NTI plans IIBA party in Clyde River next month

Bowhead sanctuary ready to clear final approvals

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. plans to hold a party in Clyde River Aug. 6 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the signing of its Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement for the future Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area.

Before the Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area can finalized, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board must approve the proposed boundaries during its September meeting, an NTI news release says.

The future Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area will become the world’s first bowhead sanctuary.

Every July, at least 300 bowhead whales arrive at Isabella Bay to feed in its plankton-rich waters.

For more than 20 years, the people of Clyde River worked with the World Wildlife Fund to develop a whale sanctuary there, hoping to develop whale-watching and eco-tourism businesses.

Representatives from the WWF and a shipload of 100 students and educators from the organization Students on Ice are expected to take part in the August 6 bash, which includes a community feast, performances, and games.

“This is a significant moment for the residents of Clyde River, who have been advocating for the protection of the bowhead whale population in their region since the early eighties,” said Kaludjak. ”The successful implementation of this IIBA reaffirms the Inuit tradition of preserving our land, waters and wildlife for future generations.”

Last August NTI and Ottawa signed a five-year deal for $8.3 million.

The Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area was included in an umbrella IIBA between NTI and Ottawa that includes two other national wildlife areas and 10 existing wildlife and bird sanctuaries.

Under the terms of the agreement, NTI manages $5.6 million, including:

  • a $4-million tourism business fund;
  • a $1 million fund for heritage and interpretive material;
  • $600,000 for Clyde River and Qikiqtarjuaq.

The Canadian Wildlife Service will spend $2.7 million to run co-management committees, hire summer students, hire research assistants and compensate affected hunters and trappers organizations for emergency bear kills.

Inuit harvesting rights, as guaranteed by the Nunavut land claims agreement, are protected within wildlife areas and bird sanctuaries.

As well, Inuit, mostly through regional associations, control tracts of Inuit-owned land inside the boundaries of bird sanctuaries and wildlife areas.

Ottawa hasn't formally announced the creation of the Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area, Canada's first bowhead whale sanctuary, but Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is planning to hold a party in honour of the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement signed last year. (FILE PHOTO)


Ottawa hasn’t formally announced the creation of the Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area, Canada’s first bowhead whale sanctuary, but Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is planning to hold a party in honour of the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement signed last year. (FILE PHOTO)

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