Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut November 06, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Nunavut wants a say on overlapping Kivalliq land claims

Ottawa and northern Manitoba Dene have been in negotiations for years over land along Nunavut's border

SARAH ROGERS
This map shows the proposed settlement areas in Nunavut's Kivalliq region. The brown line shows settlement areas proposed by the Ghotelnene K’odtineh Dene. The purple and light green lines show settlement areas proposed by the Athabasca Dene. The dark green line shows the proposed settlement areas proposed by Inuit. (SCREEN SHOT)
This map shows the proposed settlement areas in Nunavut's Kivalliq region. The brown line shows settlement areas proposed by the Ghotelnene K’odtineh Dene. The purple and light green lines show settlement areas proposed by the Athabasca Dene. The dark green line shows the proposed settlement areas proposed by Inuit. (SCREEN SHOT)
Nunavut premier Joe Savikataaq says he's pressing Ottawa to allow the GN to join negotiations between the federal government a group of northern Manitoba Dene who have asserted harvesting rights along the province’s northern border and into Nunavut. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
Nunavut premier Joe Savikataaq says he's pressing Ottawa to allow the GN to join negotiations between the federal government a group of northern Manitoba Dene who have asserted harvesting rights along the province’s northern border and into Nunavut. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

The Government of Nunavut says it wants to play a bigger role in negotiations between the federal government and the Sayisi Dene and Northlands Denesuline of northern Manitoba, who for decades have asserted treaty rights to land on the Nunavut side of the Nunavut-Manitoba boundary.

These talks focus on Dene lands in the southern part of the Kivalliq region that in 1993 became part of Nunavut.

The negotiations date back to that year, when the Ghotelnene K’odtineh Dene filed a statement of claim against Ottawa, claiming the federal government had breached its fiduciary duty to the Dene when it finalized the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

The federal government has been in out-of-court settlement negotiations with the group since the late 1990s.

At the same time, the Dene have asked for blocks of land on the Nunavut side of the boundary.

In 2016, the federal government withdrew 22,500 square kilometres of Crown land in the Kivalliq region for use in a future treaty rights settlement.

“The boundaries identified for the interim land withdrawal are the result of negotiations and are the lands that may become settlement lands pending consultations and the final agreement,” the federal government said in 2016.

It’s unclear where those parties are right now in their discussions, but Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq said the territory has been largely left out of the process.

“We are not a true party to the negotiations,” Savikataaq said in question period at the legislature Nov. 5.

“We do get updates on it and right now we are having a disagreement, because the federal government believes that we do not have to be a signatory to the agreement as part of the negotiation process.”

Instead, the GN holds observer status. But that prevents the GN from having a say in how the agreement could impact its own land, water and wildlife resources, Savikataaq said.

The premier said the agreement could also have implications for Nunavut institutions of public government, like Nunavut’s wildlife boards or its impact review board.

“[Our] position is that we should be and have to be a signatory to this agreement,” he said. “We are in support of the negotiations but want to sign onto it once negotiations are complete.”

Arviat North–Whale Cove MLA John Main, who raised the issue Nov. 5, said his constituents are concerned about what an agreement could mean for their harvesting rights in the region.

“They want further information on what is happening currently,” Main said. “Further, it will impact some Arviat residents who are the Ahiarmiut, Kingajjualingmiut, and others who have valid concerns about their traditional clan areas.”

The community should get some answers soon; the Kivalliq Inuit Association-led Dene Overlap Working Group is set to host a public meeting at Arviat’s community hall on Nov. 13.

Ghotlenene Kodtineh Dene Br… by on Scribd

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(10) Comments:

#1. Posted by Carl Von Clausewitz on November 06, 2018

Tis a shame we can’t settle these things the ‘traditional’ way.

#2. Posted by B Aglukark on November 06, 2018

At this point in time John Main, it would be wise the GN just remain as an observer status.  We do not want your crooked hands messing this up. The parties are doing quite well informing affected beneficiaries.  And, note our rights as a hunting people will not change under this agreement.  No need to go on a grand standing posture for this issue.  NTI- KIV IA and the representatives from the south have worked well in-light the feds initial ramming this down our throats.  But at the end of the day, respect both ways prevails. The onus is on the public to ensure they are well informed.  Notices and posters etc are posted when updates are to be provided.  It would be ignorance in the part of those that are not fully educated on this file. GN, if you get your ugly hands in this, next you’ll be asking for are our land parcels and or our sub surface parcels.  We definitely don’t want that happening. GN, stay out of this.  You’ll only mess it up.

#3. Posted by Troll Hunter on November 06, 2018

#2 Brian Aglukark, it’s odd to see you express so much concern over “grand standing”. From my reading of your comments over time, I would say this is your forte.

#4. Posted by Student on November 06, 2018

A helpful quote for some consistently negative Nunatsiaq commenters such as #2 above.

Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”

Enough allegations against others. Focus on the issues.

#5. Posted by ? on November 07, 2018

If only he put as much effort in the nlup as he does with attacking JM and the premier it would be done by now.I am sure all of his commenting grandstanding against the mla is done during working hours. Valuable time please work on that plan.

#6. Posted by Really? on November 07, 2018

You cant fault the NPC for the delay in the Numavut Plan.  Seems they are only prioritizing what the nlca requires.  Ive met this man a few times and see him to be one of the most measured men when he speaks.  Id listen to him for what he has to say.

#7. Posted by B Aglukark on November 07, 2018

To do nothing about my work, my personality.  T’is about Inuit being well informed on the NA revisions to come related to the interests of northern mb & sk. & Kivalliq Inuit. I find it funny JM is pressing for better or more communication etc, and yet he hasn’t, to date, provided any concrete evidence regarding the removal of PQ.  Advise to JM, walk down the hall way of your building and have a sit down with Mr Quassa and get educated in the revisions to the na just over the horizon.  Again, anyone in the Kivalliq region who “may be complaining” about needing more info needs to make an effort on their and participate in the public info sessions.  GN need not politicize it, you need to get there own house in order

#8. Posted by uvaga on November 07, 2018

why do the they think this world only belongs to them?

#9. Posted by Putuguk on November 07, 2018

I hope NTI remembers how the border and Inuit Owned Lands were recognized down to Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the first place.

The Nunavut border was set farther to the south in the west, and included the yet to be discovered diamond fields at Lac De Gras. At the same time, there was opposition to the proposed border in the Kivalliq being set all the way down to the provincial border as seen by the Dene lawsuit.

Kitikmeot compromised and agreed to reduce Nunavut in the west so that Kivalliq could be made larger in the east. That is how we arrived at the Nunavut border we see today - Kitikmeot smaller and without the diamond fields, and Nunavut down to Manitoba. 

Well, now the situation is changing and Nunavut and Inuit are losing lands southwest of Arviat. That was not the deal.

What will then be done to compensate the west for sacrificing all those lands years ago occupied by Nunamuit north of Yellowknife?

#10. Posted by Agree withn#1 on November 07, 2018

I agree with number 1. How would the Inuit and Dene settle this 200 years ago, a 100 years ago, or even a 1000. Let’s do it the traditional way.

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