There are vast and largely undeveloped mineral resources in the Kitikmeot. The opportunity to harness this wealth for the benefit of the Kitikmeot Inuit must be balanced against the protection of our environment, its wildlife, the people and their traditional way of life for many generations to come. The Kitikmeot Inuit Association has principal responsibility for managing this balance.
There's a significant number of development projects throughout the region on both Inuit Owned and Crown (Government of Canada) lands. Projects range from early prospecting to operational mines and the final reclamation of sites. Under Article 19 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), the Kitikmeot Inuit Association is the Designated Inuit Organization (DIO) responsible for administering land access and environmental monitoring on Inuit Owned Land in the Kitikmeot. The Kitikmeot Inuit Association also represents the interests of the Inuit in decisions regarding development on Crown land.
The Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s Department of Lands, Environment and Resource Development in Kugluktuk is responsible for the administration of Inuit Owned Land (IOL) in the region and the negotiation and permitting of proposed developments. The Department reviews all projects in and outside the region with the potential for environmental impact in the Kitikmeot.
Proponents of development on Inuit Owned Land in the Kitikmeot must complete an Access to Inuit Owned Land application. Once reviewed, projects deemed socially and environmentally acceptable proceed to regulatory approval, subject to the terms of the IOL Land Use License. Proposed projects must receive approval from all appropriate regulatory boards (i.e. land, water, environmental impact) and are subject to any terms and conditions applied. The Kitikmeot Inuit Association monitors all ongoing projects and routinely conducts land use inspections to ensure compliance with the Land Use License and all other Agreements.
Approved projects must provide a reclamation security deposit to the Kitikmeot Inuit Association reflecting the projected costs for complete reclamation of the project site. The Kitikmeot Inuit Association will return the security deposit on satisfactory completion of the project site reclamation. If a site is not reclaimed to the satisfaction of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, site reclamation will be accomplished through funds held in the security deposit. Any unused funds will be returned to the project proponent.
Larger projects, such as mining operations, go through an extensive Environmental Assessment review and permitting period; this usually takes several years before development can occur. If development is approved on Inuit Owned Lands, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association will ensure reasonable environmental impacts and acceptable benefits to the Inuit through the negotiation of an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA), Water and Wildlife Compensation Agreements and involvement in the review and permitting process.
Companies operating exploration projects in the Kitikmeot should follow the recommendations provided in the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s Guide to Best Management Practices for Wildlife Avoidance and Deterrence on Inuit Owned Land and to be aware of wildlife and water compensation rights as set out in Articles 6 and 20 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.
For further information regarding the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s role as a landowner or questions concerning access to Inuit Owned Lands please contact the Department of Lands, Environment and Resource Development in Kugluktuk.