Government Clarifies Important Land Ownership Issue in Nunavut
Ottawa, Ontario (March 2, 2009) – An amendment to Article 19.2.5 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) was announced today by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. The amendment ensures that the Inuit of Nunavut benefit from the full quantum of Inuit Owned Lands intended in the NLCA by clarifying how boundaries that cut across small water bodies will be interpreted in establishing the ownership of the underlying waterbeds.“The Government of Canada fully supports the implementation of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and is doing its part to develop a strong and self-sufficient Nunavut,” said Minister Strahl. “This amendment will help promote economic and social development in the North by resolving an outstanding land-ownership issue and ensuring the Inuit of Nunavut can benefit fully from the opportunities associated with natural resources and minerals on their lands.”
“NTI is pleased that the amendment has been completed and it represents a significant achievement in ensuring the clarity and consistency of the Agreement, now and in the future,” said James Eetoolook, First Vice President of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the organization that represents Inuit under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. “This amendment required the hard work and commitment of many people and we are happy to see that this work has paid off.”
In practical terms, this amendment provides the Inuit of Nunavut with the opportunity to realize the potential benefits of any natural resource and mineral discoveries, including diamond discoveries such as diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes found underneath small lakes.
The Government of Canada worked in partnership with the parties to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, to reach consensus on the final wording of the amendment.
The amendment will help inform and support work underway to develop legislation with respect to the implementation of the land use planning and environmental assessment provisions of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.
For more information, please contact:
Canada Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada