QIA, feds lay groundwork for Inuit benefits deal on marine area

The Canadian federal government and the Inuit of Nunavut’s Qikiqtani region are moving closer to settling the details of how Inuit will benefit from Nunavut’s new national marine conservation area. (Note, Nunatsiaq News is the newspaper of record for Nunavut and the Nunavik territory of Quebec. Published since 1975, it reaches 52 eastern Arctic communities and 70,000 readers a week).

Qikiqtani Inuit Association announced on Tuesday, Dec. 4 that it had signed an agreement-in-principle for the Tallurutiup Imanga Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement on Oct. 30. The QIA expects to sign a completed IIBA with the federal government by April 2019.

“It’s quite a moment to be home,” said QIA President P.J. Akeeagok, who was leading a community consultation in his hometown of Grise Fiord when he spoke to Nunatsiaq News.

“I’m proud to be here to make the announcement.”

The five Baffin communities directly affected by the new conservation area are Pond inlet, Clyde River, Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay and Grise Fiord. Negotiators announced boundaries for the 109,000-square-kilometre coastal and marine area in August 2017. Tallurutiup Imanga, also known as Lancaster Sound, is described as twice the size of Nova Scotia and the largest protected site of its kind in Canada.

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