In its contributions to successive Nunavut Implementation Panel Annual Reports for periods beginning in 2006, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) has emphasized the central and critical importance of its far-reaching implementation lawsuit brought against the Crown at the end of 2006. The NTI contribution to the 2008-2010 Nunavut Implementation Panel Annual Report summarized the matter this way:
...the number, breadth, and severity of implementation breaches of the NLCA by the Crown resulted in NTI bringing, at the end of 2006, a multi-faceted lawsuit against the Attorney General of Canada as the Crown's representative. NTI had no practical alternative to commencing the lawsuit as the federal government:
- Had withdrawn from negotiations to update the implementation contract in 2004 and refused to return to negotiations;
- Rejected 17 offers by NTI to refer specific issues to arbitration; and,
- Would not accept the key recommendations of Conciliator Tom Berger's final conciliation report.
In the two-year period covered by the 2008-2010 NIP Report, the federal government remained inflexible in relation to these three possibilities. Accordingly, the critical NLCA implementation activities in the 2008-2010 period revolved around the early stages of the prosecution of the NTI lawsuit.
April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011 – the period covered by this Annual Report – did not witness any greater receptiveness by the federal government to these three possibilities, or any other concerted effort to resolve the underlying issues that brought about the lawsuit. Accordingly, the lawsuit remains the "elephant in the NLCA implementation room" – that is, it remains the main determinant of whether, when, and how key parts of the NLCA will be implemented, and what broader policy and legal consequences will ensue.
Readers of this Annual Report are invited to acquaint themselves with the set of Questions and Answers about the lawsuit set out in the NTI contribution to the 2008-2010 Annual Report.
NTI was happy with the procedural and logistical progress made in the lawsuit in the 2010-2011 time frame.
Without diminishing the central importance of the lawsuit, the balance of this NTI contribution to this Annual Report provides information about activities carried out by NTI in relation to implementation of the NLCA, and some wider Inuit issues and priorities. It should be pointed out that many of these activities were accompanied by parallel and complementary activities on the part of the three regional Inuit associations within Nunavut.
1.2 Specific Implementation Related Activities
Building Understanding of the NLCA
In the course of the year, a number of presentations were made on the negotiation and implementation of the NLCA. These included a speech by NTI Acting President James Eetoolook on the topic of improving intergovernmental relationships. The speech was given at the Yukon Assembly of First Nations' Conference in Whitehorse in September 2010. Acting President Eetoolook also made a presentation during that conference about relations with industry. As well, NTI staff delivered a joint workshop presentation on Aboriginal public government.
Acting President Eetoolook and other Coalition representatives took part in an Environment Canada (EC) treaty awareness session in Ottawa, February 2011.
NTI staff delivered a presentation about meeting the objectives of modern treaties at the 17th Inuit Studies Conference that took place in Val d'Or, Québec in November 2010.
Land Claims Agreements Coalition
The Land Claims Agreements Coalition leadership met in Ottawa in February 2011. Discussions covered a range of issues, including federal fiscal financing arrangements and the requirement for more advocacy work. Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Sean Atleo attended the meeting and indicated his interest in working with the coalition. NTI's president was re-appointed to the position of co-chair. Coalition leaders and staff took part in a series of advocacy meetings with a number of Members of Parliament and Senators to build broader political support for full implementation of land claims agreements.
The possibility of a review of the implementation of land claims agreements by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development was discussed. A letter to Bruce Stanton, Chair of that Committee, was sent by the Coalition advocating for the review.
Circumpolar Inuit Dimensions
NTI's president and vice-president and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association's (QIA's) president attended the Inuit Leaders' Summit on Resource Development, hosted by Inuit Circumpolar Council in Ottawa in February 2011. On the first day of the summit, presentations were delivered in the following areas: government perspectives; offshore drilling and exploration; mining; and environmental and social impact assessments. On the second day, Inuit leaders discussed the issues and agreed to finalize A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat, the intentbeing to release this document in conjunction with the 2011 Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Nuuk, Greenland.
The Declaration is attached to this chapter as Appendix I.
Sovereignty and Security
The House of Commons National Defence Committee tabled its report on Canada's Arctic Sovereignty in June 2010. The committee's recommendations included:
- That a Cabinet committee be established on Arctic affairs.
- That the Cabinet committee engage Indigenous Peoples in developing future Arctic policies.
- That Indigenous Peoples be included in scientific research programs relating to the Northern environment.
- That the federal government do more to recognize the historic contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canadian Arctic sovereignty.
- That the federal government ensure the development of viable Indigenous communities in the Arctic.
Inuit from around the circumpolar world had, in 2009, adopted A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic. That Declaration isattached to this chapter as Appendix II.
Off-Shore Oil Drilling
The April, 2010 oil drilling rig explosion and discharge in the Gulf of Mexico raised concerns about the risks of future drilling in Nunavut's offshore and in such adjacent areas as the Greenlandic side of Davis Strait. Raymond Ningeocheak, NTI's former Vice-President of Finance, gave a presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources advising that NTI's position is that offshore oil and gas drilling should not proceed without assured environmental protection. The National Energy Board also announced a public review of offshore Arctic drilling requirements. NTI forwarded comments to the Board's secretary regarding the scope of this review, indicating the need for the review to examine infrastructure and training requirements, response time in relation to possible oil spills and discharges, and protection of the Arctic marine habitat and species.
Nunavut Marine Council
NTI hosted a Nunavut Marine Council workshop in Iqaluit, in May 2010. The workshop was attended by representatives from Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC), Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB), Nunavut Water Board (NWB), the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB), Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), the Government of Nunavut (GN) and experts in the fields of shipping, Inuit marine rights, and fisheries conservation. The two-day meeting resulted in an agreement to move forward with a business plan to identify the resource requirements of the Council. NTI continued the provision of in-kind staff support.
A meeting of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line Steering Committee attended by the Department of National Defence (DND) and NTI was held in Edmonton in February 2011. Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KitIA) and QIA also were involved. The Steering Committee was advised that NTI's restructuring would not change its representation on the Committee. NTI provided the Committee with a copy of the Report on the Clean-Up of the DND DEW-Line Sites in Nunavut which first was made availableto NTI's Annual General Meeting in December 2010.
The DEW-Line Clean Up Contracting Working Group met on February 28, 2011, to determine the recommended value for minimum Inuit employment contracting and minimum Inuit content for contracting for FOX-4 and Fox-5 maintenance repairs. The working group recommended the following levels: 66 per cent minimum Inuit employment content and 67.5 per cent minimum Inuit contracting content.
- Implementation Lawsuit: In November 2010, NTI completed the oral examination of the Crown's witness with the exception of clean-up items and questions arising out of the production of remaining documents. NTI continued other preparatory work in anticipation of trial.
- Manitoba/Saskatchewan Dene Overlaps: The federal negotiation team finally received its mandate in June 2010, and met with the Aboriginal parties in November 2010, indicating plans to re-open formal negotiation sessions with Aboriginal groups in 2011. NTI and Kivalliq Inuit Association (KivIA) representatives began negotiations with the province of Manitoba to settle Inuit claims in Northern Manitoba.
- Firearms Lawsuit: NTI sent a letter to the Prime Minister inviting further negotiation. NTI did not receive a response.
- Residential Schools: Work continued on implementing the Residential School Settlement Agreement, including assisting generally withthe public on Common Experience Payment and Independent Assessment Payment related issues.
- Narwhal: In January 2011, NTI filed an application for judicial review challenging the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) decision to issue a negative Non-Detriment Finding with respect to the export of narwhal tusks from 17 Nunavut communities. The DFO decision essentially attempted to ban the export of narwhal tusks and related products from those communities.
- Court Interventions: NTI filed an intervener factum and appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in May 2010, in the case of Rio Tinto v. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. NTI also filed anintervener factum and appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation v. Yukon in 2009. The Supreme Court released its decision in 2010, holding that the Crown may have a duty to consult and accommodate beyond what is expressly stated in a land claims agreement.
Negotiation/Consultation on Legislation
Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act
NTI worked with federal government and GN representatives, and NPC and NIRB, in the development of this legislation. The resulting Bill C-25 did not proceed after Parliament was dissolved as a result of the March 2011 non-confidence vote. NTI and Regional Inuit Associations (RIAs) have coordinated efforts on this file.
Child and Family Services Act
NTI worked with the GN on education and language regulations, including the Child and Family Services Act review, and the proposed Family Support Enforcement Orders Act.
Wildlife Act Regulations
NTI participated in NWMB hearings in relation to the draft regulations, and worked with the GN and NWMB to seek to reconcile different views.
Policy and Planning Division
In September 2010, NTI underwent a reorganization which created the Policy and Planning division within the Department of Executive Services. The division has the responsibility for leading NTI's overarching policy requirements, as well as responsibility for specific policy areas including economic development, commercial fisheries, and environmental policy development.
Through ArcticNet, NTI participated in two integrated research impact studies, the goal of which is to utilize all available science or data and to develop an assessment of the Canadian Arctic with respect to climate change. The resulting document will be useful for scientists and policy makers.
Following the Copenhagen climate change conference, NTI began work on developing a Nunavut climate change strategy.
There was little progress on devolution in 2010-2011, due to the absence of a federal negotiator or a federal Cabinet negotiating mandate.
NTI President Cathy Towtongie met with Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak in January 2011, to discuss devolution and subsequently sent a joint letter to AANDC Minister John Duncan. The letter stated that, despite the signing of the Lands and Resources Devolution Negotiation Protocol in 2008, the federal government had not appointed a chief negotiator as required by the Protocol. The letter requested a meeting with Minister Duncan to discuss the issue further. Premier Aariak subsequently met with Minister Duncan.
Nunavut Fisheries Training Consortium was expected to finish its current funding arrangements in 2012. There were hopes for a new round of federal funding from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to focus on Inuit recruitment and retention in the commercial fishing industry.
NTI took part in consultations to amend the NWMB's Nunavut Allocation Policy on commercial marine fisheries. The Nunavut Fisheries Allocation Committee met to review four applications for northern shrimp and forwarded the recommendations to the NWMB. NTI has two representatives on the Committee.
Inuit Firm Registry
There are now 243 firms on the registry. In 2010, NTI registered 36 more Inuit firms.
NTI advocated for an increase to investment in marine infrastructure and hydrographic mapping for Nunavut. Three ships ran aground in separate areas of Nunavut's waters in the reporting period, illustrating the pronounced need for extensive hydrographic mapping.
Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti Policy
NTI and the GN completed the five-year comprehensive review of the Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti (NNI) Policy. FromNTI's perspective, the review highlighted the data issues facing GN contracting. However, NTI was unable to analyze the bid adjustment components with the available data. This critical component is the backbone of the NNI Policy and has arguably the most impact on Inuit firms. For any future comprehensive review to be successful, the data deficiency problem requires a solution. It was impossible to substantiate any possible positive or negative impacts to Inuit or Nunavut firms if changes were made to the current bid adjustment breakdown of 21 per cent – or more specifically, 7 per cent for Inuit firms, 7 per cent for Nunavut businesses, and the additional 7 per cent for local businesses.
The report had four key recommendations:
- That the review committee identifies and review specific areas of data deficiencies and produce recommendations to address the difficulties that currently exist in collecting and utilizing GN contracting information.
- That the review committee conducts an audit on the implementation of the NNI Policy with regard to GN contracting.
- That the terms of reference for the review committee reflect changes to the reporting requirements and committee composition. The reporting requirements would be changed from annual to biannual production. The annual reports were non-existent due to GN staff turnover and the backlog of requirements. The composition of the review committee would change from a potentially 12 person committee with six each from NTI and GN, to a six-person committee with three representatives each.
- That research be conducted into existing national standards or best practices for the NNI appeals process, specifically focusing on the timelines used for identifying and conducting appeals.
The report contained recommendations and revisions to NNI definitions. Most of the changes were made for greater clarity, including changes to definitions of Local Business, Nunavut Business, Local Supplier, Nunavut Resident, Resident Manager, and Qualification Committee.
National Economic Development Committee for Inuit Nunangat
With NTI's participation, the National Economic Development Committee in Inuit Nunangat developed research papers that led to an Inuit implementation plan for AANDC's Aboriginal Economic Development Programs. The implementation plan sought approximately $79 million over five years, divided between the four Inuit regions in Canada. This represented an increase of approximately $13 million over current allocations.
North Warning System
NTI participated in industry and government meetings with DND and Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to advocate for the continuation of the procurement provisions and to ensure that direct benefits from the North Warning System contract continue to flow to Nunavut's Inuit.
Questions surrounded renewal of the North Warning System contracts. The System is a vital contract that provides an opportunity for collaboration between Inuit and the federal government. The contract is large (approximately $600 million or $20 million annually) and is currently held by Nasittuq, through Pan-Arctic Inuit Logistics, a partnership between the four Inuit treaty groups.
The federal government conducted regional meetings with Inuit groups and provided an opportunity to make presentations. NTI highlighted Nunavut Inuit concerns and offered to continue to participate in developing a procurement design that is consistent with past practices and ensures that the continuation of benefits flow directly to Nunavut Inuit.
NTI attended a meeting of the Northern Contaminants Program Management Committee in April 2010. Final approval of $4.4 million in funding was confirmed for all contaminant research projects in the three territories and Nunatsiavut for 2010-2011.
Nunavut Economic Forum
NTI participated in the Nunavut Economic Forum's Board of Directors and provided in-kind and financial support for 2010-2011. The Forum published the 2010 Nunavut Economic Outlook. The document highlighted the economic status for Nunavut and provided useful data for analysis.
Utility Rates Review Council
In January 2011, NTI made a submission to the Utility Rates Review Council concerning the Qulliq Energy Corporation's (QEC's) General Rate Application that proposed an increase to the territorial power rates. NTI's submission noted the rate application covered losses already incurred. NTI recommended that procedures be established before QEC brings forward another General Rate Application prior to operating at a loss. NTI also raised questions regarding the funding of QEC's apprenticeship program, which covers 17 apprentices. NTI argued that apprenticeship training should be directly funded by government, not through a rate increase paid by the users. In March 2011, URRC recommended a rate increase of 18.8 per cent, with removal of a fuel rider, resulting in a net increase of 12.8 per cent. This was approved by the GN.
- NTI implemented IT hardware upgrades in its offices. Upgrades were completed in the Ottawa and Iqaluit offices and upgrades in the Rankin Inlet office were in progress.
- NTI designed, purchased, and implemented a new records and information management system for users in the Iqaluit office.
- NTI began planning for NLCA 20-year anniversary work, including a NLCA monument, writing contest, and promotional items.
- NTI completed a third phase of the NLCA oral history project: making it available on the website and preparing for the 2013 launch.
- NTI began digitally archiving Tungavik Federation of Nunavut recordings.
After an Inuit restructuring process in the fall of 2010, there were 75 full-time established positions in NTI. There continued to be an average 80 per cent Inuit employment rate in the year of 2010.
The human resources assistant was granted a seat in the career development practitioner program being delivered by Nunavut Arctic College and the Canadian Career Development Foundation based in Ottawa. The program is aligned with core competencies in Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development. It allows for the certification of a career development practitioner that is consistent with provincial voluntary certifications and the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance's International certification.
The professional development and training of NTI employees was coordinated through the director and human resources assistant. Responsibilities include coordination of general and specialized training, arranging for funding requests and reports, the summer student employment program, employee orientation, the employee recognition program, employee wellness, and exit interviews.
In 2010, discussions began with the Nunavut Literacy Council to involve NTI in the Embedding Literacy in Workplace Training in Northern Canada. NTI was the second organization within Nunavut to participate in the program.
Implementation of the National Wildlife Area/Migratory Bird Sanctuaries Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement
The Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for the National Wildlife Area/Migratory Bird Sanctuaries was negotiated over several years between NTI, the RIAs, and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). The IIBA created an Inuit tourism fund of $4 million, and a $1 million fund for cultural and interpretive material. NTI and the RIAs agreed there should be three major projects and money set aside for secondary projects.
After an initial study, NTI and the RIAs selected Gjoa Haven, Cape Dorset, and Arviat as the most feasible communities to provide tourism because of their diverse community backgrounds.
In the previous three years, Arviat undertook different types of training to start fully engaging and taking advantage of tourism. Arviat is a ready market because of the polar bears, caribou, geese, and the rich cultural heritage in the community. It is also in close proximity to Churchill, which already has an established tourism market.
The National Wildlife Area/Migratory Bird Sanctuaries IIBA provided Arviat with, among other things, training for hospitality, an eco-guide course, small craft safety, cooking for visitors, and bookkeeping for small businesses.
Inuit Lands and Resources
NTI was involved in the following activities in relation to Inuit lands and resources:
- Promoted NTI mineral properties at the Canadian Aboriginal Mining Association Annual Conference, the Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, the Vancouver Exploration Roundup, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada in Toronto, and at the Nunavut Mining Symposium.
- Made presentations regarding the NTI uranium policy at GN's uranium forums in Iqaluit, Baker Lake, and Cambridge Bay.
- Entered into two new mineral exploration agreements, an expansion of an existing mineral exploration agreement, and two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for new mineral exploration agreements.
- Made significant progress in amending Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd.'s mineral exploration agreements and production lease for the Vault deposit at the Meadowbank Gold Mine.
- Participated in the development of NTI's resource revenue policy.
- Updated all mineral exploration agreement mapping.
- Reviewed and analyzed NPC's draft Nunavut Land Use Plan (NLUP).
- Updated and expanded the online mapping service to include leases and geo-friendly mineral applications.
- Rebuilt the Inuit-owned land subsurface agreement management system to accommodate quarter cell production leases.
- Created production quality Subsurface Agreement Portable Document Files (PDFs) and production quality Subsurface Application GeoPDFs (geo-registered PDF format).
- Consulted with KivIA and QIA regarding collaborative web services.
- Deployed ArcGIS version 10 software.
- Deployed Deepfreeze operating system integrity solution.
- Updated Blue Marble satellite imagery has been processed, and it is now part of our data repository.
Nunavut Social Development Council Annual Report
NTI participated in the development of the 2009-2010 Annual Report on the State of Inuit Culture and Society. Focusing on Inuit language, the reportgave an overview of the history and current status of Inuit language needs and advocacy, and discussed ways to improve and enhance the status of Inuit language in Nunavut.
In October 2010, NTI partnered with the GN, RCMP, and the Embrace Life Council to create the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy. A three-year action planwas developed by the partners to aid implementation.
NTI continued work on the regulatory process to guide implementation of the Education Act. NTI also participated in the development of the National Inuit Education Strategy.
NTI co-chaired with the GN the steering committee responsible for the creation of the Piqqusilirivvik Cultural School. Major milestones included completion of construction of the main campus in Clyde River and the finalization of policies and procedures for the learning institution. The grand opening of the facility was scheduled for May 2011, in Clyde River.
NTI continued to work with the GN to implement the Official Languages Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act. NTI worked with the Inuit Uqausingiit Taigusiliuqtiit to develop the Language Award Policy, which will give an award annually during Language Week. NTI also continued to engage the Inuit Uqausingiit Taigusiliuqtiit through various sub-committees and working groups. NTI helped convene the Nunavut Language Conference held in Iqaluit in January 2011, which was dedicated to the late Jose Kusugak and which focused on the standardization of Inuktitut.
NTI, in partnership with the GN and the federal government, concluded the three-year Nunavut Community Wellness Project pilot project. Igloolik, Arviat, Clyde River, Kugluktuk, Kugaaruk, and Coral Harbour participated in the initiative.
Social and Cultural Research
NTI participated in many research projects in 2010-2011, including the TAIMA TB Project, the Inuit Health Survey, the Nunavut Child Health Surveillance Project, the Nutuqqavut Surveillance System, and Gathering Community Perspectives on Infant Sleeping Practices in Nunavut. The Naasautit: Inuit Health Statistics project, which collected and made public all available Inuit health data, was launched in March 2011. NTI participated in the web-based tool that allows greater access to Inuit health statistical information. NTI partnered with the University of Prince Edward Island to undertake a bio-prospecting project in Frobisher Bay. NTI also worked toward the creation of the Inuit Knowledge Centre National Committee.
NTI participated in meetings to discuss the review of the current Child and Family Services Act. Facilitated by consultants, community meetings took place to develop recommendations for the review. NTI was in contact with the GN Department of Justice to track the number of Family Abuse Intervention Act applications made, and gathered information on integration and release plans for inmates from the territory.
Nunavut Poverty Reduction Strategy
As a co-sponsor, NTI participated in the Nunavut Poverty Reduction Strategy. Community dialogues were undertaken in each community across Nunavut during the reporting period. The Strategy is scheduled to be completed in November 2011.
Arnait Nipingiit Women's Summit
NTI participated in the planning committee that brought together women from all over Nunavut to participate in the Arnait Nipingiit Women's Summit. This gathering was led by QIA with the participation of the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council and the GN, and was held in Iqaluit, in September 2010.
Support of Hunters and Trappers
Organizations and Regional
- Research priorities workshops were held for the Kitikmeot, Kivalliq, and Qikiqtaaluk regions. Wildlife staff provided feedback and support for community representatives in an effort to establish research priorities for the next four years.
- Representatives at the Davis Strait Polar Bear User to User Meeting in Kuujjuaq in July 2010 discussed recent scientific information and management of polar bears in Davis Strait. Representatives from Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada attended the meeting.
- In Davis Strait, the polar bear population has increased to approximately 2,150 bears. The GN supports an increase in the harvest. NWMB will hold a public hearing in May 2011.
- A workshop to plan and design the polar bear aerial survey in western Hudson Bay was held in Churchill in July 2010. The pilot survey took place in late summer with Inuit participation.
- NTI wildlife staff attended the GN's regional workshops on the Nunavut Caribou Conservation Strategy Consultations. The GN also consulted residents and Hunters and Trappers Organizations (HTOs) in each Nunavut community.
- The Kitikmeot Hunters and Trappers Association and Kivalliq Wildlife Board made further progress with management of muskoxen in their regions. Changes to boundaries and an increase in the Total Allowable Harvest were implemented.
The restructuring of NTI created the new Department of Wildlife and Environment. The department now has two staff based out of the NTI office in Cambridge Bay.
NTI addressed the environmental review of the Kiggavik Project with KivIA and the Baffinland Iron Mines – Mary River Project, and took part in uranium public forums in Iqaluit, Baker Lake, and Cambridge Bay.
Inuit Representation on National and International Wildlife Issues
- NTI staff made a presentation on wildlife management in Nunavut at the 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology that took place in Edmonton, Alberta.
- The 13th North American Caribou workshop was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba in October 2010. Inuit delegates made presentations on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and wildlife management of caribou in Nunavut.
- Participants at the CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network meeting discussed ongoing research projects and results such as the Caribou Anatomy Project. The status and management of declining herds were also discussed in a special one-day workshop.
- DFO issued a negative Non-Detriment Finding report for narwhal, which restricted the export of narwhal parts from Canada. NTI wrote to the DFO Minister highlighting the concerns with the lack of consultation with Inuit and subsequently filed for Judicial Review of the Minister's decision in the Federal Court.
Pond Inlet and Repulse Bay each harvested bowhead whales. The hunts were well planned and carried out by the HTOs and communities. Kugaaruk also planned a hunt, but the community was not able to land a whale before ice conditions became too heavy to hunt safely.
The allocations for the 2011 bowhead whale hunts were made to HTOs in Iqaluit and Coral Harbour.
A Kivalliq muskoxen survey was conducted. All HTOs in the region were involved in the design of the survey.
The National Marine Fisheries Service of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed the listing of four subspecies of ringed seal and two distinct population segments of bearded seal as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. The organization had notpresented any evidence suggesting that ringed seal populations are in decline. Rather, the proposal was based on trying to predict what the future will look like because of climate change.
The GN's Department of Environment and the Government of Canada negotiated a trade agreement with China to open new markets for Canadian seal products.
Celebration of the Seal took place during Toonik Tyme in Iqaluit. Visitors had a chance to see the importance of seal for Inuit and Inuit had a chance to enjoy seal meat.
NTI, DFO, and HTO representatives met in Iqaluit to finalize terms of reference for a working group on walrus. DFO reported on the science on each population. There is not enough scientific information to determine the exact population, but the population is considered healthy. The working group also discussed walrus habitat.
Inuit Heritage Trust
Inuit Heritage Trust (IHT) held it fourth Nunavut Heritage Training Institute for heritage workers across Nunavut in Winnipeg in March 2011. The Institute is a professional development project that provides training for Inuit and non-Inuit heritage workers in Nunavut so they may ensure – through their achievement of professional standards and practices – the adequate preservation and presentation of cultural materials in their care for public access and enjoyment. The Project involves the planning and delivery of a training program that provides introductory museum/heritage skills geared toward the needs of the Nunavut heritage community. To increase capacity in Nunavut, IHT introduced a train-the-trainer session for graduates so they can take on the role of delivering training sessions. All participants receive a Basic Heritage Workers' Certificate of Completion as a non-credit program through Nunavut Arctic College. Seven people completed the training institute for 2011.
Conservator Fly-In Project
The purpose of this project is to provide fly-in conservation visits to up to three facilities that have collections. The conservator assesses the collection, identifies areas where object conservation is at risk, and then prepares an in-depth report outlining different options (based on costs) for the collection most at risk. In 2010, IHT partnered with the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa and visited the Kitikmeot Heritage Society in Cambridge Bay, the Pond Inlet Archives and Nattinak Center in Pond Inlet, and the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Unikaarvik Visitors Center in Iqaluit.
Alain Muktar Heritage Scholarship
The Alain Muktar Heritage Scholarship, valued at $5,000, is available for students taking at least 60 per cent of their courses in heritage and heritage-related fields. Courses include archaeology, museum studies, object conservation, anthropology, and Inuit or Aboriginal studies. The 2010 recipient was Siku Allooloo who was finishing her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria.
One of IHT's responsibilities is to review applications for archaeology permits in Nunavut. Class 1 permits allow sites to be surveyed but not disturbed. Class 2 permits may be given to individuals with demonstrated expertise in archaeology. Applications for permits are submitted first to the GN, then to IHT for consultation with the nearest communities. More than 30 applications for archaeology were reviewed in 2010 for projects, including seven from cruise ships visiting archaeology sites with passengers. Reports detailing the results of the permitted archaeological activities were sent to the GN, the closest communities, as well as to IHT. The IHT requires Inuit to be present for all visits to archaeology sites.
Archaeological Mentorship Program
IHT provides funding for Nunavut Inuit attending high school in the Territory to obtain training by assisting archaeologists conducting research at sites in Nunavut. IHT's mentorship program can support up to six participants per year by providing up to $4,000 per student for the summer. Archaeologists apply for the mentorship program on behalf of the student they intend to hire. This pilot project was initiated to run in the period 2010-2013.
Traditional Place Names
IHT has two major goals regarding place names in Nunavut:
- To support the production of an IHT Nunavut Map Series in which all traditional place names known to Inuit Elders appear on topographic maps and are shared in communities so that all people may benefit from the Elders' place names knowledge.
- To work toward making traditional place names official.
In 2010, IHT continued to work on the production of maps for areas around Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove, Arviat, and Iqaluit.
Place Names on the Internet
After many years of recording place names information from Elders in communities across Nunavut, IHT has developed a substantial database. Thousands of names are accessible to the public through the website, www.ihti.ca.
Heritage Leadership Program
Nunavut has a lack of professionally qualified heritage workers in the territory, resulting in heavy reliance on outside consultants. IHT continued to assist Inuit in gaining professional qualifications through established post-secondary heritage programs. The Heritage Leadership Program is a highly individualized effort that creates a relationship of trust between IHT and the participant. A learning plan was created that enables the student to be highly motivated to overcome barriers and to complete successfully a post-secondary program that earns a heritage qualification. Help is offered by:
- Identifying post-secondary education programs.
- Helping with applications and funding sources.
- Supporting students by problem-solving non-academic challenges.
- Providing support through email, telephone and where possible, face-to-face visits.
- Arranging meaningful and relevant employment opportunities throughout the summer.
- Giving students up to $3,000 per year for costs not covered by other funding programs.
- Continuing to advocate for a Nunavut heritage center.
Nunavut Implementation Training Committee
Nunavut Implementation Training Committee (NITC) provided $540,000 in total training funds to NTI, RIAs, Institutions of Public Government (IPGs), and the Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat. One of the most successful programs over the previous four years provided funding from NITC for training for the Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat and all HTO boards and staff. In cooperation with NTI, NITC also funded a trainee position for a Nunavut Sivuniksavut instructor.
- NITC awarded 84 scholarships to post-secondary NLCA Beneficiaries in the amount of $143,000.
- NITC continued to seek additional funds to carry out programs as the initial grant of $13 million would be spent by April, 2012.
- Over the past 17 years, NITC provided over $9 million in training funds to stakeholder organizations and $2 million in scholarship funds to Nunavut Inuit.
Appendix I: A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat
Recognizing the Arctic's great resource wealth, the increasing global demand for the Arctic's minerals and hydrocarbons, the scope and depth of climate change and other environmental pressures and challenges facing the Arctic; Mindful of the core rights of Inuit as recognized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as provided for ina variety of other legal and political instruments and mechanisms, including land rights settlement legislation, land claims agreements (treaties), and self-government, intergovernmental and constitutional arrangements, and as asserted in A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic; and
Respectful of the ingenuity, resilience and wisdom of previous generations of Inuit, confident of the ability of every generation of Inuit to adapt to change, and determined to provide for the material and cultural well-being of Inuit into the future;
WE, THE INUIT OF Inuit Nunaat, DECLARE :
- Healthy communities and households require both a healthy environment and a healthy economy.
- Economic development and social and cultural development must go hand in hand.
- Greater Inuit economic, social and cultural self-sufficiency is an essential part of greater Inuit political self-determination.
- Renewable resources have sustained Inuit from the time preceding recorded history to the present. Future generations of Inuit will continue to rely on Arctic foods for nutritional, social, cultural and economic purposes.
- Responsible non-renewable resource development can also make an important and durable contribution to the well-being of current and future generations of Inuit. Managed under Inuit Nunaat governance structures, non-renewable resource development can contribute to Inuit economic and social development through both private sector channels (employment, incomes, businesses) and public sector channels (revenues from publicly owned lands, tax revenues, infrastructure).
- The pace of resource development has profound implications for Inuit. A proper balance must be struck. Inuit desire resource development at a rate sufficient to provide durable and diversified economic growth, but constrained enough to forestall environmental degradation and an overwhelming influx of outside labour.
- Resource development results in environmental and social impacts as well as opportunities for economic benefits. In the weighing of impacts and benefits, those who face the greatest and longest-lasting impacts must have the greatest opportunities, and a primary place in the decision-making. This principle applies between Inuit Nunaat and the rest of the world, and within Inuit Nunaat.
- All resource development must contribute actively and significantly to improving Inuit living standards and social conditions, and non-renewable resource development, in particular, must promote economic diversification through contributions to education and other forms of social development, physical infrastructure, and non-extractive industries.
- Inuit welcome the opportunity to work in full partnership with resource developers, governments and local communities in the sustainable development of resources of Inuit Nunaat, including related policy-making, tothe long-lasting benefit of Inuit and with respect for baseline environmental and social responsibilities.
IN FURTHER DETAIL, WE DECLARE :
1. Candour, Clarity and Transparency
1.1 The world's peoples and their social, cultural and economic systems are becoming more interconnected, the pace of change is accelerating, the challenges faced by the world are escalating in complexity, and the risks associated with human activities are of increasing significance.
1.2 To prosper under these circumstances, the peoples and states of the world must conduct their relations cooperatively with candour, clarity and transparency – an approach in keeping with Inuit culture and custom.
1.3 It is our desire to declare our key understandings, positions and intentions in relation to resource development, recognizing that doing so will benefit Inuit and the global community.
1.4 While the focus of this Declaration is on the development of non-renewable resources, it must be understood that (a) issues surrounding the appropriate use of non-renewable and renewable resources are inextricably linked, and (b) the principles set out in this Declaration are, in many ways, applicable to the use of renewable resources.
2. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
2.1 Resource development in Inuit Nunaat must be grounded in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
2.2 The UN Declaration recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination. Under that right, Inuit have the right to freely determine collectively our political, social, economic, and cultural development. Resource development in Inuit Nunaat directly engages our right to self-determination, and many other provisions of the UN Declaration.
2.3 Our rights as an indigenous people, including our right to self-determination, may be exercised in a practical way through governance structures that combine both Inuit and non-Inuit constituents. No matter what level or form of self-determination the Inuit of any particular region have achieved, resource development in Inuit Nunaat must proceed only with the free, prior, and informed consent of the Inuit of that region.
2.4 Private sector resource developers, and governments and public bodies charged with the public management of resource development, must all conduct themselves in concert with the UN Declaration. Respect for the UN Declaration should be open and transparent, andbe subject to independent and impartial review.
3. A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic
3.1 Resource development in Inuit Nunaat must be grounded in A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic, adopted bythe Inuit Circumpolar Council in April 2009.
3.2 A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic identifiedmany principles that arerelevant to the governance and carrying out of resource development in Inuit Nunaat, including the importance of the rule of law and recognition of the rights of Inuit as an Arctic indigenous people under both international and domestic law.
4. Inuit as Partners in Policy Making and Decision Making
4.1 Central to A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic is the requirement thatInuit must be active and equal partners in policy-making and decision-making affecting Inuit Nunaat.
4.2 Partnerships with Inuit in relation to resource development will have different characteristics depending on the circumstances, but the spirit and substance of partnership must extend to both public sector governance and private sector enterprise.
4.3 Partnerships must include the meaningful engagement and active participation of Inuit in local communities who are most directly affected by resource development in Inuit Nunaat.
4.4 Partnerships must draw upon the growing capacity and aspirations of Inuit businesses and enterprises through use of vehicles such as joint ventures, commercial mechanisms for facilitating equity participation, and the issuance of land and resource rights through licences, leases and similar instruments.
4.5 Inuit recognize the need within Inuit Nunaat to create and implement inter-Inuitconsultation mechanisms to ensure that approval of major resource development projects in one Inuit region, with major environmental and other implications for one or more adjacent Inuit regions, is accompanied by sufficient opportunity for an informed exchange of information and opinion between or among the Inuit regions.
5. Global Environmental Security
5.1 Inuit and others – through their institutions and international instruments – have a shared responsibility to evaluate the risks and benefits of their actions through the prism of global environmental security.
5.2 Resource development in Inuit Nunaat must contribute to, and not detract from, global, national and regional efforts to curb greenhouse emissions and should always be seen through the reality of climate change.
5.3 In their implementation of mechanisms for adaptation to climate change, states and the international community as a whole must commit to paying the cost of climate change adaptation measures and the upgrading of fuel-related infrastructure in Inuit Nunaat regions and communities.
5.4 Resource development projects must not exacerbate the climate change-related stresses on the survival of Arctic wildlife.
5.5 To minimize risk to global environmental security, the pace of resource development in the Arctic must be carefully considered.
6. Healthy Communities in a Healthy Environment
6.1 The physical and mental health of human communities and individuals cannot be separated from the health of the natural environment.
6.2 Resource development proposals for Inuit Nunaat must be assessed holistically, placinghuman needs at the centre.
6.3 Resource development in Inuit Nunaat must promote the physical and mental health of communities and individuals within Inuit Nunaat.
6.4 Resource development must enhance, not detract from, Inuit food security.
6.5 In a contemporary context, healthy communities in the Arctic require the establishment, maintenance and improvement of core infrastructure needs, including housing, education, health care and social service delivery infrastructure, and core transportation and communications networks that facilitate both public sector activities and private sector entrepreneurship.
7. Economic Self-Sufficiency and the Sustainable Development of Resources in Inuit Nunaat
7.1 Inuit seek to make use of the economic opportunities available through long-term development of the resources of Inuit Nunaat.
7.2 Resource development in Inuit Nunaat must be sustainable. It must serve the needs of Inuit today without compromising the ability of Inuit meet their needs of tomorrow.
7.3 The proponent of a resource development project bears the burden of demonstrating that the proposed development is sustainable.
7.4 In determining the sustainability of a resource development initiative, the best available scientific and Inuit knowledge and standards must be determined and employed.
7.5 International standard-setting bodies must seek and secure direct and meaningful input from Inuit. National, regional and local bodies, such as offshore and land management regimes, must be designed and operated to be effective, transparent and accountable, thereby gaining and sustaining the confidence of the Inuit public at all times.
7.6 Sustainability standards must emphasize the need for the demonstrated support of those communities directly affected by a resource development proposal.
8. Impact Assessment, Prevention and Mitigation
8.1 Notwithstanding property rights or government rights-granting regimes, there is no free-standing or unqualified "right" to proceed with non-renewable resource development in Inuit Nunaat. Projects must be scrutinized byInuit and proved to be in the best interests of Inuit and the wider public.
8.2 Land and offshore management regimes must include (a) long-term land use plans that set out ground rules for development applicable to specific projects, and (b) robust impact assessment processes to gauge the likely impacts of specific projects.
8.3 Management, land use planning and impact assessment regimes must address the cumulative impacts of existing and potential projects and, where prudent, limit the number and scope of projects permitted.
8.4 Impact assessments covering broad geographic areas are important and necessary management tools, and their completion in advance of specific project proposals should be encouraged.
8.5 Impact assessments should examine all potential environmental, socio-economic and cultural impacts anticipated both during the project and after the project is completed or abandoned.
8.6 In accordance with relevant provisions of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the precautionary principle and thepolluter pays principle must be applied in all stages of project planning, assessment, implementation and reclamation.
8.7 Reclamation and recovery of habitat and affected lands and waters must be thoroughly planned and fully funded in advance of and throughout project implementation.
8.8 All development in Inuit Nunaat must adhere to the most developed and demanding environmental standards ta king Arctic conditions fully into account. (For example, mining operations and offshore hydro-carbon development should entail zero-volume discharge onto land and into Arctic waters.)
8.9 Preventing spills offshore and eliminating release of toxic substances to land and waters are paramount. Prevention efforts should be viewed as investments that pay dividends in cost avoidance.
8.10 Response to spills, contamination of lands or waters, and mining emergencies must meet the highest technological standards and be anchored in proven cleanup technologies with full Inuit participation.
8.11 Proposals for spill response in Arctic waters must include a proven demonstration of the industry's ability to retrieve spilled oil in frozen, broken and refreezing ice conditions. Allowing resource development without such a demonstration would be fundamentally irresponsible.
8.12 Effective oil spill prevention and response in Arctic waters requires active monitoring of vessel traffic and swift and effective emergency response in the event of mishap. Public authorities and developers with relevant responsibilities must commit to increased investment in navigation aids, vessel traffic management, ship compliance inspections, security considerations, emergency response capability, and overall port and harbour infrastructure.
8.13 Standards and requirements for Arctic marine pilots must be carefully conceived and strictly applied.
8.14 An international liability and compensation regime for contamination of lands, waters and marine areas resulting from offshore oil exploration and exploitation must be established.
8.15 Respecting the Arctic Council's "Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines" as minimum standards.
9. Improving Inuit Living Standards and Expanding Inuit Governance
9.1 Inuit expect that new resource development projects will contribute to an improvement in our material well-being. This expectation is well-rooted in the fundamental features of relevant international indigenous and human rights laws and standards, in the underlying constitutional constructs and political values of the four Arctic States in which Inuit live, and in the application of fairness and reason.
9.2 Through a variety of mechanisms – land rights settlement legislation, land claims agreements (treaties), self-government arrangements, and intergovernmental and Constitutional provisions – Inuit have acquired critical means and levels of control over the governance of Inuit Nunaat. Many of these mechanisms provide for direct Inuit participation in specialized resource management bodies, including planning, project review, and regulatory bodies.
9.3 While this trend is primarily a result of Inuit effort and determination, it has often been assisted and welcomed as healthy and normative by and within the four Arctic States.
9.4 Accordingly, resource development projects must take into account the trend toward greater Inuit self-governance and, to the extent possible, advance it.
9.5 Public sector revenues derived from all phases of resource development should be distributed in a fair and visible way according to the following hierarchy of priorities: (1) providing security against unplanned or unintended environmental consequences, (2) compensating for negative community and regional impacts, (3) contributing to the improvement of community and regional living standards and overall well-being, and (4) contributing to the fiscal health and stability of institutions and mechanisms of Inuit governance. Only after the legitimate needs of the Inuit of Inuit Nunaat are met, should public sector revenues contribute to the coffers of central State treasuries.
9.6 Inuit employment at all levels must be maximized in resource development activities in Inuit Nunaat.
9.7 Independent of the rate of resource development, Inuit must derive direct and substantial employment income benefit from resource development projects. Accordingly, an Inuit education fund should be established in each of Canada, Greenland, Russia and the U.S.A. with public sector investments.
10. Promoting and Accommodating a Dynamic Inuit Culture
10.1 Many international law principles and standards in relation to indigenous peoples are rooted in the b conviction that the development and preservation of human cultural diversity is both a responsibility and a benefit for all humanity. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples acknowledges thatindigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their language, traditional knowledge and cultural heritage and expressions.
10.2 Inuit culture is both well-rooted and dynamic. Inuit are committed to ensuring that resource development projects must be planned and implemented in such a way as to support and enhance Inuit culture, rather than subvert or overwhelm it.
10.3 Inuit are committed to safe-guarding Inuit culture against excess adverse pressures and impacts that could be brought on by an overly ambitious, ill timed, or poorly planned and implemented staging of major resource development projects, particularly insofar as such a scenario precipitated a major influx of non-Inuit while failing to impart the technologies, skills and training, and business opportunities needed by Inuit.
10.4 Governments, public bodies and private sector actors in Inuit Nunaat must share in these commitments.
We, the Inuit of Inuit Nunaat, are committed to the principles on resource development in Inuit Nunaat set out in this Declaration. Inuit invite – and are entitled to expect – all those who have or seek a role in the governance, management, development, or use of the resources of Inuit Nunaat to conduct themselves with inthe letter and spirit of this Declaration.
Aqqaluk Lynge - Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council
Jim Stotts - Vice Chair, Alaska
Tatiana Achirgina - Vice Chair, Chukotka
Duane Smith - Vice Chair, Canada
Carl Christian Olsen - Vice Chair, Greenland
Appendix II: A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic
We, the Inuit of Inuit Nunaat, declare as follows:
1. Inuit and the Arctic
1.1 Inuit live in the Arctic. Inuit live in the vast, circumpolar region of land, sea and ice known as the Arctic. We depend on the marine and terrestrial plants and animals supported by the coastal zones of the Arctic Ocean, the tundra and the sea ice. The Arctic is our home.
1.2 Inuit have been living in the Arctic from time immemorial. From time immemorial, Inuit have been living in the Arctic. Our home in the circumpolar world, Inuit Nunaat, stretches from Greenland to Canada, Alaska and the coastal regions of Chukotka, Russia. Our use and occupation of Arctic lands and waters pre-dates recorded history. Our unique knowledge, experience of the Arctic, and language are the foundation of our way of life and culture.
1.3 Inuit are a people. Though Inuit live across a far-reaching circumpolar region, we are united as a single people. Our sense of unity is fostered and celebrated by the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), which represents the Inuit of Denmark/Greenland, Canada, USA and Russia. As a people, we enjoy the rights of all peoples. These include the rights recognized in and by various international instruments and institutions, such as the Charter of the United Nations; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action; the Human Rights Council; the Arctic Council; and the Organization of American States.
1.4 Inuit are an indigenous people. Inuit are an indigenous people with the rights and responsibilities of all indigenous peoples. These include the rights recognized in and by international legal and political instruments and bodies, such as the recommendations of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and others.
Central to our rights as a people is the right to self-determination. It is our right to freely determine our political status, freely pursue our economic, social, cultural and linguistic development, and freely dispose of our natural wealth and resources. States are obligated to respect and promote the realization of our right to self-determination. (See, for example, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR], Art. 1.)
Our rights as an indigenous people include the following rights recognized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), all of which are relevant to sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Arctic: the right to self-determination, to freely determine our politicalstatus and to freely pursue our economic, social and cultural, including linguistic, development (Art. 3); the right to internal autonomy or self-government (Art. 4); the right to recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with states (Art. 37); the right to maintain and strengthen our distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining the right to participate fully in the political, economic, social and cultural life of states (Art. 5); the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect our rights and to maintain and develop our own indigenous decision-making institutions (Art. 18); the right to own, use, develop and control our lands, territories and resources and the right to ensure that no project affecting our lands, territories or resources will proceed without our free and informed consent (Art. 25-32); the right to peace and security (Art. 7); and the right to conservation and protection of our environment (Art. 29).
1.5 Inuit are an indigenous people of the Arctic. Our status, rights and responsibilities as a people among the peoples of the world, and as an indigenous people, are exercised within the unique geographic, environmental, cultural and political context of the Arctic. This has been acknowledged in the eight-nation Arctic Council, which provides a direct, participatory role for Inuit through the permanent participant status accorded the Inuit Circumpolar Council (Art. 2).
1.6 Inuit are citizens of Arctic states. As citizens of Arctic states (Denmark, Canada, USA and Russia), we have the rights and responsibilities afforded all citizens under the constitutions, laws, policies and public sector programs of these states. These rights and responsibilities do not diminish the rights and responsibilities of Inuit as a people under international law.
1.7 Inuit are indigenous citizens of Arctic states. As an indigenous people within Arctic states, we have the rights and responsibilities afforded all indigenous peoples under the constitutions, laws, policies and public sector programs of these states. These rights and responsibilities do not diminish the rights and responsibilities of Inuit as a people under international law.
1.8 Inuit are indigenous citizens of each of the major political subunits of Arctic states (states, provinces, territories and regions). As an indigenous people within Arctic states, provinces, territories, regions or other political subunits, we have the rights and responsibilities afforded all indigenous peoples under the constitutions, laws, policies and public sector programs of these subunits. These rights and responsibilities do not diminish the rights and responsibilities of Inuit as a people under international law.
2. The Evolving Nature of Sovereignty in the Arctic
2.1 "Sovereignty" is a term that has often been used to refer to the absolute and independent authority of a community or nation both internally and externally. Sovereignty is a contested concept, however, and does not have a fixed meaning. Old ideas of sovereignty are breaking down as different governance models, such as the European Union, evolve. Sovereignties overlap and are frequently divided within federations in creative ways to recognize the right of peoples. For Inuit living within the states of Russia, Canada, the USA and Denmark/Greenland, issues of sovereignty and sovereign rights must be examined and assessed in the context of our long history of struggle to gain recognition and respect as an Arctic indigenous people having the right to exercise self-determination over our lives, territories, cultures and languages.
2.2 Recognition and respect for our right to self-determination is developing at varying paces and in various forms in the Arctic states in which we live. Following a referendum in November 2008, the areas of self-government in Greenland will expand greatly and, among other things, Greenlandic (Kalaallisut) will become Greenland's sole official language. In Canada, four land claims agreements are some of the key building blocks of Inuit rights; while there are conflicts over the implementation of these agreements, they remain of vital relevance to matters of self-determination and of sovereignty and sovereign rights. In Alaska, much work is needed to clarify and implement the rights recognized in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). In particular, subsistence hunting and self-government rightsneed to be fully respected and accommodated, and issues impeding their enjoyment and implementation need to be addressed and resolved. And in Chukotka, Russia, a very limited number of administrative processes have begun to secure recognition of Inuit rights. These developments will provide a foundation on which to construct future, creative governance arrangements tailored to diverse circumstances in states, regions and communities.
2.3 In exercising our right to self-determination in the circumpolar Arctic, we continue to develop innovative and creative jurisdictional arrangements that will appropriately balance our rights and responsibilities as an indigenous people, the rights and responsibilities we share with other peoples who live among us, and the rights and responsibilities of states. In seeking to exercise our rights in the Arctic, we continue to promote compromise and harmony with and among our neighbours.
2.4 International and other instruments increasingly recognize the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination and representation in intergovernmental matters, and are evolving beyond issues of internal governance to external relations. (See, for example: ICCPR, Art. 1; UNDRIP, Art. 3; Draft Nordic Saami Convention, Art. 17, 19; Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, Art. 5.9).
2.5 Inuit are permanent participants at the Arctic Council with a direct and meaningful seat at discussion and negotiating tables (See 1997 Ottawa Declaration on the Establishment of the Arctic Council).
2.6 In spite of a recognition by the five coastal Arctic states (Norway, Denmark, Canada, USA and Russia) of the need to use international mechanisms and international law to resolve sovereignty disputes (see 2008 Ilulissat Declaration), these states, in their discussions of Arctic sovereignty, have not referenced existing international instruments that promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. They have also neglected to include Inuit in Arctic sovereignty discussions in a manner comparable to Arctic Council deliberations.
3. Inuit, the Arctic and Sovereignty: Looking Forward
The foundations of action
3.1 The actions of Arctic peoples and states, the interactions between them, and the conduct of international relations must be anchored in the rule of law.
3.2 The actions of Arctic peoples and states, the interactions between them, and the conduct of international relations must give primary respect to the need for global environmental security, the need for peaceful resolution of disputes, and the inextricable linkages between issues of sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Arctic and issues of self-determination.
Inuit as active partners
3.3 The inextricable linkages between issues of sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Arctic and Inuit self-determination and other rights require states to accept the presence and role of Inuit as partners in the conduct of international relations in the Arctic.
3.4 A variety of other factors, ranging from unique Inuit knowledge of Arctic ecosystems to the need for appropriate emphasis on sustainability in the weighing of resource development proposals, provide practical advantages to conducting international relations in the Arctic in partnership with Inuit.
3.5 Inuit consent, expertise and perspectives are critical to progress on international issues involving the Arctic, such as global environmental security, sustainable development, militarization, commercial fishing, shipping, human health, and economic and social development.
3.6 As states increasingly focus on the Arctic and its resources, and as climate change continues to create easier access to the Arctic, Inuit inclusion as active partners is central to all national and international deliberations on Arctic sovereignty and related questions, such as who owns the Arctic, who has the right to traverse the Arctic, who has the right to develop the Arctic, and who will be responsible for the social and environmental impacts increasingly facing the Arctic. We have unique knowledge and experience to bring to these deliberations. The inclusion of Inuit as active partners in all future deliberations on Arctic sovereignty will benefit both the Inuit community and the international community.
3.7 The extensive involvement of Inuit in global, trans-national and indigenous politics requires the building of new partnerships with states for the protection and promotion of indigenous economies, cultures and traditions. Partnerships must acknowledge that industrial development of the natural resource wealth of the Arctic can proceed only insofar as it enhances the economic and social well-being of Inuit and safeguards our environmental security.
The need for global cooperation
3.8 There is a pressing need for enhanced international exchange and cooperation in relation to the Arctic, particularly in relation to the dynamics and impacts of climate change and sustainable economic and social development. Regional institutions that draw together Arctic states, states from outside the Arctic, and representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples can provide useful mechanisms for international exchange and cooperation.
3.9 The pursuit of global environmental security requires a coordinated global approach to the challenges of climate change, a rigorous plan to arrest the growth in human-generated carbon emissions, and a far-reaching program of adaptation to climate change in Arctic regions and communities.
3.10 The magnitude of the climate change problem dictates that Arctic states and their peoples fully participate in international efforts aimed at arresting and reversing levels of greenhouse gas emissions and enter into international protocols and treaties. These international efforts, protocols and treaties cannot be successful without the full participation and cooperation of indigenous peoples.
Healthy Arctic communities
3.11 In the pursuit of economic opportunities in a warming Arctic, states must act so as to: (1) put economic activity on a sustainable footing; (2) avoid harmful resource exploitation; (3) achieve standards of living for Inuit that meet national and international norms and minimums; and (4) deflect sudden and far-reaching demographic shifts that would overwhelm and marginalize indigenous peoples where we are rooted and have endured.
3.12 The foundation, projection and enjoyment of Arctic sovereignty and sovereign rights all require healthy and sustainable communities in the Arctic. In this sense, "sovereignty begins at home."
Building on today's mechanisms for the future
3.13 We will exercise our rights of self-determination in the Arctic by building on institutions such as the Inuit Circumpolar Council and the Arctic Council, the Arctic-specific features of international instruments, such as the ice-covered-waters provision of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, andthe Arctic-related work of international mechanisms, such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
4. A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic
4.1 At the first Inuit Leaders' Summit, 6-7 November 2008, in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Canada, Inuit leaders from Greenland, Canada and Alaska gathered to address Arctic sovereignty. On 7 November, International Inuit Day, we expressed unity in our concerns over Arctic sovereignty deliberations, examined the options for addressing these concerns, and bly committed to developing a formal declaration on Arctic sovereignty. We also noted that the 2008 Ilulissat Declaration on Arctic sovereignty by ministers representing the five coastal Arctic states did not go far enough in affirming the rights Inuit have gained through international law, land claims and self-government processes.
4.2 The conduct of international relations in the Arctic and the resolution of international disputes in the Arctic are not the sole preserve of Arctic states or other states; they are also within the purview of the Arctic's indigenous peoples. The development of international institutions in the Arctic, such as multi-level governance systems and indigenous peoples' organizations, must transcend Arctic states' agendas on sovereignty and sovereign rights and the traditional monopoly claimed by states in the area of foreign affairs.
4.3 Issues of sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Arctic have become inextricably linked to issues of self-determination in the Arctic. Inuit and Arctic states must, therefore, work together closely and constructively to chart the future of the Arctic.
We, the Inuit of Inuit Nunaat, are committed to this Declaration and to working with Arctic states and others to build partnerships in which the rights, roles and responsibilities of Inuit are fully recognized and accommodated.
On behalf of Inuit in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Chukotka
Adopted by the Inuit Circumpolar Council, April 2009
Patricia A.L. Cochran,
Edward S. Itta
ICC Vice-Chair, Alaska
ICC Vice-Chair, Chukotka
Duane R. Smith
ICC Vice-Chair, Canada
ICC Vice-Chair, Greenland