Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Annual Report 2012-2013

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QS-6320-010-TR-A1
Catalogue: R1-28/2013

ISSN: 1925-802X

© Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 2014. This Publication is also available in French under the title: L’accord sur les reventications territoriales des Inuit du Labrador Rapport Annuel 2012-2013

Table of contents

Implementation Committee Foreword

The Implementation Committee (IC) for the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (LILCA) is pleased to present its seventh annual report covering the period April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. The report includes an update on the priorities of the IC, implementation highlights from the reporting period, and an overview of the activities of the implementing bodies.

Signature Block

Toby Andersen
Appointed by Nunatsiavut Governement

Ruby Carter
Appointed by Governement of Newfoundland and Labrador

Natalie Neville
Appointed by Government of Canada

Section I: Reporting on the Priorities of the Implementation Committee

1. Overseeing Board Funding and Governance

In 2012-13, the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board (TJFB) and the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board (TWPCB) submitted their annual budgets and work plans for 2013-14 to the IC for approval. An annual tripartite funding agreement for each board was negotiated by the Government of Canada (GoC), the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (GNL), the Nunatsiavut Government (NG), and each of the board's Chairs based on the approved budgets and work plans. It is anticipated that the agreements will be signed in early 2013-14.

Annual tripartite funding agreements for 2012-13 for the TJFB and the TWPCB were each signed on June 1, 2012. Overall, the Parties provided a total of $1,291,415.76 to fund both of the boards, and the Torngat Wildlife, Plants and Fisheries Secretariat (Secretariat). Funding for the Secretariat was included in the funding agreements for each of the TJFB and the TWPCB. Funding for the TJFB, the TWPCB, and the Secretariat is shared equally among the three governments. For 2012-13, each government's one-third share of the total was $215,235.96 per board.

In addition, the three governmfents provided tripartite funding for the Dispute Resolution Board (DRB). Total funding available to the DRB in 2012-13 was $33,665, and the total funding spent was $13,680. The NG provided assistance with regard to the administrative arrangements for the DRB.

2. Amendments to the LILCA

On April 20, 2012, the Parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement detailing technical amendments to the LILCA to be considered for approval by the GoC, the GNL, and the NG.

The technical amendments are primarily related to the Appendices and the Map Atlas of the LILCA. On June 27, 2012, the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador assented to an amendment to the provincial Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act respecting these amendments. The amendment will be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council once all Parties have approved the amendments. On September 12, 2012, the Nunatsiavut Assembly carried a motion to consent to technical amendments to the LILCA. Once the French version of the amendments, which is being prepared by the GoC, is verified by the NG and the GNL, the GoC will seek approval of the amendments.

3. Monitoring and Tracking Obligations

The first LILCA Implementation Plan (IP) was negotiated for a 10-year period which will end on December 1, 2015. The IC continued to include preparation for the renewal of the IP as a regular agenda item during IC meetings in 2012-13. The Implementation Plan Renewal Working Group was struck with representatives from all three governments to discuss changes to the IP.

Section II: Funding the LILCA

The GoC made the following grant payments to the NG in 2012-13 under the LILCA and its ancillary FFA:

Total funding chart for the Labrador Inuit Nunamik Satusasisimannimut AngiKatigegutinga
Total funding chart for the LILCA
Grant payments made to the NG in 2012-13

The graph displays grant payments made by the GoC to the NG in 2012-13 under the LILCA and its ancillary FFA:

  • On April 2, 2012 an FFA payment of $8,222,038 was paid;
  • On July 2, 2012 an FFA payment of $8,222,038 was paid;
  • On October 2, 2012 an FFA payment of $8,222,038 was paid;
  • On December 3, 2012 a Net Capital Transfer Payment of $4,731,404 was paid and an Implementation Payment of $17,970,117 was paid;
  • On January 2, 2013 an FFA payment of $8,113,012 was paid.

Fiscal Financing Agreement (FFA)

Negotiations for the FFA were successfully concluded in 2012-13 and the renewed FFA was signed on March 27, 2013. The fact that this was completed in such a timely manner is a testament to the Parties' abilities to work together to reach consensus and arrive upon solutions. The FFA grant transfers support the delivery of programs and services by the NG including: governance, education, economic development, capital and infrastructure including operations and maintenance, housing, health, and fisheries.

The GNL renewed its commitment to negotiate the provision of funding to the NG for identified programs and services that the GNL makes available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Negotiations would commence when the NG is ready to assume responsibility for the delivery of those programs and services to all residents of Inuit Communities.

Section III: Highlights

Nutak Ceremony

On August 15, 2012, several of the surviving Nutak relocatees participated in a ceremony commemorating the formal apology made by the GNL to former residents who were relocated from the northern Labrador Inuit community of Nutak in 1956, and were joined by Nunatsiavut President Sarah Leo; the provincial Minister for Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs and Minister responsible for Labrador Affairs, the Honourable Nick McGrath; the federal Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council, the Honourable Peter Penashue; and the federal Treasury Board President, the Honourable Tony Clement.

On January 22, 2005, the GNL delivered a statement of apology to the Inuit of the former Nutak and Hebron communities that were closed in 1956 and 1959 respectively. The GNL apologized for the way in which the decision to close the communities was made and for the difficulties experienced by the Inuit of Nutak and Hebron, and their descendants, as a result of the closures.

The Nutak monument consists of three separate plaques, each in English and Inuktitut. The first presents the statement of apology by the GNL to the Inuit of Nutak and Hebron; the second displays the acceptance of the apology by Inuit; and the third plaque identifies the names of all the former residents of Nutak. A similar monument was erected in Hebron and unveiled during a ceremony in 2009.

Nain Airstrip

The creation of a new airstrip for the community of Nain has been in the proposal stages for the past six years. The GNL committed to review the proposal and to determine a location for the airstrip. A feasibility study was completed in 2008, identifying two potential sites. A recommendation was made for a two-year weather monitoring program to be put in place to assist in choosing the most feasible site. The weather monitoring program was implemented by the GNL and will be completed in the fall of 2014.

There have been ongoing discussions on the proposed new airstrip by the GNL, the NG and the GoC. The NG's Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the federal Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs have been discussing funding opportunities that could support a new airstrip. Infrastructure Canada is unable to consider specific project proposals until the program parameters for the New Building Canada Plan are finalized.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Licences

Officials from the NG's Department of Lands and Natural Resources met Minister Keith Ashfield, the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to discuss Northern shrimp and Greenland halibut fisheries management. Provisions of the LILCA obligate DFO to provide the NG with 11% of any new licences issued to fish Northern shrimp in the Waters Adjacent to the Zone. Minister Ashfield was receptive to working with the NG on allocation and licence issues. In 2012, the NG received a 300 metric tons (mt) allocation of Northern shrimp in Shrimp Fishing Area 4.

The NG also requested guaranteed access to a percentage of the inshore turbot allocation in Areas 2J + 3K through a license or specific Inuit allocation for the NG. Following the discussion, Minister Ashfield agreed to review the allocation and licence issues and encouraged the NG to continue work with DFO officials to determine options and maximize benefits. In June 2012, the NG was granted an allocation of Greenland halibut in Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Subarea 2 of 190mt, which is equivalent to 3.38% of the Canadian allocation.

DFO continues to work closely with the NG to explore additional commercial fishery economic development opportunities for Inuit communities.

Inuit Housing Needs Assessment

The Inuit Housing Needs Assessment was initiated following a letter from the GNL to the GoC in August 2010. Senior officials representing the NG, the GNL, and the GoC met in December of that year in Labrador to discuss the way forward. From this meeting came the proposal to conduct an assessment which would result in a set of high quality data tailored to the needs of Inuit communities that could be used to guide housing policy and priorities in the future.

A tripartite working group was formed and, through a series of comprehensive meetings and discussions, the working group established roles, responsibilities and key activities to enable the assessment to take place.

Over the course of two fiscal years (2011-12 & 2012-13) the survey instrument itself along with the plan and timetable for going into the field was determined and implemented. This was done at a cost of almost $400,000 which was cost-shared equally by the three governments. The Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency (NLSA) took the lead in the survey development with significant support from Statistics Canada and the NG.

The survey portion of the assessment was completed in the communities in 2012. Data collection was conducted by employees of the NG after being trained by, and under the supervision of, the NLSA. The data is currently being compiled and it is anticipated it will be distributed to the Parties in early 2013-14.

Overall, the response rate was extremely high at 93%, and the refusal rate was very low. Due to this, the data can be considered very reliable and the NLSA "considers the quality of the data to be unassailable."

This project is a great example of partnering that will have lasting, positive impacts on the capacity of the NG and has led to a strengthened relationship between the NG, the GNL and the GoC which may result in further research collaboration in the future.

Protection of the George River Caribou Herd (GRCH)

The GRCH population has declined from an estimated 775,000 in 1993 to 74,000 in 2010, and to only 27,600 in July 2012. As of January 2013, it was estimated that the GRCH stood at less than 20,000 animals. Population demographics indicate the GRCH will continue to decline in 2013-14.

The provincial Department of Environment and Conservation (ENVC) consulted the NG and the TWPCB in the spring of 2012 on the status of the GRCH and sought input on its management.

In December 2012, the NG requested that Labrador Inuit immediately suspend hunting of the GRCH for a period of two years. The NG also requested that all other Aboriginal organizations suspend harvesting for two years.

In January 2013, ENVC issued a news release to announce an immediate ban on harvesting the GRCH in Labrador by all users for a period of five years, with a review after two years. In the news release, the provincial Minister of ENVC commended the NG for its actions to protect the GRCH.

Also in January, Aboriginal organizations from Quebec and Labrador met in Kuujjuaq to discuss their concerns with the decline of the GRCH and the Leaf River Caribou Herd, and actions that may be taken to protect these herds in the future. Aboriginal organizations also endorsed the establishment of an Aboriginal Round Table to address concerns with the decline of the herds. It is anticipated the Round Table will be formalized in early 2013-14.

Migratory Bird Management

Environment Canada (EC) continues to work cooperatively and has ongoing communication with the NG on matters concerning management of migratory birds. In 2013, the NG participated for the first time in EC's Canadian Wildlife Service Atlantic Migratory Game Bird Technical Committee.

In 2012-13, EC and the NG worked together on the development of two community-based initiatives: 1) The development of protocols for recording community-level information on egg harvesting to support the NG's management recommendations for resource use and conservation of species in Labrador; and, 2) The Nain Community Freezer Pilot Project will provide harvest composition information on migratory birds that are harvested by community hunters who give the birds to the freezer project for consumption by community members. Both projects may allow for the ongoing collection of local-level data to inform NG resource management recommendations.

Section IV: Implementing Bodies

Torngat Joint Fisheries Board & Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board

Representation

As the Boards have matured over the past five years, having attended key decision-making forums such as the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization Annual Meeting, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization Annual Meeting, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 2012-13 represented the first year whereby the Boards were able to bring international considerations to their analysis and recommendations to Ministers. At this stage of LILCA implementation, both Boards are now benefiting from having international, national, provincial, regional and community perspectives in their analysis, meeting one of the key strategic goals of the Boards.

Recommendations

In 2012-13, the TWPCB made quality Total Allowable Harvests decisions on Moose and Polar Bear, and continued to make quality recommendations on Caribou as a priority species for the Board. The TJFB made recommendations on the commercial Snow Crab, Turbot, and Northern Shrimp Fisheries. Both Boards note the indicators of success and maturation in 2012-13 as recommendations from both Boards have started to be accepted and implemented by the relevant Ministers either in whole or in part.

Research

Both Boards had ambitious research goals for 2012-13. The major highlights for the TJFB included the successful completion of a Turbot Survey in four sites including Nachvak, Saglek, Hebron and near Rigolet. The TJFB further completed a snow crab survey during the commercial snow crab fishery of July 2012 in Makkovik. These natural sciences projects were complemented by a continuation of important local consultations as the TJFB held its annual Fisheries Workshop.

Caribou are a priority species for the TWPCB, and 2012-13 represented major contributions to three different research projects involving three different herds. In 2012, the TWPCB provided financial contributions to the GNL to conduct both an aerial photo census on the George River Caribou and a strip census of the Mealy Mountain Caribou Herds. Also, 22 new satellite collars were deployed in the field in preparation for a Torngat Mountains Caribou Herd census.

In addition to the substantive work on Caribou, the TWPCB also collected important traditional knowledge data on Polar Bears, and collaborated on further research involving Moose, Geese, and Rare Plants.

Key Partners

2012-13 represented strong collaboration between both Boards and their respective co-management partners at the various Government agencies. Below is a sample of these partners:

  • NG Land and Natural Resources Department
  • GNL Wildlife Division
  • GNL Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • GoC DFO Science and Fish Management Branches
  • GoC Department of Environment
  • Government of Quebec
  • Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Parks Canada
  • Nunavik Parks
  • Makivik Corporation
  • Marine Institute / Labrador Institute
  • Lakehead University
  • Laval University

Dispute Resolution Board

In May 2012, the DRB provided the IC with copies of the Rules and Procedures for the board and a Roster of Mediators to draw upon in the event of a mediation of a dispute. The DRB held its annual meeting on March 1, 2013 to deal with administrative matters and update the Roster of Mediators.

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