Agreement Between The Inuit Of The Nunavut Settlement Area

In 1982, negotiations slowed down markedly. The Inuit undertook an internal reorganization and entrusted the negotiations of the ITC, the national Inuit organization, to the Tungavuk Federation of Nunavut (TFN), a regional organization specially created to represent Inuit in Nunavut. On the federal side, Tom Molloy has been appointed as the new chief negotiator of the Confederation. The cloud of the unresolved agreement on wild animals hovering over the parties, it took a long time to restore trusting and productive working relationships at the negotiating table. The Government of Nunavut is in the midst of a bilateral contractual relationship between the Inuit and Canada, where it has major implementation tasks, but where it is not recognized as a full partner and does not feel sufficiently equipped to meet its contractual obligations or Inuit expectations. Until 1985, the negotiating teams had regained momentum and signed partial agreements on 17 chapters, or about half of a possible agreement in principle (AIP). However, the negotiations faced a number of political obstacles. The federal government`s comprehensive requirement policy did not allow for the negotiation of Aboriginal rights in the offshore or the sharing of royalties from the development of minerals and oil and gas. And there has always been a persistent impasse over whether the boards of agriculture, water and the environment would have advisory or decision-making functions. The creation of Nunavut changed the map of Canada and established a new political unity within the Canadian federation. The NLCA represented the largest Aboriginal population in Canadian history. It looked at the Aboriginal claims and the title of approximately 17,500 Nights, which live in 27 central and eastern northwest municipalities (NWT) and cover more than 2000,000 square kilometres of land and adjacent marine areas, or about 20 per cent of Canada`s land.

Nunavut and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement represent historic achievements that provide economic opportunities and political levers to improve their socio-economic situation. Both have made a significant contribution to this goal and have the potential to do much more. However, the difference between Canada`s closed rapprochement with Nunavut and the Nunavut Land Agreement and the more holistic Inuit view remains an underlying source of tension in canada`s ongoing relations with the Nunavut Inuit. In accordance with the new comprehensive requirement policy, Nunavut`s federal claim negotiation team had to strive for a ministerial mandate for a package of land claims before returning to the negotiating table. Discussions with TFN in mid-1987 resulted in consensus on the remaining list of issues ready to be negotiated. The federal team then sought cabinet approval on the sub-agreements already negotiated and a mandate to deal with all outstanding issues. The mandate was adopted in November 1987. In light of changes to claims policy, it has authorized federal negotiators to look at offshore rights, royalty sharing and the decision-making powers of agricultural and water management boards. In particular, the mandate maintained a complete separation between the land agreement and Nunavut. Negotiations on land claims began with a focus on wildlife management and harvesting rights.

The Inuit wanted wildlife management decisions to be depoliticized and handed over to an independent regulatory body, jointly designated by the Inuit and the government. Federal and regional wildlife and fisheries departments have been reluctant to go beyond the creation of advisory councils that would give ministers ultimate decision-making power and political responsibility.