IIBA brings benefits not contingent on funding
I am writing this letter in response to your article, “Benefits deal means little without federal funding” (May 17). The article covered the recent signing of an Umbrella Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement (IIBA) for Territorial Parks by the Government of Nunavut, NTI and the three Regional Inuit Associations.
As witnessed by your headline and the tone of the article, it was suggested that there would be few benefits arising from the IIBA without federal funding. While it is true that there are programs in the agreement that are subject to funding, your article failed to adequately mention the numerous other benefits that, we believe, will flow to Inuit as a result of this agreement.
While the economic provisions of the IIBA are important, looking back to July 2000 when negotiations commenced, the majority of effort by the GN, NTI and the three Regional Inuit Associations included the following:
• Providing for a meaningful process toward active co-management of park-related lands and resources in Nunavut through territorial and community-based parks
• Ensuring Inuit rights will be protected in the establishment of outpost camps, cabins, removal of carving stone, and access and use of territorial parks
• Ensuring the protection of important wildlife areas and culturally significant sites within Territorial Parks
• Providing opportunities for Inuit preference in contracting and business opportunities
In addition, you said the IIBA is an agreement that is not part of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement (NLCA). This is incorrect. Article 8 of the NLCA clearly states an IIBA is a requirement of the NLCA. Seeking funding for this agreement will be more than “dicker[ing] with the federal government for some extra cash.” The GN and NTI will be working together in negotiating with the federal government for IIBA funding as part of the negotiations to secure funding for the next implementation period of the NLCA.
The IIBA is an important document for the GN, NTI and the RIAs. It confirms the importance of Territorial Parks to Nunavut, recognizes the roles Territorial Parks play now and will play in the future of Nunavut; and allows us, collectively, to begin to build and develop a Territorial Parks program that Inuit and Nunavummiut can be proud of and showcase to our visitors.
GN Chief Negotiator for the Territorial Parks IIBA