The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement

Overview

The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement addresses the use, management and ownership of Nunavut land and resources in James Bay, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, as well as a portion of northern Labrador and an offshore area adjacent to Labrador. The Governments of Canada and Nunavut and Makivik Corporation, an organization that represents about 10,000 Inuit in Nunavik, signed the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement on December 1, 2006. It came into effect on February 14, 2008.

 

The Settlement Area

The Nunavik Inuit Settlement Area is comprised of two areas:

1. The Nunavik Marine Region, which covers the Nunavut offshore islands adjacent to Québec, the intervening waters, and the offshore islands including the ice that
separates them.

2. The Labrador portion of the Nunavik Inuit Settlement Area, which covers an offshore area adjacent to Labrador from Killinik Island to just north of Hebron and an on shore portion in northern Labrador, consistent with the boundaries of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada.

 

Lands

The Nunavik Inuit own and have surface and subsurface rights to 80 percent of the total area comprised by the islands in the Nunavik Marine Region, an expanse of approximately 5100 square kilometers. In addition, approximately 400 square kilometres are shared with the Crees of Eeyou Istchee in a joint zone. Nunavik Inuit Lands include all lands above the ordinary high water mark, and the mines and minerals found within, upon or under them (sub-surface rights).

 

Overlaps

The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement includes three successful overlap agreements between the Nunavik Inuit and each of three other Aboriginal groups in the region: the Nunavut Inuit, the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and the Labrador Inuit.

 

Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada

The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement, creates national park status for the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada. The park is approximately 10,000 square kilometres, extending from Saglek Fjord in the south to the northern tip of Labrador, and from the provincial boundary of Québec in the west to the Labrador Sea in the east. The new park protects an area of spectacular Arctic wilderness, home to a variety of wildlife and numerous archaeological sites.

 

Wildlife management and harvesting

The Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board is established as an institution of public government to manage and regulate wildlife. Nunavik Inuit have the right to harvest any
species of wildlife in the Nunavik Marine Region to fulfill their economic, social and cultural needs, unless the board establishes a limit in accordance with the terms of the
agreement. Nunavik Inuit harvesting will take priority over other forms of harvesting.

 

Capital Transfers

Canada provides a capital transfer of $54.8 million, calculated in 2005 dollars, to the Nunavik Inuit Trust, to be paid out over nine years from the effective date of the
agreement.

 

Resource Royalty

Nunavik Inuit will be entitled to receive annual royalties from the Government of Canada based on resource development in the Nunavik Marine Region. This amount will equal 50% of the first $2 million and 5% of any additional resource royalties received by the Government that year.

 

Implementation

Canada made a one-time payment and ongoing implementation funding payments totaling some $40.1 million in the first 10 years of the agreement to support federal implementation funding obligations. This includes $36.6 million to Makivik and the Nunavik Inuit Trust, and $3.5 million for the Government of Nunavut obligations.
Additionally, Canada pays to Makivik and the Nunavik Inuit Trust $38.7 million which will include costs such as financial compensation for the resolution of Nunavik Inuit claims in Labrador, and the Parks Impact and Benefits Agreement for the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve.

 

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