Qikiqtani Inuit Association to expand Inuit stewardship with federal money

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced up to $800 million for four programs Dec. 7

The Nauttiqsuqtiit of Arctic Bay pose on the cover of a Qikiqtani Inuit Association report from 2020. QIA plans to expand the Nauttiqsuqtiit program to all 13 Qikiqtani communities. (Photo courtesy of QIA)

By Meral Jamal

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is one of four organizations to receive new federal funding that will bolster conservation efforts in the region.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced up to $800 million over seven years for Indigenous-led conservation programs Dec. 7.

The federal government will identify what areas need protection through partnering with Indigenous groups, governments and the philanthropic community.

At QIA, the new funding will be used to expand the Nauttiqsuqtiit program, a pilot Inuit stewardship program launched by the organization in 2018.

The association’s director of communications, Karen Flaherty, said the exact amount the association will receive as part of this new funding is not currently known and may take up to two years to be determined.

Once confirmed, she said the money will be used to expand Nauttiqsuqtiit across all 13 Qikiqtani communities and fund a reconciliation process around fisheries in the region.

Inuit have suffered economically by not having access to fishing licences for Nunavut waters that are comparable to those given to fisheries on the east and west coasts of Canada, says QIA in a 2022 report on conservation.

“Additionally, there has been an insufficient level of scientific research on current turbot and shrimp fish stocks to ensure the sustainable management of these fisheries,” states the report.

Communities will be key to making these projects work, Flaherty added, saying that expanding conservation efforts across the region will also include establishing community-level committees engaged in co-management and reporting to a regional Inuit-only stewardship council.

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(18) Comments:

  1. Posted by Staggering Spending on

    The unbelievable spending of this government is simply staggering. We are a country that is 1.1 trillion dollars in debt, growing at 400 million a day. We ran a 90 billion dollar deficit last year. Will the thought even bounce into little JT Pea Brains head that money does not pop out of the ground like a potato?

    • Posted by Inuk Person on

      What’s also unbelievable is amount of money Canada sends to other countries! If the country could take care of her citizens for at least a year and forget about the other countries, Canada would be in a much better position to help others, don’t you agree?

    • Posted by Observer on

      It’s so nice when someone drags numbers out of context.

      In terms of GDP, Canada’s gross debt puts it right in the middle of the G7: higher than the Germany, the UK, and France, but below Japan, Italy, and the US. In terms of net debt compared to GDP, Canada’s is the lowest of the G7 countries and has been for the last 15 years.

      And if you didn’t understand that last sentence, that’s why throwing around numbers as you did sounds impressive but isn’t telling the whole truth.

      • Posted by Gaslighting in effect on

        Okay I get it, you are saying that if we change the metrics and squint a little we can clearly see that there are other, worse cases among a small class of others who look a little like we do.

        So why don’t you tell us what our debt to GDP ratio is? How strange is it that you don’t include a single number in this comment?

        • Posted by Observer on

          In terms of gross debt to GDP in 2021 (which gets screwed up in Canada when directly compared to other countries because so much debt the government owes is to itself because of pension plans and the like)–which includes not just the federal government but provincial/territorial and local governments–Canada is at 112.9%, which is below that of Japan (262.5%), Italy (150.9%), and the US (128.9%). It is just above that France (112.6%), then the UK (95.3%) and Germany (69.6%). Source: International Monetary Fund.

          Hey, what do you know: exactly what I said it was, right in the middle of the G7. Funny, right? Now, what do you suppose the odds are that the second thing I said was also right?

          Net government debt to GDP ratio: Japan (168.1%), Italy (138.3%), France (101.1%), United States (99.6%), UK (84.3%), Germany (47%), Canada (31.6%). Hey, look at that. Lowest of the G7. Which I said.

          Huh. You know, it’s almost as if I had looked up easily available information before writing something so as to not write something that was wrong. Shame people don’t do that before accusing others of making stuff up, isn’t it?

          • Posted by What colour is the sky you see? on

            You haven’t said anything here though. Nothing about this softens the point that our government is overspending at all.

  2. Posted by Great Value on

    imagine living in rural Canada and you learn your town is about to receive several million dollars annually so they can pay you and your friends six figures to go out into the bush and drive around new sport equipment a few times a week. your responsibility is to report back anything you think relevant. This is indigenous led conservation in 2022.

    • Posted by Will Turner on

      Ludicrous. Insane..

    • Posted by Life is just a fantasy on

      It is both a manufactured reality and a confession that admits governments are unable to solve ‘the’ fundamental problem faced by most tiny indigenous communities; the lack of capacity and human capital needed to build real, sustainable economic activity.

      In most places in Canada and around the world the only justification for the existence of a community in any given place is its ability to provide for its needs by extracting from its environment. Traditional and modern societies alike followed this model.

      Today we see this only fleetingly in Nunavut, or across the north, if ever. There is no answer to this problem but to create economies based on illusions and fantasies that pretend to work of real value.

      • Posted by S on

        Thanks Lijaf; there is some validity to your comment

        It’s also worth noting that having serviced-communities throughout the Arctic – to help assert Canadian sovereignty there – is beneficial

      • Posted by Modernize Economies on

        That was the only justification for traditional societies, however modern societies are able to exist without extracting from their environment. Singapore comes to mind, where their economy exists based on electronics manufacturing (materials from elsewhere), financial services, biotech, tourism, and global trade facilitation. Essentially, it’s economy is based on “value-add”. The entire area of the country is only 728 square kilometres, so there is not much environment to extract from.
        However, I agree with your overall point, which is that public money is used to create fantasy economies with no end in sight.

        • Posted by Life is just a fantasy on

          You’re absolutely right about modern economies, this is a point I should have included and been more clear about too.

    • Posted by Uvanga on

      Just like park rangers or bylaw officers. All the same but this project includes hunting and fishing for the community.

      • Posted by Great Value on

        Since park rangers and bylaw officers don’t charge anyone it might seem the same but the fact they fail to enforce laws is another issue. Giving coordinators and hunters a salary and free equipment in the name of monitoring and conservation is a joke. Develop an outfitting business or develop commercial fisheries etc.

  3. Posted by Taxpayer on

    Indigenous conservation in Nunavut means paying Inuit to stay in our communities doing only tradish stuff while ensuring nothing else happens. This is in reality no less than the creation of a modern day Inuit Reservation system.

    It has taken First Nations a long time, suffering the terrible waste, destruction and scattering of whole generations to see and start to undo the evils of the Canadian Federal Indian Reserve system. They should be supremely congratulated for this.

    Many Inuit are just so quick and fond of saying we are not the same as First Nations. Yet here we are, in the 21st century, making the same mistakes they made, in many cases, well over a century ago.

    All done under the well meaning benevolent direction of Ottawa bureaucrats and their various hangers on.

    Back when the first Indian Reserves were created, even though they convincingly said it was, it was never about the welfare of Indians. It was about getting them out of the way.

    Today, no matter how big the carrot and how small the stick, it is the same is true for conservation areas. It is not for or about us Inuit. It is about getting us to give up our right of choice to go along what others see and want.

    First Nations were never given the opportunity to realize development on their own terms across their traditional lands. As a result, so many ended up impoverished and marginalized on Reserves. Shunted away from mainstream society while every other citizen thrived and progressed.

    After seeing this unfold in southern Canada, how idiotic can we really be to throw our opportunity away?

  4. Posted by Art Thompson on

    Some of this has to do with the transfer of powers between the fed and nunavut. but there 2 things that are not going to change. One is that the fed hold/control the purse strings and two, its highly doubtful there will ever be economic viability to the territory. so, Inuit get to do what they want but controlled by budget dollars by the fed.

  5. Posted by Sigh on

    This stewardship ‘plan’ is paying a few of the ‘right’ Inuit to hunt for a living and paying more southern consultants. Meanwhile, Inuit who want to enter the wage economy so that they too can get equipment to hunt are completely forgotten about because they don’t fit into the idealized, mystical version of Nunavut the southern consultants dreamt up so that they can sleep better at night knowing how much money they make off of QIA.

  6. Posted by Jim on

    It amazes me how some can be so vocal without much knowledge into this. Maybe because it’s Inuit led and not run by a federal or government department?
    The hard work put into this and getting funding for northern Baffin is great!
    Congratulations in securing this funding for the north.


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