Nunavut hunters and trappers get federal funds

$270,000 aimed at shoring up governance, finances, human resources

Deborah Schulte, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national revenue, announced funding for Nunavut’s hunters and trappers organizations in Iqaluit on Monday morning. (Photo by Courtney Edgar)

By Courtney Edgar

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is spending $216,000 to help Nunavut’s hunters and trappers organizations modernize their operations.

That money will be supplemented with $54,000 contributed by the Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat for a total $270,000 over two years.

“I understand the important role that hunters and trappers play in their communities in providing food and support all across Nunavut,” said Deborah Schulte, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national revenue, in Iqaluit on Monday morning.

Topics include finance, human resources, governance

The money will be used specifically for training manuals and online training modules available through the NIWS website, said Schulte.

There will also be training available for HTO members to use those tools, as well as ways to access them without the use of the internet for those in communities who may not have good internet access, Schulte said.

The training modules will include topics like finance, human resources, governance, and policy and procedures.

All of the resources will be available in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun.

“The information on the website is going to be interactive,” said Sylvie Renaud, regional director of CANNOR, at the announcement.

“You will be able to access some templates and tools, and then play with that as you learn how to use them.”

Renaud also said there will be in-class training where representatives of the HTOs will be able to travel to learn in person.

HTOs’ work at times underappreciated

Schulte said the work HTOs do in Nunavut is often not appreciated enough.

“They also help regulate harvest practices and techniques, and their respect for the land and the wildlife of the North is immense,” said Schulte.

“However, they do face obstacles. There is a lack of easily accessible financial programs, computer programs, training manuals, human resource information, governance procedure [and] policy documents, and when these things exist, they are often only in English.”

Improving HTOs’ governance could help spur economic development and create jobs in communities across Nunavut, said Schulte.

“They will also be able to apply for more program funding, not just from the federal government, but through other funding opportunities that, at the moment, they do not have access to,” said Schulte.

In order to receive funding, often organizations need to show accounting for any funding they have received in the past and have good financial practices, she explained.

As it stands, she said, many of these organizations don’t really have that structure or the ability to show that.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but I think on the ground it is going to have a huge effect,” said Schulte.

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