provides Beneficiaries with training and skills to help them become active members of the workforce.
The Nunatsiavut Government's allocation of the First Nations Inuit Childcare Initiative is also included in the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy agreement. Inuit Pathways has an agreement with the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development to support Inuit childcare. This agreement helps fund child-care programming at day-care centres in Nunatsiavut.
Inuit Pathways also supports projects related to youth training and employment through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Division of Youth, Elders and Recreation of the Nunatsiavut Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Youth programs focus on developing skills, providing valuable work experience, promotion of careers, and providing funds for summer-work opportunities.
Inuit Pathways also has a small budget allocation for programs for persons with disabilities. These funds are used to provide extra support to clients who face barriers to skills development or have no work experience.
During the 2008-09 fiscal year Inuit Pathways received additional funds from the Nunatsiavut Government's supplemental budget. These funds helped to provide training and support to more Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, as well as allowed for support of projects that would normally not fall within the restrictive guidelines that are a part of the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy. Some of the projects supported through these funds include: Orientation to Trades and Technology Program; Postville Computer Course; Rigolet Seal Project; Makkovik Adult Basic Education; and the Nain Husky Centre Recreation Program.
As the economic development arm of the Nunatsiavut Government, the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation strives to create opportunities for Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement by managing a number of for-profit businesses. Revenues from these businesses are strategically reinvested for growth and expansion, thereby increasing the ability for profit and employment.
Fishing has always been an important part of the Inuit culture. As such, the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation continued to invest, although to a lesser degree than in previous years, in employment and partnerships in the northern fishery during the 2008-09 fiscal year.
Torngait Services Inc. is the operating arm of a Limited Partnership between the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation and ATCO Frontec Services Limited. Torngat Services was incorporated in 1995 with the primary purpose of providing logistics and support services to mining and exploration companies pursuing opportunities in Labrador, with particular emphasis on the Voisey's Bay nickel project. More than 69 per cent of the company's workforce at the Voisey's Bay site during the 2008-09 fiscal year were Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Post Mill Lumber is a woods, manufacturing and construction operation based in Postville. The next operational season will see strategic investments that will increase the company's ability to become more involved in building Nunatsiavut communities.
Torngait Ujaganniavingit (Stoneworkers) Corporation, with its world headquarters in Nain, embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign in 2008-09 for its stone products at Ten Mile Bay. The company took full control of its destiny and world distribution of its products by operating its global sales and marketing for anorthosite, or Blue Eyes, from the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Using blocks cut at Ten Mile Bay, the Hopedale Stone Plant continues to process polished slabs, memorials, landscape architecture and countertops for sale in the Canadian marketplace. In 2008-09 the plant provided seasonal employment for six Hopedale residents.
With the continued expansion of communities within Nunatsiavut, the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation's Nunak Landholding has persisted in constructing and managing new buildings which will help ensure growth and prosperity for Inuit businesses and Nunatsiavut Government operations.
Department of Lands and Natural Resources
The Department of Lands and Natural Resources is responsible for all matters related to the Nunatsiavut Government's role in co-managing both renewable and non-renewable resources. It is also responsible for implementing the obligations respecting resource development in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. In managing renewable and non-renewable resources the department's goal is to gain maximum economic benefits, while minimizing the impact on human well-being, Inuit cultural heritage and the environment.
The department is separated into four divisions under separate directorships: Non-Renewable Resources; Renewable Resources; Lands; and Environment. With a full-time staff of 23 employees in seven offices, the department is responsible for land administration and management, environmental assessment, protection and monitoring, management of fisheries, wildlife and plants, and coordinating Inuit impact and benefit agreements.
Land Administration and Management
A Director of Lands was hired in September and charged with the responsibility for the establishment of an application registry and the land titles office for Labrador Inuit Lands, as required by the Labrador Inuit Lands Act. The registry administers applications for all types of interests, including Inuit freehold title, leases, land use permits and recorded trap line permits. A total of 407 applications for interests in land were received in 2008-09.
In May 2008, the Nunatsiavut Executive Council enacted "Regulations Respecting the Special Process to Facilitate Initial Recognition of Traditional Tenures" under Section 3.2 of the Labrador Inuit Lands Act, IL 2005-14. The regulations allowed Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement to get land tenure to land they had exclusive possession of at least 10 years prior to December 1, 2005 and that possession or use had not been terminated or abandoned. Labrador Inuit had until December 31, 2008 to submit land applications under this process.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources appointed a special advisor to oversee this process. The advisor had the power to conduct an inquiry on each application in accordance with the regulations, investigate each application, ensure that the views of the public with respect to applications were taken into account, hold hearings to gather public views and provide a recommendation on each application to the minister. Approximately 350 applications were submitted under this process. The advisor completed his work and is expected to submit his recommendations early in the new fiscal year.
Regional Planning Authority
The Regional Planning Authority continues to work on a Land Use Plan for the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, a process that is now slated for completion by 2011. One of the authority's members nominated by the Nunatsiavut Government resigned in 2008, and a replacement is expected to be named during the summer of 2009. A draft plan is nearing completion and consultations are expected to begin in the second half of 2009.
Uranium Mining and Milling
The Nunatsiavut Assembly voted in early April 2008 to prohibit the working, production, mining and development of uranium on Labrador Inuit Lands. The amendment to the Labrador Inuit Lands Act also requires the issue to be revisited after March 31, 2011. The decision to change the legislation was made in part because the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area Land Use Plan is not yet complete and the Nunatsiavut Government does not have its environmental legislation finalized or its land administration process completed.
The department began re-negotiating the Voisey's Bay Environmental Management Agreement, which sets up a process for environmental management of the Voisey's Bay project by the Nunatsiavut Government, along with the provincial and federal governments and the Innu Nation. Inuit monitors continue to be employed year round at Voisey's Bay, providing regular reports on environmental performance.
Land Using Planning
The department reviews all land use permit applications to ensure protection of the environment. A longer-term goal is to develop environmental protection guidelines for the most common land uses within Labrador Inuit Lands.
Conservation Officer Training Program
The department's conservation officers completed the final module of the Conservation Officer Training Program at the College of the North Atlantic. All seven completed the training along with two additional Pathways students who hope to become conservation officers in the future.
One Fishing Entity
The department, along with the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation and the Torngat Fish Producers Cooperative, formed a committee to conduct a review of fishing licenses and operations. A consultant was hired to review all fishing assets and provide advice to a review committee on the critical path the Nunatsiavut Government should take to ensure a sustainable and prosperous fishery in the future. The report is expected to be presented for approval by the Nunatsiavut Government early in the next fiscal year.
The department continued to work closely with the provincial Department of Natural Resources to complete a Forest Management Plan for the Postville area. Public consultations took place in the summer and fall of 2008, and it is hoped a plan will be completed early in the new fiscal year.
Culture, Recreation and Tourism
The Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism is mandated to ensure the advancement and preservation of Inuit language, culture and traditions; to promote recreation and sport; to serve as a catalyst for issues related to Inuit youth and elders; and to position Nunatsiavut as a tourism destination on the world stage.
Torngâsok Cultural Centre
Established in 1979, the Torngâsok Cultural Centre works to preserve, protect, promote and advance Labrador Inuit language and culture. The centre was involved in numerous projects during the 2008-09 fiscal year, including:
the Hebron Stabilization and the Hebron Master Plan;
the James Andersen 50 Years of Taking Pictures traveling exhibit to Nunatsiavut, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009;
the Intangible Cultural Heritage Mapping initiative in conjunction with the OKalaKatiget Society, which resulted in a documentary entitled, "A Traditional Seal Hunt in Nunatsiavut";
a drumming workshop in the community of Postville; and
the planning for the Hebron relocation dedication memorial ceremony, scheduled to take place during the summer of 2009, in collaboration with the Hebron Relocation Committee.
More than 80 delegates attended the Sivuppialautta Language Conference held in Nain in July. The conference was also attended by ITK President Mary Simon.
The centre's language coordinator also completed a pilot Master/Apprentice Program, attended the Arctic Indigenous Language Conference in Norway with 100 other delegates from Canada and Russia, and played an active role in the teaching of the first level of the Rosetta Stone language program at the Labrador Friendship Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Other initiatives of the centre included projects dedicated to the completion of the second level of the Rosetta Stone program.
Ensuring the preservation of archaeological sites and artifacts is a major priority for the Nunatsiavut Government. Through its archaeologist, Torngâsok Cultural Centre assisted with fieldwork at the KANGIDLUASUK/St. John's Harbour base camp for the Torngat Mountains National Park.
Youth, Elders and Recreation
Programs are made possible for youth and elders with funds received from the Canadian Heritage's Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre's Initiative, the Tasiujatsoak Trust and the Department of Health and Social Development. A multi-year proposal for 2008- 09 and 2009-10 was submitted to Canadian Heritage for various programs. A total of $233,244 was approved for:
an applied suicide intervention skills training/post-intervention workshop;
a youth leadership workshop;
a summer language and culture camp;
a sealskin cleaning workshop;
a filming workshop; and
a youth coordinator's position.
Rising Youth Council
The department helps coordinate the administration of the Rising Youth Council which has representation from all Labrador Inuit communities and the Upper Lake Melville area. The annual youth symposium was held in Rigolet in May 2008.
Safe Kayak Course
A Safe Kayak Course – Level I was delivered in Nain in August 2008 with nine participants, including one elder. Celebrating Life has been a project through the community of Nain for the past several years. The project focuses on suicide prevention by motivating and encouraging youth to live life.
Over 25 elders from Nunatsiavut and beyond came together in Nain in November 2008. This was the first gathering of this kind in several years. Discussions ranged from what is an elder to traditional healing practices.
Aboriginal Hockey Championships
The National Aboriginal Hockey Championships took place at Garden River First Nations – just outside of Sault St. Marie, Ontario – from April 27 to May 3, 2008. This was the first year Newfoundland and Labrador sent a team to the event. Thanks to the Tasiujatsoak Trust, seven players and two coaches (all of whom are Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement) attended and represented Nunatsiavut well. The championships allowed participants the opportunity to network with other aboriginal groups and to compete on a national level.
North American Indigenous Games
The Nunatsiavut Government helped support sending Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement to represent the province at the North American Indigenous Games in Cowichan, BC during August 2008.
MUN Volleyball Training
The division, along with the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle of Newfoundland and Labrador, partnered with Memorial University to provide volleyball training in Makkovik from February 19-22, 2009.
Following is an overview of some of the projects the Tourism Division was involved in during the 2008-09 fiscal year:
North America's largest snowmobile endurance race, known as Cain's Quest, was extended into the Nunatsiavut communities of Rigolet, Makkovik and Postville. The race, which ran from March 14-21, 2009 was a huge success. The Nunatsiavut Government, through the departments of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and Education and Economic Development, provided $20,000 in sponsorship funds.
The department played a huge role in helping to showcase Labrador, and Nunatsiavut specifically, during a forum of the Cruise Association of Newfoundland and Labrador in Corner Brook, Newfoundland in late October 2008. As a result of the department's involvement, the Tourism Division was approached by potential cruise companies looking to bring ships/itineraries to Nunatsiavut communities.
Tourism Opportunity Workshop
As a result of the One Destination-Many Partners Tourism Opportunity Workshop, held in Nain in April 2008, each of the five Labrador Inuit communities participated in the development and implementation of tourism pilot projects with either cruise ship tourists, during community events or through planned tourist visits. The workshop was funded by Parks Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Nunatsiavut Government.
A review is under way to evaluate the programming in each community and to establish tourism products that will be professionally offered in the 2009 summer tourist season.
Torngat Mountains National Park Base Camp
The base camp operated from July 26 to August 9, 2008 as participant weeks, but was also engaged in additional weeks of research with 11 projects through Parks Canada, International Polar Year and the Arctic Net-Nunatsiavut Nuluak program. The camp also engaged in a pilot tourism project, hosting the visitation of an expedition cruise ship as well as a number of sail boats.
Community and Cruise Tourism Involvement
Five young Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement from Nunatsiavut were employed with Cruise North Expeditions.
A family from Nain received funding from Nunatsiavut's Department of Lands and Natural Resources to live in Hebron for two months during the summer of 2008 to promote cultural preservation and practices and to serve as a resource for the tourism industry.
The cruise vessel Wanderbird visited Nunatsiavut's coastline, the Torngat Mountains National Park, and Nain during the summer. Two men from Nain were hired to serve as cultural guides and polar bear monitors by the cruise-line company. Future projects and youth training opportunities are being explored with the company for the 2009 summer tourism season.
Wildland Tours offered a cruise information session in Nain in August 2008 to discuss the expectations of cruise passengers, the tourism market, and general onshore preparations for the cruise tourism market.
Moving Forward Together is the theme of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Annual Report for 2008-2009. We are now in the fourth year of implementation of the first landclaims agreement in Newfoundland and Labrador. In this early stage of implementation, this theme of unity acknowledges the cooperative spirit of all parties to effectively implement the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement continues to bring 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. This clarity is helping to create a more stable environment for investment for the benefit of Labrador Inuit and all other citizens of the province.
Since December 1, 2005, when the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement came into effect, provincial departments and agencies have worked closely with the Nunatsiavut Government to implement the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. In addition, the Nunatsiavut Government was consulted on major government initiatives, including the province's Energy Plan, the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project, the Coastal Issues Scan and the Northern Strategic Plan.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Canada in the coming years to implement this important Agreement.
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
The Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement on behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In addition to participating on the Implementation Committee with the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Canada, the department continues to review government legislation, policies and programs to ensure compliance with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The department provides advice and recommendations on obligations under the Agreement to provincial departments and agencies. It also maintains a list of contacts within provincial departments and agencies that have obligations under the Agreement.
The department and the Nunatsiavut Government are building on the government-togovernment relationship that has been developed since the Nunatsiavut Government was established. During 2008–2009, the department continued to monitor the implementation of the provincial government's obligations under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, including monitoring the activity of the boards established in accordance with the Agreement, the negotiation and signing of the 2009-2010 board funding agreements and being actively engaged with the boards. (Updates on the boards' activities are provided under the Boards and Committees section of this report).
The department consulted the Nunatsiavut Government in the implementation of the programs and commitments contained in the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador. This included seeking advice on the delivery of the Air Foodlift Subsidy to Labrador Inuit communities and consultation with the Nunatsiavut Government on the north coast winter trails system.
The department continued to monitor the progress of the environmental site assessment of the former military site at Hopedale, undertaken by the Department of Environment and Conservation.
As well, the department continued to negotiate necessary amendments to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement with the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Canada.
During the signing ceremony for the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement in Nain on January 22, 2005, Premier Danny Williams delivered an apology on behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for the relocation of the residents of Hebron and Nutak in 1959. The apology included a commitment to erect a monument at Hebron. The department worked closely with the Nunatsiavut Government to plan an appropriate ceremony to dedicate the monument that will include the names of the relocatees, the text of the apology and the text of the relocatees' response to the apology. This monument is scheduled to be erected in Hebron in August 2009.
Environment and Conservation
The Department of Environment and Conservation is responsible for implementing a wide range of obligations under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, including those with respect to: water resources management, wildlife management, land management, and environmental assessment.
Water Resources Management Division
During the period April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009 the Water Resources Management Division completed a number of activities in relation to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, including:
issuance of eight temporary water use licences for mineral exploration projects within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area;
provision of an education seminar to water and wastewater system operators from the Inuit communities of Nain, Makkovik and Postville;
issuance of permits to the Inuit Community Government of Hopedale for the installation of water and sewer along Berry Road as part of Phase 1 of the development, and for site services for the planned Nunatsiavut Government Assembly building;
issuance of a permit for Phase 8 of the subdivision water and sewer project and other water system improvements in the Inuit Community of Rigolet;
issuance of a permit to operate for wastewater collection in the Inuit Community of Rigolet;
collection of three ambient water quality samples from the Ugjoktok River under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Water Quality Monitoring Agreement; and
completion of drinking water quality monitoring in the Inuit communities of Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet consisting of four inorganic source samples, 10 inorganic tap samples, 16 THM tap samples, and 16 tap HAA samples.
In cooperation with the Nunatsiavut Government, the College of the North Atlantic and the Canada Firearms Program, six firearm safety and hunter education workshops (involving 40 participants) were conducted in Nain, Makkovik, Hopedale and Rigolet. Eight of the nine instructors for these workshops were Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
A meeting of the Labrador Woodland Caribou Recovery Team, whose membership includes the Nunatsiavut Government, was held in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in January. In addition to discussions relating to the recovery of Labrador woodland caribou, a Nunatsiavut Government proposal to the Government of Canada's Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk was discussed and given unanimous support.
Since 2001, the division has partnered with Labrador Inuit to deliver the Labrador Species at Risk Stewardship Program. The activity of the Nunatsiavut Government facilitator of the Labrador Species at Risk Stewardship Program is recognized as an essential component of the species at risk recovery process. Nunatsiavut Government conservation officers are being trained in aspects of the Species at Risk legislation by the stewardship facilitator and are becoming familiar with past and present work in their communities involving species at risk stewardship. The conservation officers in turn work to encourage and reinforce a community and individual responsibility towards species at risk and their habitats. This is accomplished by means of school presentations, distribution of information posters, involvement of the Nunatsiavut Government on the Woodland Caribou Recovery Team, surveys of caribou locations and monitoring the presence of wolverine.
On Feb. 26, 2009 the division met with representatives from the Ministere des Resource Naturelles et de la Faune – Secteur Faune Quebec, the Nunatsiavut Government and the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board to discuss plans for an upcoming census of the George River caribou herd. The meeting covered elements of survey design, timing and logistical considerations. Partners indicated a willingness to assist where appropriate on all aspects of the survey that would be led by government and academic researchers from Quebec. The survey is being planned for July 2010.
During the last week of July 2008, a falcon/biodiversity survey was undertaken on Konrad Lake and Kogaluk River. A prey study was carried out at a peregrine falcon nest site on the Kogaluk River to determine what the birds were eating at inland nest sites. A nest occupancy survey was also undertaken on the Kogaluk River, but a planned survey of the Fraser River had to be cancelled because of weather. Botanists carried out an inventory of plants, including mushrooms, in the area where Konrad Brook empties into Konrad Lake. Avian surveys were also carried out at Konrad Lake and the Kogaluk River site. A Nunatsiavut Government biologist was part of the survey team.
The Lands Branch continues to manage and administer Crown land within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area outside Labrador Inuit Lands. The branch also works with the Inuit Community Government of Hopedale to administer Crown land within the Inuit community boundary until the land is transferred to the Inuit Community Government. In accordance with part 17.42.1 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, provincial Crown land was transferred to the other four Inuit communities in February 2008. However, Crown land within the Inuit Community of Hopedale was not transferred. Both governments would like to see issues around the contamination of a former military site in the Inuit Community of Hopedale addressed before the land is transferred.
The branch continued to fulfill its commitments under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement primarily through consultation with the Nunatsiavut Government in accordance with section 10.9.1 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. Section 10.9.1 states that the Nunatsiavut Government must be consulted on any new use of land within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area until the Land Use Plan comes into effect. The Regional Planning Authority is scheduled to submit a draft final land use plan to the provincial government and the Nunatsiavut Government in 2011.
The Environmental Assessment Division refers all projects proposed within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, and all projects proposed outside the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area that may reasonably be expected to have adverse environmental effects in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, to the Nunatsiavut Government for consideration in accordance with chapter 11 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Most notably, the two key projects in which the Nunatsiavut Government continues to be engaged under the environmental assessment review process are the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation and the Labrador-Island Transmission Link projects.
The division has also offered to the Nunatsiavut Government any assistance with regard to their current effort in developing their own environmental assessment legislation and had the opportunity to meet with their representatives in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for implementing a number of obligations under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement with respect to forestry, mineral exploration and development, and energy.
The Forestry Branch and the Nunatsiavut Government drafted the Forest Management District 23 (Postville area) five-year operating plan. It is anticipated that this plan will be registered for Environmental Assessment in the fall of 2009. The branch also sent 400 cords of firewood to the Inuit communities of Nain and Hopedale.
The branch issued 21 harvesting permits in Area 12E (near Happy Valley-Goose Bay) in accordance with section 12.13.10 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. Provincial conservation officers also assisted Nunatsiavut Government conservation officers with enforcement training and nuisance wildlife problems, including human bear encounters within Inuit communities.
The Mines Branch continued working with the Nunatsiavut Government to jointly administer the mineral exploration standards regulations on Labrador Inuit Lands. During 2008-2009, 24 exploration work plans were jointly approved by the two governments. The security deposits for these new exploration programs totaled $239,750. Two joint inspections were conducted, resulting in refunds of $135,500 to the companies that had completed rehabilitation of their work sites.
The system developed to calculate payments owing to the Nunatsiavut Government related to sub-surface fees and revenues is continuing to work well and payments are being made to the Nunatsiavut Government on schedule.
The Energy Branch works in conjunction with the federal government under the Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). The branch monitors the C-NLOPB obligations to consult the Nunatsiavut Government as set out in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
During 2008-2009, the C-NLOPB continued to work with the Nunatsiavut Government. In August 2008, the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Labrador offshore area was completed. This assessment was co-chaired by the Nunatsiavut Government and the C-NLOPB.
The C-NLOPB notified the Nunatsiavut Government of offshore seismic activity and of the closing of the call for bids for exploration rights in the Labrador offshore area. The C-NLOPB briefed Nunatsiavut Government officials in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in September 2008 on the results of the call for bids for this land sale.
During March 2009, board staff attended a meeting of the Nunatsiavut Assembly in Hopedale to provide an overview of current activity in offshore Labrador and to discuss the potential for future activity. The board plans to continue these discussions and briefings as activity in the area warrants.
Tourism, Culture and Recreation
The Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation is responsible for implementing obligations in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement related to tourism development and archaeology.
Tourism Product Development Division
The division was heavily involved in the development and promotion of the winter tourism product over the 2008-2009 period with the Nunatsiavut Government. One notable achievement was the expansion of the Cain's Quest Extreme Snowmobile Race to include the Inuit communities of Rigolet, Makkovik and Postville.
The department has ongoing involvement with Destination Labrador, a destinations marketing organization for Labrador whose board includes the Nunatsiavut Government. There are ongoing discussions with private sector operators throughout the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area exploring possibilities for expansion and diversification of their tourism operations.
The relationship between the department and the Nunatsiavut Government has been instrumental and very effective in promoting tourism and product development opportunities in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. It has been important in bringing the people of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and other regions of Labrador closer together.
Provincial Archaeology Office
The Provincial Archaeology Office consulted the Nunatsiavut Government on permit applications and land use referrals in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area outside Labrador Inuit Lands. The office also assisted the Nunatsiavut Government archaeologist to prepare a Cultural Property Export Permit to temporarily allow artifacts from an excavation in Hopedale to leave Canada for research purposes. Artifacts have to be cleared through Canada Customs before they leave the country.
The office provided $4,000 to the Hopedale Archaeology Project to assist it with archaeological research in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. This multi-year project seeks to understand through archaeology how Labrador Inuit dealt with material and ideological changes introduced by German Moravian Missionaries at Hopedale which was the third mission settled in Labrador in 1782. This project provides a cultural experience for Inuit youth and will significantly expand the awareness and appreciation of the 18th and 19th Century Inuit and Moravian tenure in northern Labrador.
The provincial archaeologist is a member of the Nain Cultural Centre Working Group. This group was established to help with the planning and development of the Torngâsok Cultural Centre.
Health and Community Services
The Department of Health and Community Services works in collaboration with four regional health authorities to deliver a range of health and community services to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Labrador Grenfell Regional Health Authority provides the majority of the health and community services to Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The department recognizes that the aboriginal population experiences unique challenges that impact their health and well-being. In recognition of these unique challenges, the Regional Health Operations Branch of the department hired an aboriginal health consultant in 2009 to provide advice and assistance on aboriginal health issues. Specifically, the consultant will assist the department to build on the initiatives developed in the Blueprint on Aboriginal Health Planning and to engage aboriginal groups with the goal of facilitating the integration/adaptation of existing health programming to meet the needs of aboriginal people. In addition, early in 2009, the department initiated discussions with aboriginal groups and federal representatives to discuss mental health and addictions issues with the goal of forming a tripartite committee to further address these issues in 2009-2010.
The department also coordinates the delivery of the Adaptation Envelope of the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund (AHTF), a five-year initiative which seeks to improve the integration of federal, provincial and territorial-funded health systems to adapt existing health programs and services to better serve the needs of aboriginal peoples. It is also intended to improve access to health services, and increase the participation of aboriginal peoples in the design, delivery, and evaluation of health programs and services. The Adaptation Envelope provides transitional funding to provincial and territorial governments to adapt their existing health programs to the unique needs of all aboriginal peoples. In 2008 the Nunatsiavut Government was a key participant in the initial provincial planning and consultation process on how best to deliver the AHTF and currently is an active participant on the provincial AHTF Advisory Committee that oversees the delivery and implementation the initiative. The AHTF also provides funding for a coordinator to further engage aboriginal peoples in the adaptation process and to monitor and evaluate existing and new adaptation projects.
The AHTF funded the Aboriginal Patient Navigator Project. This successful project provided two Aboriginal Patient Navigators to work with aboriginal patients and their families that are receiving health care services within Eastern Health in the St. John's area. This initiative not only provides services to Inuit, but to all aboriginal people who require assistance in navigating their way through the oftentimes complex health-care system. The Nunatsiavut Government is represented on the Eastern Health Navigator Steering Committee.
During 2008-09, the Nunatsiavut Government developed a proposal to adapt the provincial Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education (PRIDE) program to the Inuit cultural and social environment. PRIDE is a licensing program that is a requirement of foster parenting in the province. By making this program responsive to Inuit culture, the aim is to attract more Inuit families to become foster parents and thereby to eliminate the current placement of Inuit children outside their culture and away from their family and communities. The removal of Inuit children from Labrador communities is an ongoing issue and a major source of sadness and stress for Inuit families. Aboriginal children who are removed from their cultural and social roots typically suffer from a myriad of severe emotional, physical and spiritual losses, including abandonment disorder and identity issues that can present life-long difficulties. The objective of this project is to adapt the PRIDE program in order to keep Inuit children requiring care in their own communities and close to supportive kinship and social networks. This proposal is currently being assessed for funding under the AHTF program. If approved, it is anticipated it will start in 2009-2010.
In addition to the projects and initiatives that have been funded, the AHTF process has been very successful in bringing aboriginal groups, provincial and federal representatives together on important and complex aboriginal health issues. The program will conclude on March 31, 2011.
Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat
The Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat coordinates intergovernmental activity, and participates in the negotiation of federal/provincial funding arrangements with aboriginal governments. In the past year the secretariat has participated in the negotiation and signing of the funding agreements for the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board and the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board.
Fisheries and Aquaculture
The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture is responsible for implementing obligations in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement associated with fish processing and aquaculture, including offering the Nunatsiavut Government the first right of refusal to acquire the publicly-owned fish plants in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.
The department continued to work towards finalizing the transfer of ownership of the fish plant and land in Hopedale to the community government. It is anticipated that this transfer will take place in the spring of 2009.
The department continues to work with the Nunatsiavut Government on implementing a new strategy to manage commercial fishing licenses and processing facilities within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.
The Tax Administration Division of the Department of Finance continues to fulfill its obligations under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, including the sharing of revenues with the Nunatsiavut Government in accordance with Part 7.5 (Revenue Sharing in Relation to the Voisey's Bay Project).
The Department of Municipal Affairs is responsible for land use planning within the province. In accordance with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, the department will, in conjunction with the Nunatsiavut Government, 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 department of Municipal Affairs is providing advice related to the plan and has provided funding for the preparation of maps. The plan is moving forward with public consultations to take place in the coming year in Hopedale, Makkovik, Nain, Postville, Rigolet, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and North West River.
The department's Labrador regional office continues to provide administrative support to the Nunatsiavut Government under an agreement signed in 2006 for the provision of engineering services. The regional office is responsible for the development, implementation and administration of the Nunatsiavut Government Capital Works Program. This service has been provided by the regional office since the establishment of the Nunatsiavut Government in December 2005.
Projects funded include water and sewer, roads, municipal buildings, recreation and equipment purchases. The funding allocation for the 2008-2009 program was $5.5 million.
The department's Labrador Regional Office continues to provide administrative support to the Nunatsiavut Government under an agreement signed in 2006 for the provision of engineering services. The office is responsible for the development, implementation and administration of the Nunatsiavut Government Capital Works Program. Projects funded include water and sewer, roads, municipal buildings, recreation and equipment purchases. The funding allocation for the 2009-2010 program is $15 million.
Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission is responsible for hiring Government of Newfoundland and Labrador employees. It monitors staffing in Inuit communities to help ensure the provincial government's obligations respecting the preferential employment of Inuit in the Provincial Public Service are fulfilled in accordance with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement provides that qualified Inuit will 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. The commission is awaiting final comments from the Nunatsiavut Government on draft policies and procedures respecting implementation of these obligations. In the interim, the commission is operating under the terms of these draft policies and procedures.
As the parties entered the fourth year of implementing the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, a distinct change in focus began to emerge. The first three years of implementing the Agreement was dedicated to the start-up phase of "putting the pieces together," ensuring that the required foundational structures of the Agreement were in place. However, in year four, the parties began – "moving forward together," deeper into the more substantive aspects of implementing the Agreement.
In 2008-09, federal departments became more proactive in making connections, sharing information, exchanging ideas, and collaborating at a greater level than in previous years. A deeper commitment was also made to support government-to-government relations with the Nunatsiavut Government, as well as educating federal departments on their role in implementing the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Below is a description of the activities, accomplishments and challenges of the Government of Canada in implementing the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The Government of Canada implements the Agreement by coming together through the Atlantic Federal Caucus, as well as through the efforts of individual federal departments.
Atlantic Region Federal Caucus
The Atlantic Region Federal Caucus acts as a forum for federal departments involved in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement to share information relevant to implementation, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned on behalf of individual departments. One of the key functions of the caucus is to act as an advisory body to the federal member of the Implementation Committee, keeping the member well informed of developments in implementation across the Government of Canada. Another very important role is to ensure that the implementation of the Agreement is truly a Government-of-Canada-wide commitment.
The caucus consists of members from the following federal government departments: Canadian Heritage, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, Health Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, and Transport Canada. The caucus hopes to expand to include the participation of even more federal departments in the 2009-10 fiscal year.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is one of 34 federal departments and agencies involved in delivering aboriginal as well as northern programs and services. The department works in partnership with Inuit, First Nation and Métis governments and organizations, provincial and territorial governments, and other federal departments to fulfill Ottawa's Constitutional responsibilities to Canada's aboriginal and northern peoples. Among the some of the department's key responsibilities are the negotiation and implementation of land claims and self-government agreements. The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement is the first and only agreement of this kind in effect in Atlantic Canada.
Some of the unique practices and lessons learned from this Agreement are helping pave the way for negotiations and the settlement of future agreements.
The Implementation Branch of Indian and Northern Affairs is responsible for developing policy relating to implementation, the negotiation of implementation plans, and the management of implementing land claims and self-government agreements. The Implementation Management Directorate (Nunavut and Nunatsiavut) is responsible for the sizable job of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of obligations set out in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The directorate plays an integral role in coordinating the Atlantic Regional Federal Caucus and supports Canada's representative on the Implementation Committee. It also provides funding to the Nunatsiavut Government, and provides its share of funding to the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board, and the Torngat Secretariat which are funded on a tripartite basis by the parties to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. As well, the directorate coordinates the production of the annual implementation report and the coordination of the approval of amendments to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. In the 2008-09 fiscal year, the Implementation Management Directorate (Nunavut and Nunatsiavut) began to play a larger role in educating other federal departments with respect to their responsibilities in the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It is hoped that this will further evolve in the 2009-10 fiscal year.
One of the major undertakings of the Implementation Branch during the 2008-09 fiscal year was the commencement of the Fiscal Financing Agreement Review. The Fiscal Financing Agreement focuses on the self-government aspect of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It outlines the amount of funding the federal government provides to the Nunatsiavut Government for its operations in the delivery of programs and services on an annual basis. The major topics covered by the review in the 2008-09 fiscal year include fisheries, economic development and culture. Topics to be reviewed in the 2009-10 fiscal year will be governance, Inuit Community Governments, education, health, housing and other programs. The intention of the review is to gather important information to assist with the process of renewing the current Fiscal Financing Agreement which will expire on March 31, 2011. If the agreement expires before the parties have negotiated a successor FFA, the terms of the current agreement shall continue in effect for a period of two years.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is a national and international leader in marine safety and the management of oceans and freshwater resources. The department is responsible for ensuring the sustainable development and safe use of Canadian waters, as well as for developing and implementing policies and programs in support of Canada's scientific, ecological, social and economic interests in oceans and fresh waters. aboriginal fishing policy in Canada is guided by a vision of supporting healthy and prosperous aboriginal communities by:
building and supporting strong, stable relationships;
working in a way that upholds the honour of the Crown; and
facilitating Aboriginal participation in fisheries and aquaculture and associated economic opportunities, and in the management of aquatic resources.
In the 2008-09 fiscal year, a senior officials meeting was held between the Nunatsiavut Government and DFO to continue cooperative discussions on operational fisheries matters and overall Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement implementation.
As well, the department and the Nunatsiavut Government successfully negotiated and signed a food, social and ceremonial license in support of an Inuit domestic fishery inside the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Additionally, an agreement has been reached for a food, social and ceremonial license for Labrador Inuit to harvest outside the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Discussions continued towards finalization of a nine-year agreement governing Upper Lake Melville fisheries access for Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Department officials continued to work effectively with the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board and staff. Issues proactively addressed include fisheries resource management, science, conservation and protection.
Conservation and Protection
Strengthening cooperation between DFO fishery officers and Nunatsiavut conservation officers has been an acknowledged priority during the 2008-09 fiscal year. DFO maintains offices in Nain, Makkovik and Rigolet, with two fishery officers based in each of these communities. Nunatsiavut conservation officers have been proactively engaged in the development of enforcement guidelines and the identification of key elements for future development. Work plans are built on strong foundation of a cooperative approach, with fishery officers and conservation officers working side-by-side every step of the way. This includes conducting joint patrols and sharing of schedules and information.
The Conservation and Protection Branch also produced two public communications posters encouraging community level conservation, in English and Inuktitut. These posters focused specifically on the effective cooperation between fishery officers, Nunatsiavut conservation officers and Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Conservation and Protection Branch also produced two public communications posters encouraging community level conservation, in English and Inuktitut. These posters focused specifically on the effective cooperation between fishery officers, Nunatsiavut conservation officers and Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk
The Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk (AFSAR) is jointly administered by Environment Canada and DFO, and is an important element of implementing the Species At Risk Act (SARA). It has contributed funding to the northern Labrador Community-Based Coastal Resource Inventory (CCRI) initiative during the past two years. The Nunatsiavut Government has collaborated with DFO in undertaking this project with the purpose of acquiring and sharing aboriginal traditional knowledge related to species at risk in northern Labrador.
The primary focus of the CCRI project is to display marine-based information such as species occurrence (including at risk species), traditional fishing areas and marine-related uses, including but not limited to fish processing plants and wharves. It also includes the collection and presentation of information specific to northern Labrador, such as food, social, and ceremonial resources, as well as travel routes for snowmobiles and small boats. This inventory will provide useful information for promoting economic development, conservation and management within the coastal zone and will play a significant role in the management of species at risk issues for the Newfoundland and Labrador region.
The protection of species at risk depends upon a meaningful collaboration with aboriginal people and organizations in the implementation of programs under the Species at Risk Act. The CCRI project is the product of a successful partnership between two governments which recognizes the role that aboriginal people play in wildlife conservation. It demonstrates how aboriginal traditional knowledge can be taken into account when assessments of species at risk are conducted and when protection and recovery measures are developed and implemented.
The Habitat Branch is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the Nunatsiavut Government regarding the Voisey's Bay project. As per the Voisey's Bay Mine and Mill Fish Habitat Compensation Agreement, Vale Inco NL is required to consult with the Nunatsiavut Government with respect to the restoration of physically-degraded fish habitat sites within Newfoundland and Labrador.
English River Salmonid Counting Fence Project
The English River salmonid counting fence project has been ongoing for a number of years to gather population data on Atlantic salmon, Arctic char and sea trout for scientific analysis. This project has provided an opportunity for long-term cooperation as well as indepth technology transfer from departmental scientific staff to the scientific and technical team members in the Nunatsiavut Government. The project involves enumerating and tagging fish at a counting fence installed annually by Nunatsiavut and DFO staff, collection of weather data and data on marine/freshwater environmental conditions. Additionally, distribution information is collected through electro-fishing and radio tagging of salmon, char and sea trout.
When the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement was signed on January 22, 2005, two other agreements were also signed. The first, the Labrador Inuit Park Impacts and Benefits Agreement for the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada (PIBA) was signed by Canada and the Labrador Inuit Association. The second was the Memorandum of Agreement for a National Park Reserve of Canada and a National Park of Canada in the Torngat Mountains between Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Canada as Represented by the Minister of the Environment for the Purposes of the Parks Canada Agency and her Majesty the Queen in Right of Newfoundland and Labrador as Represented by the Minister of Environment and Conservation and the Premier as Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs.
The Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada was officially created on December 1, 2005. The PIBA sets out the role that Labrador Inuit have in the management of the park. It addresses matters connected with the park that might have a detrimental impact on Inuit or that could reasonably confer a benefit on Inuit and it respects use by Inuit of the land and resources of the park as set out in Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Administratively, this park is part of the Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit, which has its headquarters in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland.
Nunavik Inuit have treaty rights in what is now the Torngat Mountains National Park. The Nunatsiavut Government and Makivik Corporation (on behalf of Nunavik Inuit) have resolved their overlapping claims to lands and resources in northern Labrador and offshore areas adjacent to both northern Labrador and northern Quebec. This overlap agreement is set out in Article 29 of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It is anticipated that it will also be set out in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement once all parties have agreed upon an appropriate amendment to that Agreement. The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement committed Nunavik Inuit and Parks Canada to negotiate an impacts and benefits agreement. On December 1, 2006, Canada and Makivik Corporation signed 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.
AkKutiliuk - Making a Path – Moving Forward Together
The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement came into legal effect on July 10, 2008. This agreement contains the overlap agreement between Makivik Corporation and the Nunatsiavut Government which sets out how the respective rights and benefits of the Nunavik Inuit and Labrador Inuit will be shared. This marked the transition of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada to the Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada. The National Parks Act of Canada has been amended to include the Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada.
Parks Canada Agency and the Nunatsiavut Government will sign an amended Labrador Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreement for the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada that harmonizes this agreement with the Nunavik Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreement for the Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada.
Torngâsok Cultural Centre
Nain is the location for Parks Canada's visitor reception and orientation centre and administration office for the Torngat Mountains National Park. Parks Canada is currently operating out of interim space in two different locations in Nain until more permanent and appropriate space can be found. Parks Canada has been looking for an opportunity to collaborate with a partner so that it can incorporate it's infrastructure needs into a community facility. The Nunatsiavut Government is proposing to construct a new Torngâsok Cultural Centre in Nain and Parks Canada will be a partner in this project and integrate the infrastructure needs for the Torngat Mountains National Park into the new cultural centre.
Parks Canada invited senior officials from federal and provincial departments to spend a few days at the base camp in kANGIDLUASUk to understand how the Inuit story needs to be told through a new cultural centre. This visit was followed by a meeting in St. John's, Newfoundland where senior officials from all three governments attended a presentation on the Nunatsiavut Government's proposal for a new cultural centre. Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government have confirmed their support for the project. Canada is represented by Parks Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canadian Heritage and the Nunatsiavut Government by the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government have also signed an agreement concerning the Collaboration on a New Torngâsok Cultural Centre in Nain. The purpose of this agreement is to set out the relationship between Parks Canada Agency and the Nunatsiavut Government in the planning and development phase for the Torngâsok Cultural Centre and to identify the team who will be responsible for advancing this project.
Base Camp 2008
Parks Canada, in collaboration with the Nunatsiavut Government, continued to operate the base camp at kANGIDLUASUk, adjacent to the southern boundary of the park. This was the third season for the operation of the base camp with each year expanding and exploring the possibilities. The base camp was set up and managed by Inuit as a traditional Inuit camp. It hosted a visit by senior officials from the federal government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was an opportunity to explore visitor experiences with Inuit guides, including visitor experiences that can be offered to passengers on expedition cruise ships. In addition the base camp supported a number of programs, as outlined below:
Among other things, the base camp supported a significant research agenda which included approximately 10 International Polar Year research activities.
Inuit Student Intern Program
Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government, with the support of Environmental Sciences Group (Royal Military College), developed a pilot for an Inuit Student Intern Program. During the 2008 season, five Inuit youth from Nain spent the summer at kANGIDLUASUk assisting different scientists working out of the base camp, on shore-based longliners and zodiacs, and in remote research camps. The students were exposed to hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of fields, including marine, char and caribou sampling for contaminants in traditional foods, a fresh water stream study, as well as tundra vegetation and berry research. In all cases, the research was conducted in an environment familiar to Inuit with logistical support provided by Inuit from their communities, allowing students to experience scientific research in their own cultural context.
The culmination of the student program in 2008 was a presentation at the
2008 international Arctic Change Conference in Quebec City. The students
gave a presentation (in front of approximately 200 people) at this conference
entitled "Students at home on land and sea: Inuit internships in Torngat
Mountains National Park". The students received feedback from the audience
for their inspirational presentation about their experiences at kANGIDLUASUk.
The researchers who participated at the base camp had the support of Inuit – either base-camp workers, polar bear monitors, elders sharing knowledge, or student interns. All have provided feedback on the enhanced value of this experience, not just to their research but, in many cases, to their own personal experience.
The relationships between Inuit and researchers and other visitors to the base
camp that have developed over the past three years inspired Parks Canada and
the Nunatsiavut Government to pilot a website on the base camp as a way to,
among other things, maintain the connections that people are making. The
website is www.kANGIDLUASUk.com.
Parks Canada continues to use the base camp to facilitate opportunities for
Nunavik Inuit and Nunatsiavut Inuit to spend time re-connecting to their
traditional homeland and whenever possible, doing so with their families. It is
also an opportunity to determine possibilities for visitor experiences and how
they can be supported by Nunatsiavut and Nunavik Inuit businesses.
The vision for the base camp is to find an Inuit business or partnership to take
over the base camp as a business and the operating experiences to date will
provide the basis of a basic business case for interested operators.
Parks Canada is required to submit the first management plan by December 2010. The first step of the management planning process involved the preparation of a State of the Park Report which was completed in January 2009. Among other things, the report sets out a collective vision for the park. Through this collaborative process we have agreed that one of the indicators for monitoring the future health of the park will be the presence of Inuit on the land.
Parks Canada, with the support of Makivik and the Nunatsiavut Government, used the base camp as an opportunity to bring in Inuit elders and record their knowledge and stories not only to incorporate in the management planning process, but also to help develop the Inuit story that the park will tell.
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 nondomestic flora and fauna, 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:
legislation (e.g. Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999, Fisheries Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act 1994, Canada Wildlife Act, 1994, Department of Environment Act, 1985);
policy (e.g. Federal Water Policy, Wetlands Policy, Gathering Strength); and
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 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 and conservation matters that fall within its mandate that are deemed important to the Nunatsiavut Government, Environment Canada may become involved in collaborative work pertaining to environmental emergencies; water and wastewater management; oceans management; national parks and protected areas; species at risk, aspects of fisheries; and enforcement.
In some cases, Environment Canada may also be required to consult with the Nunatsiavut Government on specific issues pertaining to environmental assessment or environmental emergencies.
Activities in 2008-09
In March 2009, the Honourable Jim Prentice, Federal Minister of the Environment, announced the appointment of Mr. Francis Read Phillips to the seven-member Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board. Mr. Phillips, a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, works with the province's Department of Natural Resources as a regional ecologist and brings a wealth of expertise and experience in wildlife management to the board.
Building relationships with the Nunatsiavut Government, as well as its people, has been and remains a priority for Environment Canada. In 2008-09, several initiatives were launched to strengthen our relationships, and enhance our mutual understanding of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and its effective implementation.
Migratory Bird Species Management in Labrador Inuit Settlement Area
The feasibility of a long-term banding program for the North Atlantic Canada Geese population in Labrador continues to be under review. Efforts to implement goose capture and banding using alternative techniques were proposed for 2008, however this work did not take place due to lack of access to suitable aircraft to support banding round-up and banding operations. In 2009, the Canadian Wildlife Service continued to work with the Nunatsiavut Government in securing research permits to find suitable banding sites. Should it be feasible to deliver this program over the longer term the Canadian Wildlife Service will work to further engage the local communities and the Nunatsiavut Government. Additionally, it will investigate the possibility of training and hiring local Inuit as assistants for this work.
Environmental Assessment and Cumulative Effects Capacity in Labrador
In March 2009, Environment Canada's Environmental Assessment (EA) unit hosted a training session in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on cumulative effects assessment and management, focusing on the use of a software program called A Landscape Cumulative Effects Simulator (ALCES). The program models and simulates land use on landscapes and enables users to predict effects of multiple developments on the environment over time. The training involved members from the Nunatsiavut Government and key federal and provincial government agencies.
An information exchange was organized with the Nunatsiavut Government in February 2009 concerning Environment Canada's regulatory responsibilities and programs in areas related to contaminated sites and fuel storage management. The department's environmental emergencies program was of particular interest to the Nunatsiavut Government and officials stated that they were interested in pursuing additional training in this area.
Environment Canada's Wildlife Enforcement staff held several meetings with Nunatsiavut Government officials to discuss potential wildlife enforcement issues, partnerships and training strategies. During the fall of 2008, the Environment Canada Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations Summary was revised to include specific information pertinent to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement areas and included updated contact information for clarification purposes to hunters.
Water Resource Management
Environment Canada's Meteorological Service maintains the national Water Survey Program, which operates primarily through a joint agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador. Through this program, data on stream flow and water level is made available for use by the public and can be viewed online at www.ec.gc.ca/rhc-wsc. The hydrometric station located at Ugjoktok River below Harp Lake in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area can provide water level data in near real-time on the web site. Additionally, archived flow data is also available through the national hydrometric database. This information can be used by the Nunatsiavut Government and communities for effective management of safe drinking water and emergency planning as well as enhancing maintenance procedures on water infrastructure and equipment.
Awareness of Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement
Environment Canada held an information session for federal employees on the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and its implementation in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, on March 11, 2009.The session was attended by staff from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Parks Canada and Transport Canada. Also participating in the discussion was the Deputy Minister of Nunatsiavut Affairs/Director of Implementation; the Torngat Secretariat; Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board; the Torngat Fisheries Board; and members of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Implementation Committee.
The objective of the information session was to build understanding and share knowledge in order to enhance the capacity of invited federal department staff to successfully carry out implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) and Portfolio, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC), work with aboriginal peoples to provide the opportunity to share their stories, contributions, and cultural expressions with Canadians across the country and internationally.
The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement makes specific reference to particular categories of Labrador Inuit heritage resources including archaeological material, archival records, and Inuit cultural material. Specific provisions in Chapter 15 ("Archaeology, Inuit Cultural Materials, Inuit Burial Sites and Human Remains"), describe arrangements for the return or sharing of specific categories of heritage resources between PCH and Portfolio agencies including CMC and LAC, and the Nunatsiavut Government. Additionally, unique programs such as CMC's Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practice (ATPMP) provide Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement the opportunity to gain handson training and experience in the proper care and handling of these resources. Recent Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement who have participated in the ATPMP at CMC include one graduate each during 2007-08 and 2008-09.
No specific loans or transfers of archaeological materials, Inuit cultural materials, or archival records, or the provision of copies thereof, between federal agencies (including CMC and LAC) and the Nunatsiavut Government, occurred during the April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009 reporting period.
PCH and Portfolio will continue to work with the Nunatsiavut Government to meet its responsibilities in promoting Canadian heritage, identity, and citizen engagement in a manner consistent with its obligations under its enabling legislation, as well as the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
The Regional Planning Authority (RPA) for the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area (LISA) was appointed jointly by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Nunatsiavut Government in April 2007. It is comprised of four members and a chair selected from amongst its members. Under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, its role is to direct the preparation of a Regional Land Use Plan for LISA including Labrador Inuit Lands for the consideration of both governments.
In January 2009 a member of the authority resigned and the process was commenced to fill the vacancy. It is anticipated a new member will be jointly appointed in early 2009-10.
A regional planner was hired by the department in early March of 2008 to prepare the draft plan. Work on the Land Use Plan commenced in April 2008.
During 2008-09 the regional planner met with the authority on three occasions. During these meetings rules of procedure and a code of conduct for the members was prepared and accepted by the authority. The planner met with staff from the two governments and agencies to obtain information, and assembled background material and prepared a summary document entitled "Profile of LISA". The planner held public consultations in the five Inuit communities of Hopedale, Makkovik, Nain, Postville, Rigolet, as well as in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and North West River. During these meetings the vision statement, goals and objectives for the Land Use Plan were presented, along with an outline of what the plan will include and the how it will be developed. Comments were received on the presentation and the maps which showed various features of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.
Torngat Joint Fisheries Board
The Torngat Joint Fisheries Board is an advisory board to the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the provincial Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. The board is comprised of three members appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government, two members appointed by the federal government, one member appointed by the provincial government and a chairperson nominated by the members and appointed by the federal government. The board is the primary body that makes recommendations to the responsible minister on the conservation of species or stocks of fish, species of aquatic plants and fish habitat in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Responsibilities also include making recommendations on the management of fisheries in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, other than the Inuit domestic fishery and the Inuit domestic harvest level. Recommendations by the board may include several areas pertaining to the management of recreational and commercial fisheries.
The board launched a research program in 2008-2009 with the intention of conducting and supporting informative fisheries research within the Labrador Inuit Settlement area. The research program was reflective of the objectives outlined in meetings with various departments and agencies concerning the conservation and management priorities within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The research focus areas have included projects on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and ringed seal (Pusa hispida) populations, as well as food webs and habitat mapping.
Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board
The Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-management Board is comprised of three members appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government, two members appointed by the provincial government, one member appointed by the federal government and a chairperson nominated by the members and appointed by the provincial government. The Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board has the responsibility to establish, modify or limit, when necessary, the Total Allowable Harvest for non-migratory species of wildlife and plants in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Furthermore, it has the responsibility to recommend to the responsible minister conservation and management measures for wildlife, plants and habitat in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. The board may also participate in environmental assessment processes and recommend to the responsible minister and the Nunatsiavut Government measures to monitor impacts of projects and undertakings on wildlife, plants and habitat. As well, recommendations may be made to the responsible minister and the Nunatsiavut Government regarding the measures for the timely collection, analysis and sharing of data and information relevant to the implementation of Inuit rights and the conservation in relation to wildlife, plants and habitat. Decisions and recommendations made by the board are subject to ministerial disallowance or variance.
During the 2008-09 fiscal year the board began working with various agencies and research groups on projects related to climate change research, forest management planning, small mammal trapping, and species at risk, as well as caribou, moose and polar bear management.
In order to build the research capabilities, the board members attended a Canadian Institute of Forestry and Model Forest of Newfoundland and Labrador mini-forum in order to contribute to the establishment of a forest management plan and subsequent recommendations.
Correspondence with applicable stakeholders has determined that caribou, polar bears and moose are priority species for research in Nunatsiavut. Reflective of this priority, consultations include attendance by the chair at the Polar Bear Round Table Meetings in Winnipeg in January 2009.
As well, during the fiscal year, a consultant was hired to develop customized maps of provincial species, such as caribou hunting zones and moose management areas. Discussions with researchers on the development of a documentary on traditional hunting and fishing will provide the board with valuable information.
Torngat Joint Secretariat
The Torngat Joint Secretariat provides administrative and research support to both the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board and the Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board. The objective of the Secretariat is to enhance the scientific capabilities of the individual boards by providing necessary technical support and materials. To date, the Secretariat has completed several projects, including the drafting of policies and the development of templates. Several new wildlife, plants and fisheries projects will be initiated alongside the projects that are still in progress.
At the end of the fiscal year, the Secretariat neared the completion of its first year of providing full administrative support to the boards. The executive director, appointed early January 2009, manages the project initiatives and finances of the Secretariat. To complete the work of the Secretariat accurately and efficiently, auditors, lawyers as well as consultants were contracted during the fiscal year to provide advice and support.
Membership committees are established for Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik/Postville and Rigolet/Lake Melville. The committees received a total of 615 applications for enrollment as Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement during the 2008-09 fiscal year. A total of 321 of these applications were approved.
Inuit Membership Appeal Board
Appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government, the Inuit Membership Appeal Board reviews appeals from applicants who have been denied by the membership committees because they do not meet the eligibility criteria as set out in the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The board held four meetings during the 2008-09 fiscal year. A total of 56 appeals were received and reviewed.
Dispute Resolution Board
The Dispute Resolution Board is mandated to deal with disputes under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It will consist of five individuals appointed in accordance with part 21.3 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. The board is not yet operational, but the process of identifying individuals by the parties has begun.