What Newfoundland is offering Labrador Inuit


Special to Nunatsiaq News

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY Last week, Labrador Inuit got a look at what they might find in a land claim agreement with the provincial and federal governments.

Here’s what’s in it:

The proposed Labrador Inuit Settlement Area (LISA) is 28,000 square miles, or 20 percent of Labrador, of which 17,000 square miles is ocean;

This land will be owned by the province and co-managed by an Inuit government;

Inuit would have rights to hunt, fish and trap according to their own rules;

The development of natural resources in the settlement areas would be controlled by the province;

Impact and benefit agreements and environmental assessments of new projects would be standard;

Proposed resource royalty payments to the Labrador Inuit would be $1 million of the first $2 million earned, and 5 percent of additional royalties;

About 6100 square miles of LISA would be selected by LIA members as Labrador Inuit Lands (LIL);

The Inuit would get 25 percent of the province’s share of royalties from development.

Revenue from the giant Voisey’s Bay nickel project was negotiated as a separate section Inuit would earn three percent of the province’s proposed mining tax of Voisey’s Bay. The total could be worth about $40 million over 20 years.

As well, the federal government will award the Labrador Inuit $140 million for extinguishing their rights, and pay another $115 million to implement a final agreement, when one is reached.

Each of the Labrador Inuit communities will continue to negotiate five-year funding agreements with the federal government until the Inuit government becomes self-sufficient.

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