Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area – Government of Canada – 2006 – Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the Nunavut Settlement Area

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Innuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area

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National government: signatory?


Local government: signatory?


Was the agreement required by law?



Agreement ends after fulfillment of the conditions in Art. 15.6

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Nunavut Settlement Area

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Summary of contract

  • Negotiation, representation, and other relevant context

    The Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area are represented by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuit Associations of Kitikmeot, Kivalliq, and Qikiqtani, and the Nangmautaq Hunters and Trappers Organization. The Queen in right of Canada is represented by the minister of environment. The parties have negotiated this impact and benefit agreement addressing all matters connected with the establishment of national wildlife areas (NWAs) and migratory bird sanctuaries (MBSs) in the Nunavut Settlement Area that would have a detrimental impact or could confer a benefit on the Inuit. The NWAs and MBSs are to be co-managed by the government and the Inuit representatives to this agreement (Preamble). Among the principles of the agreement are: the NWAs and MBSs should avoid social and cultural disruption to Inuit and be consistent with Inuit harvesting rights, the Inuit language should be preserved and its use promoted, the archaeological and cultural heritage of Inuit should be protected, and the agreement should build capacity, self-reliance and the well-being of the Inuit. (Art. 2.1). Schedule 2-1 (page 17) lists the NWAs and MBSs to which the agreement applies. Schedule 2-2 (page 18) lists the NWAs and MBSs for which an appendix is not required.

  • Governance, implementation, dispute resolution

    When required by the agreement, a duty to consult shall be exercised providing sufficient notice of the matter with reasonable time. The views presented at the consultation should be given fair and full consideration. Consultation to individual Inuit shall be exercised in a culturally appropriate manner, with interpretation and translation of relevant materials, and a summary of the consultation process in English and Inuit languages shall be kept (Art. 2.6). The Inuit and the government shall establish an area co-management committee for each national wildlife area (NWA) and migratory bird sanctuary (MBS). The committees shall have 6 members: 3 members of the Inuit and 3 of the government. The committees are responsible for preparing management plans advising the Minister of the Environment on planning and management matters. The committee shall hold a training to enable its members to better carry out their responsibilities and to assist the Inuit members in bringing to the decision-making process the Inuit body of knowledge called Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Art. 3.2). The area co-management committee shall meet at least once a year, in meetings open to the public and conducted in the Inuit and English languages. The area co-management committee shall prepare the Work Plan and the budget for the fiscal year for approval by the representatives of the Inuit and the Minister of the Environment, who are the parties to this agreement. The Canadian Wildlife Service shall provide secretariat support to the area co-management committee. The role of the area co-management committee includes developing a NWA strategy and Action Plan as well as advising on NWA plans and actions, permit applications, removal of carving stone, outpost camps and cabins in NWA and MBS, inventories of resources including oral history and archaeological projects, research, establishment, enlargement, status change, reduction or disestablishment of an MBS or NWA, and visitor use to the protected areas. The Minister shall consider the advice by the area co-management according to the procedure set in Article 3.3.7. A Management Plan shall be completed for every NWA or MBS (Arts. 3.5 - 3.7). Schedule 3.1 lists the area co-management committees. If there is disagreement between a regional Inuit association and the Canadian Wildlife Service regarding an application to conduct an activity in Inuit owned land within or adjacent to NWAs and MBSs, they can retain the services of a mediator. If the disagreement on the permit application cannot be resolved through mediation, the parties can appoint a conciliator. If agreement still cannot be reached, the Minister will decide to approve the permit application (Arts. 4.3.6-4.3.10). The Canadian Wildlife Service shall notify in writing, and consult, the Nunavut Tunngavik and the relevant Inuit association before proposing any establishment, enlargement, status change, reduction or disestablishment of a NWA or MBS, and the parties to this agreement shall negotiate in good faith for the purpose of concluding appropriate amendments to the agreement. An assessment group shall be responsible for determining all aspects of the resource assessment related the modifications to an NWA or MBS (Art 13.4). The parties to this agreement shall meet each year for an annual review of the implementation of this agreement considering all aspects listed in Art. 15.4. The parties will conduct a five-year review and prepare a written report. The parties shall renegotiate this agreement after 7 years and negotiations shall commence at the beginning of the year 6 (Art. 15). Schedule 15-2 (page 77) explains the implementation plan of the agreement. If there is a disagreement between the parties, they shall make all efforts to resolve their dispute through direct discussions and negotiations acting in good faith. If the parties fail to reach a negotiated solution, any party may seek the agreement of the other parties to refer the matter to a mediator. If the parties cannot settle a dispute directly, it will be settled through an arbitration process. Each party will pay its own cost of dispute resolution (Art. 16).

  • Fiscal obligations: content

    The Government of Canada shall provide $8,300,000 to implement this agreement and these funds shall be allocated and spent in accordance with the implementation funding Schedule 15-1 during a 7-year period (page 76). From these funds, the Canadian Wildlife Service shall hold and administer $2,700,000 to pay the area co-management committees, the student initiatives, Inuit research assistants and compensation for bear kills. Nunavut Tunngavik shall hold and administer $5,600,000 from these funds to pay the cost of inventories, interpretative materials, tourism providers fund, and the development of environmentally sustainable tourism and guiding. The money to be paid by the Government shall be adjusted using the Final Domestic Demand Implicit Price Index (Art. 15).

  • Community development obligations: Local content

    Nunavut Tunngavik shall establish and administer an Inuit Tourism Providers Fund to build capacity among Inuit Tourism Providers in the affected communities and effective community-based tourism services. The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) shall provide Nunavut Tunngavik with funds to establish the providers fund that will support business plans, the development of tourism packages and client services, marketing of tourism and local services for tourists (Art. 7.2). The CWS shall identify Inuit contractors through advertisement in the relevant community. In the contracts defined as business opportunities and ventures by the agreement, the Inuit have a right of first refusal to operate all business opportunities and ventures (Art. 8.4). The CWS shall hire and mentor as many Inuit students as the funding permits in conservation-related work. The CWS shall develop materials to explain conservation-related jobs, career and business opportunities to Nunavut youth. When recruiting for indeterminate and term positions in Nunavut, the CWS shall give preference to qualified Inuit (Art. 9). After hiring an Inuit employee, the respective supervisor shall develop a career and training plan with the Inuit employee (Art. 9.4). The CWS shall, for each field season, hire the maximum number of Inuit research assistants that can be accommodated with the funding available and provide field training for them. Upon the request of an Inuit researcher, the CWS shall provide the researcher with information and waiver of fees associated with the research (Art. 10.4.1).

  • Environmental and social protection

    Before making a decision that could affect Inuit owned land within or adjacent to national wildlife areas (NWAs) and migratory bird sanctuaries (MBSs), the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) shall consult the regional Inuit association. When deciding on a regional Inuit association-supported permit application, the Minister of the Environment shall consider the potential effects of the proposed activity on the natural life and the social, cultural and economic impact on the Inuit community. Inuit owned land that may in the future lie within a proposed NWA or MBS requires written consent of the relevant Inuit association and for greater certainty, any such establishment is subject to an amendment of this agreement (Art. 4). Inuit have a free and unrestricted right of access to all lands, waters and marine areas within NWAs and MBSs for the purpose of harvesting. An Inuk guide or an assignee may harvest wildlife and engage in activities reasonably incidental to harvesting, transport and guide sports hunters without any form of license, permit, tax or fee (Arts. 5.2 and 5.3). An Inuk has the right to remove, in a manner consistent with the conservation of wildlife, up to 50 cubic yards per year of carving stone from Crown lands within NWA and MBS and any amount of carving stone from Inuit owned land (Art. 5.4). Inuit may establish new outpost camps anywhere in an NWA or MBS except the areas excluded in the management plans (Art. 5.5). Nunavut Tunngavik shall contract the preparation of inventories of resources important to Inuit, information of cultural importance, oral and archaeological history and potential Inuit language names for NWA and MBS. The CWS shall provide Nunavut Tunngavik with funds to prepare the inventories (Art. 6). Nunavut Tunngavik shall develop interpretive material in English and the Inuit Language to facilitate the development of environmentally sustainable tourism (Art. 6.8). If the employees of the CWS encounter archaeological material they should photograph and note the coordinates and provide information to the competent authorities (Art.11.3.4). If a polar bear or grizzly bear is killed, the CWS shall pay compensation as established in Article 12.3 (Art. 12.3). The area co-management committee shall advise the Government on all aspects of visitor use of NWA and MBS and permits issued to visitors shall include mechanisms to minimize incompatibility of visitor activities with Inuit use and enjoyment of the NWA and MBS (Art. 14).