Archived - Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement - Annual Report of the Implementation Committee April 1, 2001 - March 31, 2002

Archived information

This Web page has been archived on the Web. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record keeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Author: Published under the authority of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Date: Ottawa, 2002 
ISBN: 0-662-66876-6

PDF Version   (249 Kb, 48 Pages)


Table of Contents


The Implementation Committee is pleased to provide its ninth annual report on the implementation of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. This report covers the fiscal year extending from April 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002.

The Implementation Committee is composed of a senior official from each of the parties: the Gwich'in Tribal Council (GTC), the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the Government of Canada. The Committee functions by consensus and serves as a forum for parties to raise issues and voice their concerns.

The role of the Implementation Committee is to oversee, monitor and provide direction on the implementation of the Agreement. This annual report describes achievements and developments during the year. Information is contributed by various federal and territorial departments, the GTC and other bodies established pursuant to the Agreement.

The Implementation Committee is achieving progress within a relationship defined by mutual respect and a commitment to fulfilling the obligations set out in the Agreement.

Fred Carmichael
Gwich'in Tribal Council

Mark Warren
Government of the Northwest Territories

Pierre Laporte
Government of Canada

Return to Table of Contents 

Glossary of Acronyms

Return to Table of Contents 

1. Features of the Agreement

On April 22, 1992, the GTC, GNWT and the Government of Canada signed the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the accompanying Implementation Plan. The Agreement took effect on December 22, 1992.

Major provisions of the Agreement include:

The Agreement also provides for the negotiation of agreements on self-government, which will be brought into effect through federal or territorial legislation, or both.

 Return to Table of Contents 

2. Highlights

Highlights of the 2001-2002 Annual Report of the Implementation Committee are listed below.

Return to Table of Contents 

3. Specific Issues

3.1 Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program

Section 24.1.4 of the Agreement provides for a method to monitor the cumulative impact of land and water uses on the environment in the Mackenzie Valley, and for periodic, independent environmental audits, which are to be made public. Part VI of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) requires that the responsible authority collect and analyze scientific data, traditional knowledge and other pertinent information to monitor the cumulative impact on the environment of concurrent and sequential uses of land and water and of deposits of waste in the Mackenzie Valley.

The Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group (CIMPWG) was established in early 1999 to design the CIMP and is comprised of representatives of governments of the NWT and Canada and all Aboriginal governments of the NWT. The CIMPWG held 15 meetings in 2001-2002 to further design the Program that will provide coordinated reporting of the state of the environment in the NWT. Because the development of the CIMP is a land claim obligation, it requires consultation with the GTC as the representative of the Gwich'in.

Key deliverables for 2001-2002 of the CIMPWG were:

The CIMPWG played a key role in a multi stakeholder information workshop held in March.

During the 2001-2002 year, the CIMPWG was also met with several challenges. Gwich'in communities have not been consulted since 1999, and a community tour will be required. As well, the Sahtu have voiced some disagreement with the process and other Aboriginal governments within the NWT are still considering their involvement in the program. All these issues will require solutions in the next fiscal year.

3.2 Economic Measures

Chapter 10 of the Agreement requires the Government of Canada meet with the GTC at least once every three years to review the effectiveness of programs relating to Gwich'in self-sufficiency and strengthening the traditional Gwich'in economy. A joint Gwich'in/Sahtu Economic Measures Review meeting was held November 21-23, 2001, in Inuvik, and marked the second such review meeting since the signing of the Agreement in 1992. This meeting was attended by representatives from the GTC, the four Gwich'in communities, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, the Government of Canada and the GNWT. Seven federal departments and four GNWT departments gave presentations outlining their mandates and their programs that support the economic measures objectives.

The GTC did not judge the Inuvik meeting a success since only three of the government departments making presentations were able to provide a review of the success of programs available to the Gwich'in people. It was also clear that information was not available to carry out such a review, including information directly relevant to the settlement area. At the meeting, it became evident that Gwich'in/Sahtu specific data collection was needed to better measure the effectiveness of programs within the settlement area.

Among the final recommendations from the Review meeting was a decision to establish a working group that could develop a review methodology for the following review period and to improve information compilation and presentation. The Gwich'in and Sahtu Implementation Committees agreed to set aside a full day at the end of its April 2002 meetings to determine the required action steps. This topic is expected to be a recurrent item on the Implementation Committees' agendas.

3.3 Resource Development in the Mackenzie Valley

In the past 25 years, significant changes have occurred in the political and economic working environment of the NWT. The signing of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement included comprehensive changes in the management of the environment and potential resource development in the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA). New proposals to build a natural gas pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley would see natural gas moving from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and the Mackenzie Delta, through the Mackenzie Valley, to Alberta or British Columbia.

Currently, two natural gas pipeline development proposals are being considered that have increased the resource development activities in the GSA:

No project has been formally proposed at this time. It will be important to undertake a coordinated planning effort to ensure Gwich'in participation in the proposed resource development activities. Increasing land use demands in the GSA will make environmental planning, resource development and management, and sustainable development planning more challenging and critical in the years to come.

In order to make informed decisions for the future, which take advantage of economic and resource development and maintain environmental integrity, a strong information base will be required. The need to have current and detailed information as well as a process for managing this information has been recognized by Aboriginal, territorial and federal governments through provisions in the Agreement as well as the MVRMA.

Environmental non-governmental agencies have also identified gaps in the research needed to support land and resource development initiatives and are currently working on a variety of activities to address these gaps.

The MVEIRB began negotiations with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in January to develop a framework for participation on a possible panel to review a pipeline application. This Board is also developing an MOU with the Environmental Impact Review Board for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), which would set the groundwork for joint assessments of trans-regional projects.

Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee

The Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee is comprised of the chairs of the Mackenzie Valley IPGs, including the Gwich'in Land and Water Board (GLWB), MVEIRB, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB), and the Sahtu Land and Water Board, the ISR co-management boards and officials from the National Energy Board (NEB), the NWT Water Board, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the GNWT and INAC. Its mandate is to coordinate the various regulatory and environmental assessment requirements in preparation for an application to build a Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.

The Committee's work culminated in the release in January 2002 of the Draft Cooperation Plan for Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of an Northern Gas Pipeline Project, which outlines how these various bodies will work together. The Plan was put out for public comment for 60 days, after which comments were collated, analyzed and incorporated into a final Cooperation Plan, to be forwarded to the Minister of IAND in April 2002. This document and the responses to the Draft Cooperation Plan from various organizations, departments and First Nations groups are posted on the MVEIRB Web site .

A Working Group of the Chairs' Committee is developing a set of common information requirements and terms of reference for an environmental impact screening assessment of a pipeline project application. This work began in January 2002 and is carrying on into the new fiscal year.

3.4 Land Use Planning

The Agreement created a legal requirement for a land use plan to promote conservation and sustainable development in the GSA. The Gwich'in Land Use Plan: Nành' Geenjit Gwitr'it T'igwaa'in, Working for the Land, was completed in 1999. The Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board (GLUPB) produced and distributed 200 copies of the Plan to the Gwich'in communities, Gwich'in regional and industry organizations, and government. The Land Use Plan was approved by both the GTC and GNWT in 1999.

The federal government is the final signatory to the Land Use Plan and is unable to approve it. The government, as represented by the Minister of IAND, has expressed a concern because of the incompatibility between the provisions of the Land Use Plan and the Canada Mining Regulations. In November, representatives of the GLUPB and GTC met with the Minister to discuss solutions that would allow federal approval of the Plan. An agreement was reached and outlined in a subsequent letter from the Minister to the GLUPB. The key points of this communication included:

It is anticipated that the Land Use Plan will be approved in the 2002-2003 fiscal period.

Return to Table of Contents 

4. Implementation Committee

The Implementation Committee is composed of senior officials representing each of the parties.

Committee members in 2001-2002 were Fred Carmichael, President, GTC, who was represented by Alex Benitah, Implementation Coordinator; Mark Warren, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, GNWT; and Aideen Nabigon, Director, Implementation Management Directorate, INAC, Government of Canada.

Pursuant to section 28.2 of the Agreement, the Committee is responsible for:

During the year, the Committee met three times, in Yellowknife on April 26, 2001, Inuvik on August 14 and 15, 2001, and Ottawa on December 19, 2001.

4.1 Five-year General Review of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan

The Implementation Committee continued to resolve the 20 outstanding issues identified in the Five-Year General Review of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan. Currently, 11 issues have been resolved. Several issues are ongoing in nature and in 2001-2002, the Implementation Committee worked on the following:

Issue 3 – Support of the traditional economy and encouragement of the employment of Gwich'in.

The members of the Implementation Committee, along with members of the Sahtu Implementation Committee and the Economic Measures Working Group, federal and territorial government representatives and individuals designated by the Gwich'in, met in Inuvik on November 21-23, 2001 to review the effectiveness of government programs related to the economic measures provisions of the Agreement.

Issue 4 – Settlement Area Harvest Study

The Implementation Committee approved the reallocation of $35,000 from the GLWB to the GRRB to continue the Gwich'in Settlement Area Harvest Study (SAHS) in the 2001-2002 fiscal year. In its discussion of this funding request, the Committee agreed with the GRRB proposal to extend the SAHS past its initial seven-year period to the end of the 2001-2002 fiscal year.

Issue 12 – Summary page outlining roles and responsibilities of federal departments.

On April 26, 2001, the Implementation Committee approved and signed amendments to the Implementation Plan that summarize the roles, responsibilities and obligations of federal government departments under the Agreement.

Issue 19 – Communication and Information Strategy.

The Implementation Committee began work on developing terms of reference for a CD-ROM presentation in order to communicate the Agreement to Gwich'in communities and the public. It agreed to develop a pilot project targeted to school-aged children, possibly adapting the presentation, if successful, to a wider audience.

4.2 Renewal of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan

Further to the recommendation of the Implementation Committee, the parties to the Agreement initiated discussions on the renewal of the Implementation Plan for the next implementation period. The current Implementation Plan expires on December 22, 2002. Although the Committee addressed some negotiation funding issues at its April meeting, most of the discussions on the renewal of the Implementation Plan took place between the leads designated by the GTC, GNWT and Government of Canada.

4.3 Digital Topographical Information

In December 1999, the GTC requested digital topographical information (maps) from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in order to build a foundation for a land management system in the GSA. As a result of discussions at Implementation Committee meetings, the Government of Canada agreed in 2001-2002 to provide funding for the GTC to purchase this information from NRCan through a three-year renewable subscription agreement. The GLWB and GLUPB were included as recipients in this subscription agreement, entitling these boards to receive the same information as the GTC.

4.4 Other Activities

The Implementation Committee was active in other areas, including:

Return to Table of Contents 

5. Implementing Bodies

The Agreement provides for the establishment of implementing bodies responsible for managing wildlife resources, conducting environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and reviews of development proposals, planning and regulating land and water use, resolving issues relating to surface entry and compensation, settling disputes related to the interpretation of the Agreement and determining eligibility for participation as beneficiaries of the Agreement. The Implementation Plan sets out the membership, functions and time frames for the establishment of each implementing body.

The Gwich'in Arbitration Panel, GLWB, GLUPB, GRRB, Renewable Resource Councils (RRCs) and MVEIRB are operational. Current membership of these implementing bodies, excluding the RRCs, is listed in Appendix 1.

Chapter 26 of the Agreement calls for the establishment of a Surface Rights Board through separate legislation. This quasi-judicial body will have jurisdiction to resolve disputes between landowners and holders of surface or subsurface commercial interests over entry to the lands and compensation for their use. The Board will consist of members residing in the NWT, and when dealing with Gwich'in lands, it shall act through a panel of its members, at least one of whom shall be a resident of the GSA. Because the Surface Rights Board has yet to be created by legislation, relevant surface rights disputes in the GSA may be referred to the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel.

5.1 Gwich'in Arbitration Panel

Chapter 6 of the Agreement provides for the establishment of the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel to resolve disputes that arise during the implementation of the Agreement.

The Arbitration Panel has not been called upon to arbitrate any disputes since its inception. Panel members did not meet in 2001-2002.

5.2 Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board

The GLUPB is responsible for developing and implementing a land use plan for the GSA and for reviewing and proposing approvals, exceptions and amendments to the plan. The Gwich'in Land Use Plan will provide for the conservation, development and utilization of land, resources and waters for the benefit of all Canadians, with special attention devoted to the needs of the Gwich'in.

In 2001-2002, the Board continued discussions with INAC and the GTC to resolve INAC's concerns with respect to the conflict between the Land Use Plan and the Canada Mining Regulations. Agreement was reached between the parties, resulting in the Board making some revisions to the Land Use Plan.

Other activities of the Board included:

5.3 Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board

Board operations

The GRRB, created pursuant to section 12.8 of the Agreement, completed its eighth year of operation. The Board's mandate is to ensure the sustainable use of wildlife, fish and forests so they are available today as well as for future generations. The Board has successfully conducted several research and management projects. As a regional public board responsible for renewable resource management in the GSA, it has ensured that the public is involved in renewable resource management programs and has established a good working relationship with other IPGs and government agencies. The Board meets twice a year in one of the Gwich'in communities. During these regular meetings, the Board also meets with the RRCs to discuss local concerns about renewable resource management.

Research and Management Projects

To gather current information on renewable resources in the GSA from which to make informed management decisions, the Board allocated $220,500 to 19 research and management projects. Funded projects included:

By working closely with the RRCs and government agencies, the Board is working toward long-term sustainable use and conservation of wildlife, fish and forestry resources. The Board worked with the RRCs on several community-based research projects to address local resource management concerns and to build local capacity in the area of resource research and management. The Board ensured that community members were involved in the approval of research and management programs and in field research. Community field assistants made a valuable contribution to research projects.

Renewable Resource Management

Planning for sustainable use of wildlife, fish and forests today and in the future has been a major focus of the Board and staff. Renewable resource management planning allows communities, the Board and agencies the opportunity to determine how resources will be used and managed to ensure that they will be available for today's and future generations. Previously, the Board assumed a lead role in completing the grizzly bear management plan in the GSA. The Board will continue to work on resource management plans to identify resource use priorities, concerns and management needs. The GRRB worked with communities to allow resident and guided sport hunting in the GSA. Forest management planning has focused on establishing forest monitoring plots and planning for future research.

Settlement Area Harvest Study

The SAHS has been ongoing for six years. It will allow the GRRB to protect Gwich'in hunting, fishing and trapping by setting the Gwich'in Minimum Needs Level, and will provide information for renewable resource management. The SAHS relies on the participation of Gwich'in living in the GSA. To provide an incentive for participants, the Study includes a contest with monthly prizes awarded in each community. Harvest information is displayed in RRC offices so community members can see the results as they become available.

The GRRB requested additional funding from the Implementation Committee to continue the SAHS past June 2001. In winter 2001, the Committee reallocated $35,000 from surplus funds held by the GLWB. The GRRB felt it was important to continue the Study since it is a good community monitoring program and will provide valuable information during the current period of oil and gas exploration. No funds have been identified for the SAHS beyond the 2001-2002 fiscal year.

Gwich'in Environmental Knowledge Project

The Gwich'in Environmental Knowledge Project produced a second book, containing an additional 20 wildlife and fish species. A book launch was held in Fort McPherson in September, when the Board held its regular fall meeting.

Further work was completed on the traditional/ local knowledge database. The use of this database by the GRRB staff and external organizations is increasing.

Education and Training

A major component of the GRRB's operations has been the education and training of Gwich'in beneficiaries in renewable resource research and management. The Board has continued or initiated several programs, including:

Working Together to Take Care of the Land

The Agreement requires that the GRRB work with Gwich'in and government agencies to ensure responsible renewable resource management. The GRRB has established good working relationships with the IPGs in the GSA and in other land claim areas.

The RRCs are the foundation of renewable resource management in the GSA. As such, the GRRB has worked closely with the RRCs to ensure their involvement in renewable resource research and decision making. The GRRB has also worked with the RRCs and GTC to advance renewable resource management in the GSA and looks forward to continued collaboration with these bodies in the future.

5.4 Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board

The MVEIRB is the IPG mandated under the MVRMA to conduct environmental assessment and review of development projects in the Mackenzie Valley. The Board's jurisdiction applies to all lands in the NWT, excluding the ISR and Wood Buffalo National Park. The MVRMA replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) in the Mackenzie Valley, except under specific circumstances.

Staffing and Location

The Board's office in Yellowknife houses a staff of eight, including an executive director, three environmental assessment officers, finance and administrative officer, a traditional knowledge coordinator, a communications officer and the Board secretary.

Environmental Assessments

The Board completed eight environmental assessments in the 2001-2002 fiscal year and placed a ninth on hold because of INACtivity by the company. At year end, it had one active ongoing assessment, the DeBeers Canada Mining Snap Lake underground mining development.

The assessments completed in 2001-2002 included:

The following environmental assessments were also completed and were waiting for ministerial approval at year end:

The Robinson's Trucking Ltd.'s Drybones Bay gravel quarry was initially referred for environmental assessment in March, but was put on hold by the MVEIRB since the company decided not to proceed with the project at that time. As well, Canadian Forest Oil Ltd.'s Fort Liard 2D and 3D seismic development was referred in October, but the company withdrew its permit applications before the environmental assessment was initiated.

Site Visits

The Board made a site visit in July to the DeBeers Canada Mining Ltd.'s proposed underground diamond mining development at Snap Lake.

In August, the Board visited Canadian Zinc Corporation's Prairie Creek mine site near the Nahanni National Park Reserve to view the proposed development.

Board Activities

Board members participated in 10 board meetings and 15 teleconferences during the year, including a regularly scheduled meeting and community open house in Inuvik.

Strategic Planning

In December, the Board initiated an internal strategic planning exercise to determine its future directions. This threeday workshop also developed the mission, vision and values of the Board. The resulting strategic planning document set the groundwork for the development of a three-year business plan, consisting of an expenditure plan geared to the anticipated activity resulting from the proposed application for a Mackenzie Valley pipeline and a work plan for submission during the 2002-2003 budget year.

The Board members developed five key goals for the organization. These are to:


In August, the chair and executive director met with the Implementation Committee in Inuvik to discuss the Board's budget and the 10 year review of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan.

INAC provided supplementary funding to all northern boards for participation in the ongoing work of the Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee. This funding allowed the MVEIRB to work on this important issue without it having a great impact on the Board's budget.

The Board established a Finance Committee to help the staff with the budgeting process and to provide an ongoing oversight function.

Environmental Assessment Guidelines

The MVEIRB held a workshop with EIA practitioners in September on its revised Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment in the Mackenzie Valley. As a result of this successful workshop, a work plan was initiated to complete these guidelines in cooperation with other stakeholders. The workshop was jointly funded by INAC, MVLWB and MVEIRB.

The Board revised its draft Rules of Procedure for Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Review Proceedings and formally adopted these rules in March, after publishing notification in the Canada Gazette in December.

The Board continued its work on the Generic Terms of Reference for the Environmental Assessment of Oil and Gas Developments in the Mackenzie Valley.

The MVEIRB also began to develop a discussion paper on socio-economic impact assessment. This document and a public consultation process will be used to develop socioeconomic guidelines for environmental assessments.

The Board has a seat on the Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Framework (CEAMF) Steering Committee which comprises various government departments and Aboriginal organizations. This group has been developing a framework to define cumulative assessment in the NWT.

The various documents referenced here are available on the Board's Web site .

Board Training

The Board undertook training in oil and gas issues in April. This training was a joint effort with members of the MVLWB. Presentations were made by the Alberta Energy Utilities Board, the Alberta Natural Resources Conservation Board, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and independent consultants. CAPP arranged for site visits to familiarize Board members with oil and gas facilities in the Calgary area.

Board Relations Secretariat

The Board participated in a workshop hosted by INAC in November for northern assessment and regulatory boards and assisted in developing the terms of reference for a Board Relations Secretariat.

Transboundary Cooperation Agreements

Board staff discussed cooperation agreements with other regulatory agencies and boards operating adjacent to the Mackenzie Valley, namely the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Environmental Impact Review Board for the ISR, and the Alberta Natural Resources Conservation Board. These agreements set out how the respective boards will cooperate with each other in dealing with transboundary environmental assessments. This process is separate from the Draft Cooperation Plan for the proposed Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.


The MVEIRB began to develop traditional knowledge guidelines for environmental assessments.

Board members and staff attended or made presentations at 18 workshops, committees, symposia and conferences during the year.

The Next 12 Months

In addition to the MVEIRB's environmental assessment activities, work will continue on the discussion paper on socio-economic impact assessment. A workshop on traditional knowledge in the environmental assessment process is planned for November 2002, to assist in the finalization of MVEIRB guidelines in this area.

5.5 Gwich'in Land and Water Board

The GLWB is the regulatory authority identified under the Agreement and is given effect by the MVRMA to regulate land and water use throughout the GSA.

The mandate of the Board is to provide for conservation, development and utilization of land and water resources in the GSA in a manner that will provide the optimum benefit for present and future residents of the GSA, the Mackenzie Valley and all Canadians. The MVRMA authorizes the Board to regulate the use of land and water by issuing, amending, renewing and suspending land use permits and water licences throughout the GSA, including all Crown, Gwich'in and other private lands.

The Board consists of five members. The GTC nominates two members, and two members are nominated by the GNWT and Government of Canada. The four members then nominate a chair. All members are appointed by the Government of Canada for a three-year term.

GLWB staff include an executive director, geographic information system (GIS) technician, land and water technician and office manager.

In fiscal year 2001-2002, 10 land use permits and one water licence application were received and processed.

Return to Table of Contents 

6. Gwich'in Tribal Council

The GTC is the organization mandated by the Agreement to represent Gwich'in beneficiaries on the Implementation Committee and to ensure the protection of Gwich'in rights and interests, as outlined in the Agreement. Since its incorporation in 1992, the GTC has made steady progress in establishing an integrated resource management framework in the Mackenzie Valley, as required by the Agreement. Some of the GTC's key implementation activities are described below.

6.1 Enrolment Board

The Enrolment Board became operational in March 1993. The GTC became responsible for the Board on December 22, 1997. The Board is responsible for enrolling all suitable persons of Gwich'in ancestry in the Agreement, in accordance with Chapter 4. Only those enrolled in the Agreement are entitled to run for office, vote and participate in the activities of the GTC, its subsidiaries and affiliates, or to receive money in future payouts. In April 1994, the first Enrolment Registry listed 1,245 beneficiaries. This number has increased to 2,500, as of March 2002.

The Enrolment Coordinator distributes and receives applications under section 4.2.1 of the Agreement and presents them to the Board, which meets three times a year. Applications accepted by the Board are then processed by the Enrolment Coordinator. A certificate of enrolment is prepared, and a Gwich'in enrolment card is issued for each beneficiary. These documents include picture identification and the individual's registered enrolment number.

Issuing enrolment cards has an additional benefit. As part of the increased global airport security measures, airlines now require photo ID from all passengers. Beneficiaries from all the GSA communities can take advantage of this service in Inuvik, when preparing for air travel.

As a result of the work updating the Enrolment Registry since October, Christmas hampers were successfully delivered to beneficiaries. Updating includes adding beneficiaries living outside the GSA. Keeping the Registry up to date will remain a major part of the Enrolment Board's work, as people move, marry, have children and die.

In March, the GTC approved the permanent relocation of the Board from Fort McPherson to Inuvik.

6.2 Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Framework

In December 1999, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of IAND committed to the creation of a framework to aid in the development of cumulative effects assessment management for the NWT. A working group, the CEAMF Steering Committee, comprised of Aboriginal government, industry and non-governmental representatives, was struck to formulate a work plan to assist in the creation of this framework. The GTC was one of the original members of the working group.

In January 2001, the GTC withdrew from the Steering Committee since its representative felt that the Committee had exceeded its mandate as originally established by the Ministers of IAND and the Environment. In the following July, the Steering Committee sent a letter to the GTC reaffirming that the CEAMF would not, and could not, supersede land claim and self-government agreements. The letter also confirmed the importance of fully implementing Part VI of the MVRMA. Based on this information, the GTC resumed its active role on the CEAMF Steering Committee.

Over the past fiscal year, the CEAMF Steering Committee has completed some important tasks, including a discussion paper entitled "Lessons Learned, Gaps and Challenges", and a draft "Blueprint for Implementing the CEAMF". These documents describe challenges and make recommendations to accomplishing cumulative effects assessment in the NWT. The GTC will continue to take an active role in the CEAMF process. The next fiscal year will set the stage for developing and implementing regional plans of action, as well as supporting land claims processes established under the MVRMA.

6.3 Consultations on the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act

The Government of Canada, the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Yukon Government continue to draft a new Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act. The GTC commented on the May draft. During that review the GTC's main concern was to obtain the right of nomination to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. To date, this request has not been granted.

An Implementation Plan is being developed to assist in the implementation of the proposed Act. The GTC is primarily concerned about the establishment of assessment districts as described in that Plan. The GTC is advocating the inclusion of both the Primary and Secondary Use Areas of the Yukon within the same assessment district.

6.4 Yukon Devolution Transfer Agreement

The Yukon Devolution Transfer Agreement, negotiated between the Government of Canada, the Yukon Council of First Nations and the Yukon Government, will devolve the Government of Canada's responsibility for resource management to the Yukon Government. The Devolution Transfer Agreement includes the responsibility for jurisdiction of the Primary and Secondary Use Areas which were negotiated in the Agreement.

The Yukon Act was approved by Parliament in January, ensuring that the Devolution Transfer Agreement will take effect in April 2003. The GTC is presently opposed to the Devolution Transfer Agreement as it was not invited to the core negotiations table, nor was it consulted as per the definition of consultation found in the Land Claim Agreement or in the Delgamuukw Supreme Court of Canada decision. The GTC will conduct a legal review of the devolution transfer process in the coming fiscal year and may take action, as appropriate.

6.5 Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations

During the year, the Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations Office (Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations Office) continued intensive discussions in the communities on the contents of the AIP and the tasks required to complete a Final Agreement. The negotiators concentrated on preparing for Final Agreement negotiations and clarifying interpretation problems with the AIP. Internal organizational issues also preoccupied the Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations Office in terms of hiring staff required for negotiations, supporting community capacity building and training initiatives, implementing a communications strategy, and providing administrative and executive support.

Draft Self-Government Agreement-In-Principle

In October, negotiators for the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit, the Government of Canada, and GNWT initialled a draft selfgovernment AIP which recognizes new law-making and administrative powers for new and restructured governments in the Beaufort-Delta region. A signed AIP will set the foundation for continued negotiations leading to a Final Agreement.

The AIP provides for the establishment of a new public government structure, which will also provide guaranteed representation for Gwich'in and Inuvialuit. Eight public community governments would replace the existing municipal councils. There would also be one public regional government (the Beaufort-Delta Regional Government) to serve and represent all residents, with guaranteed representation for Gwich'in and Inuvialuit. At the regional level, a Gwich'in government and an Inuvialuit government would exist.

The AIP contains 29 chapters, covering areas where Beaufort-Delta governments would share or assume new responsibilities and authorities over a wide range of programs and services, including culture and language, education, out-of-school care, local government operations, training, health care, income support, child and family services, adoption, and other matters. Self-government will establish new relationships among people and governments. It means being able to:

With guaranteed representation on community public governments, greater flexibility in financial arrangements, and the ability to raise revenues, allowing communities to set their own priorities and plan for the future, the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit can make more productive choices and thereby become less dependent on government programs and services and strengthen their cultures and languages.

The next 5 to 10 years may see a marked increase in resource exploration and development and possibly a gas pipeline. Many people will find employment and business opportunities, but families and communities will also experience many negative social and cultural impacts. However, greater control over government programs and services will allow the Gwich'in to create their own solutions and be better prepared to address the negative impacts of major resource development.


Community Workshops

Workshops in each of the eight Beaufort-Delta communities provided a general overview of the AIP and provided an opportunity for the communities to identify activities needed to prepare for, and complete, the Final Agreement. Nineteen workshops were held (including a special one at the request of the Fort McPherson community Elders), with focused themes on constitutions and core laws, priorities and planning, and organizational structure and financing.

Regional Meetings

Two leadership meetings were held which focussed on reviewing the AIP and task identification, prioritization and implementation strategies. A special conference on community justice was held, hosted by the Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations Office in collaboration with the Community Justice Committees, which also included a review of the AIP provisions and upcoming activities.

Regional Management Committee

The Regional Management Committee comprises senior GNWT managers involved in the self-government process. Through workshops, the Committee members have developed a better understanding and awareness of the AIP, a basic work plan and a closer working relationship with the Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations Office negotiators.

A closer working relationship may yield the following benefits:


The Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations Office developed information packages for the community self-government field workers to deliver to each household in the region. These packages include summaries of the AIP, posters, brochures and a video and slide presentation, outlining the various components of the AIP.

Upcoming Activities

Future communications activities include training for the field workers.

To complete the Final Agreement, communities will be required to develop:

To assist the communities in the above tasks, workshops will be held with community members and leaders, followed by practical training and capacity building initiatives.

Capacity-Building Tools

The Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations Office began the development of a Community Development Instructor/Facilitator Manual to assist field workers, community development workers and negotiation staff in the facilitation of community development, capacity building and training activities.

Self-Government Training Subcommittee

A Regional Education and Training Committee has reviewed the draft AIP and formed a subcommittee to collaborate and cooperate on training initiatives to reduce duplications and maximize the delivery of training to community staff and residents. The Committee held one meeting in 2001-2002, and it has initiated the development of comprehensive assessment tools to determine the future training needs for self-government and identify opportunities to deliver training within the region.

Territorial Initiatives

The Aboriginal Summit is a coalition of territorial Aboriginal governments (Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, GTC, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, Dogrib Treaty 11, etc) that has agreed to work together on issues affecting their membership. As well, the Inter-Governmental Forum (IGF), which includes the Government of Canada, GNWT and leaders of the Aboriginal Summit, meet to discuss territory-wide issues.


A great deal of interest was expressed by the IGF in the transfer of authority for land and resources to the GNWT. These discussions built on the Memorandum of Intent on Devolution and Resource Revenue Sharing, which was endorsed in May. The mandate to negotiate devolution was approved by the Aboriginal Summit leadership in February.

Financing Governments

The Aboriginal Summit is working to reshape the current financial arrangements within the NWT. It is developing a territorial financial model that could be used to restructure financial arrangements as a result of self-government agreements or a devolution agreement.

Discussions between the Aboriginal Summit and the GNWT on the financing of governments focused on gaining a better understanding of a post self-government and devolution fiscal relationship between governments. It is anticipated that these bilateral discussions will result in a proposal to the federal government that may require changes to the funding approaches for both the GNWT and Aboriginal/public governments in the North.

Capacity Building

Capacity building discussions included the financial/ organizational capacity of Aboriginal governments to assume land claim and self-government responsibilities, educational and training requirements, and informationsharing and joint research.

Economic Development

Future activities of the Aboriginal Summit aimed at improving government policy in the delivery of economic development programs may include:

6.6 Implementation Plan Renegotiations

The existing Implementation Plan for the Agreement, signed in 1992, will expire on December 22, 2002. Chapter 28 of the Agreement requires that the Implementation Committee deliberate on, and make recommendations for, the implementation of the Agreement beyond the initial 10 year period.

In July 2001, the GTC, Government of Canada and GNWT began negotiating a new Plan for the next implementation period. The negotiators met monthly to discuss obligations currently not being fully implemented and the need for new financial resources for the operation of all implementing bodies.

In February, the GTC submitted the financial requirements of all Gwich'in organizations for the next five years, as well as discussion documents on issues considered problematic. As of March 31, 2002, the Government of Canada has not responded to the GTC submissions.

6.7 Resource Management

The GTC resource manager is responsible for ensuring that Gwich'in community interests are included in resource management activities within and around the GSA. The Agreement requires that all specified rights be integrated into these resource management activities. This process includes developing and maintaining working relationships on all resource management issues with all Gwich'in organizations, non-governmental organizations, the GNWT and the Yukon Government. Projects initiated or continued during the year dealt with wildlife and forest management and issues of political overlap.

Wildlife Management

The GTC Resource Management Department participated in all phases of both the GNWT's and the Yukon Governments' Wildlife Act processes. The GTC was a member of the NWT Wildlife Aboriginal Advisory Group, which produced recommendations to the Minister of RWED on wildlife issues for the new NWT Wildlife Act. The GTC was actively involved in the land claim integration component of this Act.

The GTC also participated in processes relating to both the GNWT's and the Yukon Governments' development of Species at Risk legislation.

At the regional level, the Resource Management Department continued to work on initiatives with territorial governments, First Nations governments and the GRRB. These initiatives included management plans for grizzly bear, caribou and Dall sheep and continued implementation of Dall sheep sport hunting in the GSA.

Forest Management

The GTC, in collaboration with RWED and the GRRB, continued to work on producing a Forest Management Plan. During the year, considerable progress was made on this Plan.

Political Overlap Issues

The Gwich'in have traditional harvesting areas that overlap into other settled land claim areas, including the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Sahtu Settlement Area, Vuntut Gwich'in Settlement Area and Nacho Nyak Dun Settlement Area. Overlap agreements on harvesting and wildlife management are required. The Resource Management Department has taken a lead role in developing these overlap agreements.

Renewable Resource Councils

The RRCs were established through designated Gwich'in organizations in each of the four communities. Their roles are to promote local involvement in renewable and nonrenewable resource management. During the year, the RRCs assisted the GRRB with wildlife and forest management activities. The RRCs were actively involved in the consultation process on oil and gas development in the GSA. Finally, the RRCs began to develop individual five-year strategic plans.

Environmental Contaminants

The Gwich'in have strong ties to the land and still consume traditional foods. In most cases, traditional food is the main staple of the Gwich'in diet. Because of concerns about contaminants from long-range and local sources entering the food chain through fish, beaver and muskrats, the GTC decided to participate in the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), which is conducting research on this issue. Further studies are needed to address environmental contaminants, and communication activities are needed to disseminate information to the Gwich'in. The NCP increased public awareness of its activities through presentations at RRC meetings. Through the testing of fish, muskrats and beaver for contaminants, Gwich'in were assured that the fish are safe to eat. The NCP is very important to the Gwich'in because of their continued reliance on traditional foods. The Gwich'in foresee many opportunities for future projects funded through the NCP.

The GTC's Environmental Contaminants Coordinator focused on participating in community-initiated studies of contaminant levels in traditional foods. This work involved attendance at community meetings to hear concerns and pass on information on contaminant issues. The Coordinator participated in all local-source contaminant issues in the GSA, including the collection and testing of muskrat, beaver and fish species and the remediation of an abandoned Shell Oil exploration site. The Coordinator also participated in, and provided information to the Gwich'in on other federal environmental programs, including those on climate change, CEAMF, CIMP, and the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment process. In the upcoming year, the focus of the Coordinator will be the development of programs to collect baseline data from the GSA, and consultation with the RRCs. The results of these consultations will be used to develop proposals for submission to the NCP.

6.8 Gwich'in Land Administration

The administration, management and control of Gwich'in lands is the responsibility of the GTC, in accordance with section 18.1.6 of the Agreement. Activities on Gwich'in lands include gravel pits/rock quarries; oil and gas exploration; development and reclamation; timber harvesting in its several forms; scientific research; recreational access, ranging from casual hikers to long-term cottagers; and government access, ranging from military exercises to gravel road maintenance.

During the year, the number of GTC land use activities rose considerably from those in previous years. The GTC undertook the following activities:

6.9 Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute

The GSCI is the language and cultural arm of the GTC. The Institute is currently responsible for implementing the GTC's obligations under Chapter 25 of the Agreement and Chapter 9 in Appendix C of the Agreement.

Gwich'in Language Plan

Projects for implementing the Gwich'in Language Plan included piloting a two-week language immersion summer camp on the land for students and Elders from Tsiigehtchic and the inclusion of sewing terms and animal and bird names in the Gwich'in Dictionary. The GTC staff involved with the Language Plan increased their proficiency in the Gwich'in language, attended conferences on Aboriginal languages and held workshops to create new teaching materials. A Master's degree student in linguistics at the University of Victoria assisted the staff at the immersion camp and assisted with the development of Gwich'in grammar. This work will be included in future editions of the Gwich'in Dictionary.

Repatriation and Replication of Gwich'in Traditional Clothing Project

Gwich'in seamstresses in Aklavik, Inuvik, Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic and Yellowknife continued to replicate five sets of a man's traditional caribou skin outfit worn during the late 19th century. The replicas are based on clothing currently housed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. This project, which began in December of 2000, is a partnership between the GSCI and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Of the five outfits, two have been completed to date, one is almost complete and two require substantial work. All the outfits are expected to be completed by the end of June 2002, in time for presentation at the GTC Assembly later in the summer. Once completed, one outfit will be on display in Yellowknife at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. The other four outfits will be on display in the Gwich'in communities.

Gwich'in Place Names Project

Several hundred place names previously recorded with Gwichya Gwich'in Elders, as well as their corresponding oral history and land-based information, were entered into a computer database by the GSCI heritage researcher. This database will enable the GSCI to develop educational materials for the schools and more efficiently review land use permit applications for possible impacts on heritage resources in the Gwichya Gwich'in traditional land use area.

Gwich'in Elder's Biographies Research Project

A Master's degree student from Trent University, in Ontario, worked with Gwich'in interpreters to interview 17 Gwich'in Elders during the summer. A student in the community of Tsiigehtchic was employed to type the transcripts of the audio taped interviews. From these transcribed interviews, 13 short biographical stories were written that will be used in the production of the 2003 Elders Biographies Calendar. This calendar will be on sale by mid-June 2002. Longer versions of the biographical stories will be used for a future publication by the GSCI.

Fort McPherson National Historic Site Project

Fort McPherson was designated a National Historic Site (NHS) in 1969, and a commemorative plaque was erected on the site in 1977 explaining the reasons for the designation. The designation, however, makes no mention of the Teetl'it Gwich'in. Recognizing this gap, the GSCI, in partnership with Parks Canada and a PhD student from the University of Alberta, worked with the Fort McPherson NHS Steering Committee to expand the current designation to include the Teetl'it Gwich'in perspective. A series of oral history interviews about the significance of the site were carried out, and a report was then drafted that recommended a new plaque be written and erected at the site. The Committee also identified other possible places for NHS commemoration within the Teetl'it Gwich'in traditional land use area. Commemorations at these locations will be pursued in the new fiscal year.

Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site Project

 GSCI staff worked with Parks Canada and the Gwich'in GIS office to produce a digital map that includes place names and other heritage resources pertinent to the Nagwichoonjik NHS designation. The map was used by the Nagwichoonjik Steering Committee to determine a boundary for the site. In January, the Committee decided on a 5 kilometre boundary on both sides of the river, for the full extent of the site which stretches for 175 kilometres along the Mackenzie River from Thunder River to Point Separation. The proposed boundary has been forwarded to the GTC for approval, and then it will be formally submitted to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Once the boundary has been approved, the Commemorative Integrity Statement can be completed, and a management plan and cost-sharing agreement can be negotiated between the Gwich'in and Parks Canada.

Gwichya Gwich'in History Book

Upon receipt of this book from the printer in July, it was noted that numerous printing errors had occurred as a result of a new paper and ink combination. The printers have reprinted the book, at their cost, and it is expected the books will be available by early June 2002. Once they are received, an official book launch in the community of Tsiigehtchic will celebrate the book's release. The book will be available for sale at this event.

Gwich'in Ethnobotany Book

The Gwich'in Ethnobotany Book was published in partnership with the Aurora Research Institute in June. A reprint of this publication is under consideration owing to its popularity.

Gwich'in Science Camp

The GSCI offered its sixth annual on-the-land traditional knowledge and western science camp for 10 senior high school students in the GSA from September 7 to 16, 2002, at the Tl'oondih Healing Camp near Fort McPherson. Instructors attending the camp included Gwich'in Elders and professionals drawn from the GNWT, Gwich'in organizations, IPGs and the private sector in the fields of anthropology, biology, geography and political science. Seamstresses were on hand to teach the skills involved in making traditional Gwich'in caribou skin clothing.

Gwich'in Volunteer Storybook

The GSCI, in collaboration with the GNWT's MACA researched and produced the book I-itsiila-ii Oozri-' Ha-h – A Bell With A Name; the story of Eva and Hugh Colins' wedding at the Mouth of Peel in 1999. This book, which includes both Gwich'in and English story text and has colourful drawings, is aimed at grades 3 to 6, and has been judged a huge success. It was written to celebrate 2001 as the International Year of the Volunteer.

Gwich'in Traditional Knowledge Policy

The GSCI has a working draft of the Gwich'in Traditional Knowledge Policy. Once the GTC approves this draft in principle, it will be made available to the public as a guide for all traditional knowledge work to be carried out in the GSA.

 GSCI Strategic Analysis and Five-Year Business Plan

RT & Associates were hired by the GSCI to complete its strategic analysis and five-year business plan. During February and March, numerous interviews were conducted with individuals and groups regarding the future direction of the GSCI. A draft report is currently being prepared to review what the GSCI has done since its incorporation in 1992, describe what work it is capable of doing if support is forthcoming, and outline future staffing and building needs.

Other Activities

The GSCI continued to review land and water applications on behalf of the GLWB and the GLA. The GSCI also reviewed research licence applications received from Aurora Research Institute. For all applications, the GSCI provided advice on their possible impact on heritage resources in the GSA as well as suggestions to Aurora Research Institute for research to be provided in accordance with the draft Gwich'in Traditional Knowledge Policy.

Return to Table of Contents 

7. Government of the Northwest Territories

The GNWT performed various implementation activities pursuant to the Gwich'in Agreement, Implementation Plan and related funding agreements.

7.1 Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs

The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs worked closely with the GTC, federal government and GNWT officials and the various implementing bodies established pursuant to the Agreement. The Ministry coordinated the implementation activities of all GNWT departments, prepared regular status reports for the Implementation Committee and prepared the GNWT component of this annual report.

A Ministry official actively participated as the GNWT representative on the Implementation Committee, dealing with such issues as the economic measures three-year review, communications, board funding requests, the SAHS, the reallocation of implementation resources, and the Gwich'in Implementation Plan renegotiations.

In conjunction with Implementation Committee meetings held in Yellowknife in April, Ministry officials coordinated a joint Gwich'in/Sahtu Implementation Committee workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss operating procedures and the need for a formal procedures manual for the Implementation Committee.

Ministry officials, on behalf of the GNWT, coordinated the three-year Economic Measures Review meeting that was held on November 21-23, 2001 in Inuvik. Four GNWT departments (RWED, Department of Education, Culture and Employment [EC&E], Department of Transportation, and Department of Public Works and Services [PW&S]) gave presentations outlining mandates and programs to support the economic measures objectives in Gwich'in and Sahtu Agreements.

In accordance with Chapter 5 and Appendix B of the Agreement, the Ministry participated in the Beaufort-Delta self-government negotiations, which are moving toward an AIP.

At the second IGF meeting in May 2001, the Minister of IAND, the Premier of the NWT, and the Aboriginal Summit endorsed a Memorandum of Intent on Devolution and Resource Revenue Sharing. The Memorandum sets out the objectives, principles, subject matters and process for future devolution talks. It further commits the parties to seek instructions and negotiators by March 31, 2002. Funding for the participation of the Aboriginal Summit members will be provided by INAC and the GNWT.

The Ministry participated in the Implementation Plan renegotiations for the period following December 22, 2002. The parties completed a technical review of the current Implementation Plan, amending activity sheets to reflect current status of implementation activities and obligations. As of March 31, 2002, the federal negotiator still did not have a financial mandate, and therefore, ongoing implementation funding for the various implementing bodies remains an outstanding issue at the table.

7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs

MACA and the GTC worked on a leasing agreement for ongoing access to the Deep Water Lake water intake facility. Water delivery by truck to the community of Fort McPherson commenced in November.

MACA paid quarterly resource royalties to the GTC and assisted the GTC in identifying beneficiaries eligible for the Homeowner's Property Tax Rebate.

7.3 Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development

 RWED continued to meet its obligations through ongoing consultation with the GTC, designated Gwich'in organizations, and RRCs. The Department also worked closely with the GRRB, GLUPB, GLWB, GSCI and Gwich'in Development Corporation. RWED promotes, assists and advises these bodies on issues of wildlife and forest management and resource and economic development.

Education, Training and Career Development

Education, training and career development continued to be departmental priorities. In support of these priorities, RWED provided assistance to various Gwich'in organizations for numerous initiatives, including youth land-based conservation programs and attendance at various business development and oil and gas workshops, conferences and symposia. The Department also invested in the GTC capacity building initiative for resource development, including a $30,000 contribution toward increased economic development capacity.

Economic Development

RWED continued to work in close cooperation and consultation with the GTC and the Gwich'in communities to support and encourage beneficiary involvement in business development and employment opportunities leading to economic self-sufficiency. The Department provided business advice, counselling and support and assisted Gwich'in businesses and individuals in gaining access to financial support from various other sources.

Forest Management

The GRRB, GTC and RWED Forest Advisory Committee met several times to discuss forest management planning in the GSA. Consultations continued with the RRCs regarding the Forest Management Plan. The Arctic Red River Incorporated Band continued to provide forest management services pursuant to the three-year negotiated contract with RWED.

NWT Wildlife Act

 RWED worked very closely with the appropriate Gwich'in organizations on drafting a new NWT Wildlife Act that reflects the Agreement and new Species at Risk legislation. RWED also worked with these Gwich'in organizations to develop draft regulations for harvesting Porcupine caribou along the Dempster Highway and drafted legislation for harvesting grizzly bears in the GSA.

Bluenose Caribou Satellite Tracking

The sixth year of the caribou satellite tracking program was completed. Maps showing the location and movement of the collared caribou were provided on a regular basis to the 12 user communities and IPGs. Animations were created to display the movements of collared animals in each herd. In cooperation with Parks Canada, RWED completed a productivity survey to estimate the number of calves born in June.

Park Master Plan

The Gwich'in Territorial Park Master Plan continued to be implemented. The Gwich'in Development Corporation was awarded a contract, valued at $390,000, to develop various park infrastructures. The work will continue through 2002-2003. The annual general maintenance contract for Gwich'in Territorial Park, valued at $21,725, was sole sourced to Chii Construction Ltd. of Inuvik. The Department continued to have a Gwich'in beneficiary in the position of seasonal parks officer.

7.4 Department of Education, Culture and Employment

EC&E was responsible for the planning, delivery and management of a broad range of employment, social, educational and cultural programs and services in the GSA, including:

The Culture, Heritage and Languages Division provided funding and professional support to the GSCI to assist it with reclaiming the knowledge and skills of making traditional skin clothing. A workshop was held in Aklavik for Gwich'in seamstresses, who are producing five sets of clothing based on examples at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The workshop provided an opportunity for the seamstresses to share knowledge and skills they acquired from the project.

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre reviewed land use permits to identify possible threats to heritage resources, provided advice on the preservation of heritage resources to a variety of agencies, and maintained and provided access to a database of traditional Aboriginal place names in the GSA.

7.5 Department of Justice

The Legal Division continued to support the implementation of the Agreement through legal advice and assistance, as required by departments. It provided advice on various matters, including access to Gwich'in lands, contracting in the GSA, resource royalty provisions in the Agreement, and the new NWT Wildlife Act and Species at Risk legislation.

7.6 Department of Public Works and Services

In support of the economic measures provisions in Chapter 10 of the Agreement, and consistent with the GNWT preferential contracting policies and procedures intended to maximize local, regional and northern employment and business opportunities, the GNWT negotiated a $37 million contract for the design and construction of the Inuvik Hospital with 4801 NWT Ltd., a joint venture company formed by the Uummarmiut Development Corporation and the Nihtat Gwich'in Development Corporation.

 PW&S awarded a sole-source contract worth $390,000 to the Gwich'in Development Corporation for Nitainlaii Territorial Park upgrades in Inuvik.

The following additional contracts were awarded to Gwich'in-owned businesses:

An additional fifty-one contracts, totaling $7,051,000, were awarded in the GSA. It was not possible to determine conclusively whether these were awarded to Gwich'in businesses, as a comprehensive list of businesses owned by beneficiaries was not available.

PW&S continued to maintain a 10 year, $195,000 per annum lease in Fort McPherson with the Fort McPherson Incorporated Band Ltd. The lease is for GNWT office space in the John Tetlichi Building.

The Inuvik Regional Superintendent and Senior Advisor of Planning presented information on departmental economic activity at the three-year Economic Measures review meeting in Inuvik in November.

7.7 Department of Transporation

The Department of Transportation and GTC agreed to develop a Pit Management Plan for the Frog Creek granular source. In the spring of 2001, the GLA asked the Department to undertake additional drilling and excavation work to delineate a larger granular deposit. This work was completed in October. The Department forwarded a draft pit management plan to the GTC in March for review and comment.

Return to Table of Contents 

8. Government of Canada  

8.1 Economic Activity and Employment

Human Resources Development Canada

Government economic activities in the GSA are structured to ensure that the traditional economy is maintained and strengthened, and to work toward the economic selfsufficiency of the Gwich'in. The GTC is a signatory to the AHRDA. This five-year contribution agreement, signed in April 1999 and extending to 2004, provides funding for labour market training for Aboriginal residents of the GSA. The agreement also provides funding for childcare initiatives to increase the supply of quality childcare services for children with working or training parents who reside in the GSA.

The AHRDA enables the Gwich'in to design and deliver a full service menu of options by integrating several Aboriginal programs, including labour market programming and services, capacity building, an urban Aboriginal component, youth programming, childcare programs and programs for persons with disabilities. Annual funding totals $923,066.

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) has an obligation to support the Agreement and Gwich'in selfgovernment aspirations through its existing programs and the AHRDA, and to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Gwich'in with respect to their operations or activities under the AHRDA. HRDC officials in the NWT communicate with Gwich'in AHRDA officials frequently to discuss operational issues, clarify and define various clauses of the AHRDA and provide advice on implementing aspects of the funding agreement. A Human Resources Centre of Canada is located in Inuvik and provides employers and job seekers with information on available programs and services provided by HRDC and the Human Resources Centre.

A representative from HRDC attended the November 2001 Economic Measures meeting and made a presentation to the parties.

Industry Canada

Industry Canada continued to deliver its Aboriginal Business Canada program in the GSA through the Métis Dene Development Fund. This program is available to all persons of Aboriginal descent. The program's strategic priorities are youth, tourism, innovation and market expansion. A presentation outlining the merits of this program was made to the parties during the November 2001 Economic Measures meeting.

Public Works and Government Services Canada

The Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) continued to provide opportunities to bid on government contracts by advertising procurement opportunities on the government electronic tendering system and by notifying all claimant groups of procurement of goods, services and construction destined for the GSA. Whenever PWGSC has a procurement opportunity that impacts on one or more of the comprehensive land claim agreements, it forwards notification to the claimant groups.

The Department provided assistance and information on the procurement process, as requested during the year, along with information on contracts. Whenever it was practical and consistent with sound procurement principles, PWGSC recommended that bid evaluation criteria be included in bid solicitations, so as to maximize socioeconomic benefits to the claimant groups.

An interdepartmental committee on contracting obligations related to the implementation of comprehensive land claim agreements was created in 2001-2002. PWGSC is a member of this committee, which will be meeting on a quarterly basis to discuss implementation issues.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

The following resources were provided by INAC to Gwich'in bands and organizations to support the traditional economy and encourage employment:

Tetlit Gwich'in Band

Gwichya Gwich'in Band

Aklavik Band

Inuvik Native Band


In addition, the GTC received $639,835 in Tribal Council funding for band governance, financial management and economic development.

8.2 Environmental and Wildlife Management

Environment Canada

From the standpoint of renewable resource management, including the operation of the GRRB, 2001-2002 was another successful year. A range of wildlife, fisheries and forestry research and monitoring projects were completed, and progress and final reports were prepared. Gwich'in beneficiaries continued to be an integral element of GRRB operations, with several training positions being funded either throughout the year or in the summer months. The GRRB participated in a number of departmental workshops and conferences.

The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) was involved in a number of activities related to management of wildlife, including representation on the SAHS. This group provides harvesting information to the GRRB. One of the outcomes of the SAHS will be the establishment of a total allowable harvest of migratory birds in the GSA. The GRRB secured the funding needed to extend the SAHS for an additional one to two years, in light of greatly increased development activity in the Mackenzie Valley.

The CWS, through its seat on the GRRB, has provided the following services:

Harvest of Migratory Game Birds

Management of Migratory Wildlife Species

Wildlife Research

Species at Risk Legislation

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has provided input on fisheries management issues through attendance at GRRB meetings, consultation on legislation and policies, and funding for a GRRB fisheries technician.

DFO continued to issue commercial fisheries licences; however, a new commercial fishing licensing regime is being considered for the GSA. The RRCs were consulted and involved in research projects required by the Agreement. Six community workers were hired, and seven meetings were attended by DFO.

From a fisheries perspective, the highlight of the fiscal year was the cooperative nature in which DFO and the GRRB worked together on the Rat River charr population.

Total DFO implementation funding for 2001-2002 was $58,900. This was directed to the Rat River monitoring, assessment and fishing plan; fisheries technician trainees; and travel, supplies and a community calendar.

The Canadian Coast Guard provided the Marine Communications and Traffic Services on the Great Slave Lake, Mackenzie River and the Western Arctic waters in the GSA from May 15 to approximately October 31, 2001. These services promote the safety of life at sea, the protection of the environment, and the safe and expeditious movement of marine transportation, by providing a maritime mobile safety radio communications service that covers Canada's Arctic waters and the Mackenzie-Athabasca Waterway system.

With respect to the land administration activities of the Coast Guard, a number of applications to renew reserves (land sites) in the GSA were pending at year end.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency continued to work with INAC to clarify the relationship between the MVRMA and the CEAA. As well, the Agency participated with federal, provincial and territorial agencies, northern boards and First Nations to develop frameworks for environmental assessments and regulatory processes for potential pipelines in the NWT.

National Energy Board

The NEB has a specific responsibility under Chapter 23 of the Agreement for the expropriation of settlement lands required for pipeline facilities and electrical transmission rights-of-way judged to be in the public convenience and of necessity. The NEB has not been required to undertake any activities under this chapter to date.

NEB staff participated in board-to-board discussions to develop the Draft Cooperation Plan of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project through the Northwest Territories. As well, NEB staff provided advice and reviewed drafts of the Regulatory Road Map Project Guide, Oil and Gas Approvals in the Northwest Territories – Gwich'in Settlement Area. This guide provides readers with descriptions and flow charts of oil and gas approval processes and the consultation requirements of various regulators, such as the NEB and GLWB. The development of the guide was funded by the CAPP and INAC. The guide was issued in February and can be found on the Internet, at .

8.3 Heritage

Canadian Heritage/Parks Canada

The Agreement provides for the active involvement of the Gwich'in in the conservation and management of Gwich'in heritage resources, as traditional culture and history are priorities to the Gwichya Gwich'in. Parks Canada worked with the GSCI to complete a Commemorative Integrity Statement for the Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site of Canada. In order to complete this statement, the boundary of the NHS must be identified and agreed to by all parties. A workshop was held in Tsiigehtchic on January 8, 2002, on this issue. Subsequently, a proposal was submitted to the Designated Place Subcommittee with a proposed 5 kilometre boundary along the 175 kilometre stretch of highway.

Parks Canada assisted the GSCI in preparing a plaque for the Nagwichoonjik NHS. The text for the plaque was approved, but the date for the unveiling ceremony is yet to be determined.

Parks Canada, Aurora College and the GSCI have completed the Gwich'in Ethnobotany Book, and the companion educational kits were completed and distributed during the year. The GSCI received funding from Parks Canada to hold a community consultation meeting in Fort McPherson to discuss the possible revision of the plaque text of the Fort McPherson National Historic Site of Canada.

Parks Canada funding for Gwich'in goods and services was $108,439 in 2001-2002. In addition to air charter services, this funding supported social and cultural institute goals.

8.4 Land and Water Management

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

The NWT regional office continued to coordinate INAC's technical input to environmental assessments undertaken by the MVEIRB. INAC also coordinated, on a ongoing basis, the input of applicable federal departments responding to the MVEIRB's determinations on environmental assessments.


The remediation of an abandoned exploration site on the Peel (Caribou) River was completed by the Gwich'in Development Corporation, with the assistance from the Yukon regional office. The $2 million cost of the clean-up was shared equally between INAC and Shell Canada. Although the site is in Yukon, the river flows into the GSA, and the site was of concern to the GTC and the Government of Canada.

The GTC received $42,000 to staff the position of a Gwich'in regional contaminants coordinator to attend to general contaminant issues within the GSA, and $14,800 to investigate contaminants in muskrat and beaver.

Sand and Gravel Resources

The NWT regional office provided quarterly reports on the quarry royalties collected in the Mackenzie Valley. No changes to the quarry royalty regime were considered.

Land and Water Use Process

The North Mackenzie district office continued to work with the GLWB in recommending terms and conditions on applications for land use permits and water licences. On an ongoing basis, the office also provided inspection services to the GLWB to ensure compliance with the terms attached to the authority.

Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program

 INAC's NWT regional office has the lead in the design of the CIMP and coordinates the CIMPWG.

Natural Resources Canada

NRCan completed all surveying activities for the Agreement, in accordance with its obligations. Plans have been recorded in the Canada Land Surveys Records and Land Titles Office, where appropriate. One plan remains unprocessed, with one survey post to be placed in the summer, 2002.

Tetlit Gwich'in

All parcels are fully surveyed, including the boundaries of any exclusions. There were 11 rural blocks and 12 sitespecific parcels surveyed, and all plans are recorded.


All parcels are surveyed: 24 municipal lands, 31 site specific parcels and 35 exclusions. Also surveyed are the portions of boundaries and intersections of boundaries with water courses.

8.5 Canada Customs and Revenue Agency

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency responsibilities under the Agreement include the provision of general information on the taxation implications for the settlement corporations, and the preparation of an information document on this topic. The draft of this information document, dealing with settlement corporations and related tax aspects, was previously completed and forwarded to the GTC. Comments have yet to be received.

8.6 Federal Coordination of Implementation Activities

The Implementation Branch (IB) of INAC coordinates the fulfilment of federal government responsibilities and obligations pursuant to the Agreement. In 2001-2002, the Branch continued to participate in the three-party Implementation Committee, to serve as a secretariat to the Committee, and to consult with the GNWT and GTC regarding the implementation of the Government of Canada's obligations under the Agreement.

The IB is responsible for maintaining regular contact with all federal government departments and agencies with respect to their implementation activities, intervening as necessary. As well, it maintains a comprehensive implementation status report in its automated Land Claims Obligations System.

The Branch continued to review the budgets of, and manage Flexible Transfer Payment funding agreements with implementing bodies during 2001-2002. The Branch consulted with implementing bodies to assess their funding requirements to year end and made recommendations on funding allocations for fiscal year 2002-2003. The IB also processed Orders-in-Council and assisted in processing ministerial appointments of individuals to various implementing bodies established pursuant to the Agreement. During the fiscal year, appointments were made to the GLUPB, MVEIRB, GLWB and GRRB.

The IB represented the Government of Canada at the renewal table of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan. Several meetings were held between the parties to the Implementation Plan during the year.

On November 21-23, 2001, the IB participated in the Economic Measures Workshop in Inuvik, and assisted with the follow-up work that resulted from this meeting.

The Branch followed up on the outstanding recommendations of the Five-Year General Review of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan. It also coordinated the preparation of the annual report for 2000-2001.

8.7 Other Implementation Activities

Protected Area Strategy

The NWT Protected Area Strategy (PAS) Implementation Advisory Committee met three times during the year. The Committee developed and adopted guideline documents for interim protection, non-renewable resource assessment and third-party compensation. The Committee consists of representatives from each regional Aboriginal organization, including the GTC, industry, environmental non-Aboriginal organizations, and federal and territorial governments. INAC continued to support the PAS Secretariat, in partnership with RWED.

Treaty Payments

The NWT regional office met with each of the four Gwich'in bands and made annual treaty payments as follows: Gwichya Gwich'in Band in Tsiigehtchic, on April 9, 2001; Tetlit Gwich'in Band in Fort McPherson, on April 10, 2001; Aklavik Band, on April 11, 2001 and Inuvik Native Band, on April 12, 2001.


Section 5.1.12 of the Agreement requires government to provide the GTC with an opportunity "to participate in any constitutional conference or similar process for reform of the constitution of the NWT". Devolution of land and resource management responsibilities to the NWT will entail an amendment to the NWT Act.

On May 22, 2001, the Minister of IAND, the Premier of the NWT, and leaders of the NWT regional organizations (which are known collectively as the Aboriginal Summit, and include the GTC) endorsed an MOU, in which they agreed to work toward establishing a formal process to negotiate the devolution of federal responsibilities over land and water resources in the NWT. All parties committed to seeking instruction by March 31, 2002, to engage in a formal devolution process. Funding for the participation of the Aboriginal Summit members in this process will be provided by INAC and the GNWT. It is expected that a framework agreement on devolution will be developed in 18 to 24 months, beginning in September 2002.

Return to Table of Contents 


Appendix 1

Membership of implementing bodies
(as of march 31, 2002)

Arbitration Panel

James Ross
Grace Blake
Willard Hagen
Richard M. Hill
Katherine Peterson, QC
Peter Ross

Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board

Bob Simpson, Chair
Fanny Greenland
Karen LeGresley Hamre
Ian McLeod
Charlie Snowshoe

Gwich'in Land and Water Board

Morris Blake, Chair
George E. John
Willard Hagen
Gerald Kisoun

Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board

Robert Charlie, Chair
Robert Alexie, Sr
Joe Benoit
Chief James Firth
Elizabeth Hansen
Paul Latour
Roger Peete


Robert Elais
Victoria Johnson
John S. Nagy
Melba Mitchell
Robert Moshenko
Norman Snowshoe

Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board

Todd Burlingame, Chair
Dan Bayha
Frank Pope
Bertha Rabesca
Charlie Snowshoe
Gordon Wray

Appendix 2

Map Of Gwich'in Settlement Area

For your information, there is a new map of the GSA which can be downloaded at the Gwich'in Tribal Council .

Gwich'in Settlement Region

Appendix 3

Schedule of capital transfer payments 1992 to 2001

The Government of Canada makes a capital transfer payment to the GTC on each anniversary of the date of the Agreement, in accordance with the schedule of payments set forth in Schedule 1 of Chapter 8. The GTC will receive its final capital transfer payment on the 15th anniversary date of the Agreement.

Capital Transfers to the GTC*
April 22, 1992
December 23, 1992
April 22, 1993
April 22, 1994
April 22, 1995
April 22, 1996
April 22, 1997
April 22, 1998
April 22, 1999
April 22, 2000
April 22, 2001
* net of negotiation loan repayments

Appendix 4

Implementation payments to the GTC, GNWT and implementing bodies
1992-1993 to 2001-2002.

The annual implementation funding amounts provided to the GTC, GNWT and implementing bodies created pursuant to the Agreement represent the Government of Canada's contribution to each body for the purpose of assisting each body to fulfill its obligations pursuant to the Agreement, Implementation Plan and related Act(s) of Parliament. The annual funding levels for the GTC, GNWT and implementing bodies are identified in the Implementation Plan.

Fiscal Year
Implementation Payments
Wildlife Studies Fund

Appendix 5

Resource royalties,
1992 to 2001

Payments with respect to resource royalties received by the Government of Canada are made to the GTC on a quarterly basis, pursuant to Chapter 9 of the Agreement.

Resource Royalties Paid to GTC

Appendix 6

Gwich'in property taxes paid
1994 to 2001

Pursuant to Chapter 22 of the Agreement, the Government of Canada agrees to pay the GNWT any real property taxes levied for 15 years from December 22, 1992, with respect to Gwich'in municipal lands. Specific information on these municipal lands is contained in Chapter 22.


Appendix 7

Web Sites

Return to Table of Contents 

Did you find what you were looking for?

What was wrong?

You will not receive a reply. Don't include personal information (telephone, email, SIN, financial, medical, or work details).
Maximum 300 characters

Thank you for your feedback

Date modified: