Archived - Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement Annual Report of The Implementation Committee April 1, 2005 - March 31, 2007
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Catalogue No. R31-9/2007
Published under the authority of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians Ottawa, 2010
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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 2012
Table of Contents
- Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations
- 1. Features of the Agreement
- 2. Highlights
- 3. Specific Issues
- 4. Implementation Committee
- 5. Implementing Bodies
- 6. Gwich'in Tribal Council
- 7. Government of the Northwest Territories
- 7.1 Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations
- 7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
- 7.3 Industry, Tourism and Investment
- 7.4 Environment and Natural Resources
- 7.5 Department of Education, Culture and Employment
- 7 6 Department of Justice
- 7.7 Department of Transportation
- 7.8 Department of Public Works and Services
- 7.9 Northwest Territories Housing Corporation
- 8. Government of Canada
- 1: Membership of Implementation Bodies
- 2: Map of Gwich'in Settlement Area
- 3: Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments, 1992-2007
- 4: Implementation Payments, 1992-1993 to 2004-2007
- 5: Resource Royalties, 1992-2006
- 6: Gwich'in Property Taxes Reimbursed to the Government of the Northwest Territories, 1994-2006
- 7: Web Site Addresses
The Implementation Committee is pleased to provide its 12th annual report on the implementation of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. This report covers 24 months from April 2005 to March 2007 (fiscal years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007).
The Implementation Committee consists of a senior official from each of the parties: the Gwich'in Tribal Council, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada. The Committee functions by consensus and serves as a forum where parties can raise issues and voice their concerns.
The role of the 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 Gwich'in Tribal Council and bodies established pursuant to the Agreement.
Implementing the Agreement presents opportunities and challenges. Progress by the Committee is being achieved through a relationship defined by mutual respect and a commitment to fulfilling the obligations set out in the Agreement. Achievements to date are the product of partners working together to meet commitments.
Original signed by
Gwich'in Tribal Council
Original signed by
Government of the Northwest Territories
Original signed by
Government of Canada
Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations
|APG||Aboriginal Pipeline Group|
|ASEP||Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (Program)|
|BCF||Billion cubic feet|
|CEDP||Community Economic Development Program|
|CEOP||Community Economic Opportunities Program|
|CIMP||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program|
|CIMPWG||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group|
|CWS||Canadian Wildlife Service|
|DAAIR||Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (NWT)|
|DFO||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|EISC||Environmental Impact Screening Committee|
|ENR||Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NWT)|
|GLUPB||Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board|
|GLWB||Gwich'in Land and Water Board|
|GRRB||Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board|
|GSA||Gwich'in Settlement Area|
|GSCI||Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute|
|GTC||Gwich'in Tribal Council|
|HRSDC||Human Resources and Skills Development Canada|
|INAC||Indian and Northern Affairs Canada|
|ITI||Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (NWT)|
|JRP||Joint Review Panel|
|MAC||Mackenzie Aboriginal Corporation|
|MACA||Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (NWT)|
|MGP||Mackenzie Gas Project|
|MVEIRB||Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board|
|MVLWB||Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board|
|MVRMA||Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act|
|NEB||National Energy Board|
|PAS||Protected Area Strategy|
|RRC||Renewable Resources Council|
|RRWG||Rat River Working Group|
|SEIF||Socio-Economic Impact Fund|
|UFA||Umbrella Final Agreement|
|WABDS||Western Arctic Business Development Services|
|YESAA||Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act|
1. Features of the Agreement
On April 22, 1992, the Gwich'in Tribal Council and the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada signed the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the accompanying Implementation Plan. The Agreement took effect on December 22, 1992.
Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement:
- Gwich'in title to 22,422 square kilometres of land in the Northwest Territories and 1,554 square kilometres of land in Yukon;
- Gwich'in wildlife harvesting rights and rights of first refusal for commercial wildlife activities;
- the establishment of institutions of public government to manage wildlife and regulate land, water and the environment;
- guaranteed Gwich'in representation on institutions of public government; and
- Gwich'in receipt of $75 million, in 1990 constant dollars, in tax-free capital transfers, which will represent $141 million over 15 years. A $7.4 million capital transfer payment was made to the Gwich'in Tribal Council on the proclamation of the Gwich'in Land Claim Settlement Act. Additional payments are made on each anniversary of the signing of the Agreement. Payments with respect to resource royalties received by government are made to the Gwich'in on a quarterly basis.
The Agreement also provides for the negotiation of agreements on self-government, which would be brought into effect through federal or territorial legislation or both.
- On the anniversary of the agreement in 2005, the Gwich'in Tribal Council received a capital transfer payment of $7,455,068. In 2006 the capital transfer payment was $5,591,301.
- Work continued on strategies and priorities for the implementation of the economic measures chapters of the Gwich'in and Sahtu land claim agreements. In September 2005, the parties agreed to undertake a strategic planning exercise to develop a focused approach for measuring and reporting on the effectiveness of programs related to the economic measures objectives of the Gwich'in and Sahtu final agreements. In April 2006, the parties met and agreed to the following tasks:
- Canada agreed to educate federal departments about the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (GCLCA) obligations, focusing on contracting obligations;
- The Gwich'in Tribal Council (GTC) agreed to educate Gwich'in communities on GCLCA obligations and government contracting policies; and
- The Government of the Northwest Territories agreed to provide a listing of its programs and training opportunities, as well as specific information on adult education upgrading.
- The regulatory hearings for the Mackenzie Gas Project got underway in 2005-2006. Both the National Energy Board and the Joint Review Panel held hearings in various communities in the Northwest Territories and Alberta. The GTC hired an environmental impact assessment officer to work with the communities to coordinate Gwich'in input into the environmental and technical review processes where the GTC is an intervener.
- The GTC concluded negotiations with Imperial Oil Ltd in November 2005; the GTC Board of Directors ratified a comprehensive access and benefits agreement that will ensure the GTC will receive direct benefits from this project. The agreement established Imperial's obligations for ensuring that there will be employment, contracting and other benefits following from the project to the communities. The agreement respects the Land Claim Agreement and provides the access and certainty requested by Imperial.
- To gather current information on renewable resources in the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA) and make informed management decisions, in 2005-2006, the Gwich'in Renewable Resource Board allocated funds from the Wildlife Studies Fund to 18 projects, including eight related to wildlife, seven related to fisheries and three related to culture/education projects. In 2006-2007, the Board funded 15 projects and provided in-kind support for territorial, federal and non-governmental organizations' projects in the GSA.
- Within the Gwich'in Settlement Area, the NWT Department of Transportation awarded five contracts with a combined total value of $7,599,505 to businesses owned by Gwich'in beneficiaries in 2006-2007.
3. Specific Issues
3.1 Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program
The GCLCA provides for a method of monitoring the cumulative impacts of land and water uses on the environment in the Mackenzie Valley and for periodic, independent, environmental audits, which are to be made public. This obligation has been incorporated into Part 6 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA).
The GTC is a member of the NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group (CIMPWG), which was established in early 1999 to design the program. It consists of representatives of Aboriginal, territorial and federal governments.
The first NWT environmental audit was completed in December 2005 and publicly released in June 2006. Significant work, such as reviewing, addressing and responding to the 50 recommendations provided in the audit report was achieved by the NWT CIMPWG in 2006-2007. Other key deliverables by or in consultation with the Working Group were an increased effort to secure long-term funding for the CIMP and providing funding to regional and community monitoring and capacity-building projects, including six in the GSA.
3.2 Economic Measures
Chapter 10 of the Agreement requires the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories to meet with the GTC at least once every three years to review the effectiveness of programs relating to Gwich'in economic self-sufficiency, and strengthening and maintaining the traditional Gwich'in economy.
Following the 2004 session, it was agreed that a complete list of economic development programs would be beneficial as beneficiaries might not be aware of, or, how to apply for certain programs. Participants from the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories circulated program information including eligibility and contact information for the Gwich'in. The parties further agreed to prepare a work plan and to continue working on improved reporting to better measure how economic development programs assist beneficiaries with respect to the economic measures objectives.
The GTC continues to work with the Government of Canada to improve the effectiveness of the Federal Programs for Economic Development in the GSA. In the past, the GTC often expressed the opinion that the economic measures chapter of the land claim agreement is not being properly implemented to address the objective of economic self-sufficiency.
In September 2005, the parties agreed to undertake a strategic planning exercise with the assistance of a contractor. The objective was to develop a focused approach to measuring and reporting on the effectiveness of programs related to the economic measures objectives of the Gwich'in and Sahtu final agreements. In February 2006, the contractor met with federal, NWT and Gwich'in representatives to discuss the economic measures chapter of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement.
The Gwich'in and government representatives of the Northwest Territories and Canada met in April 2006 to discuss the contractor's report, with the Sahtu in attendance as observers. Agreement was reached on certain tasks:
- Canada agreed to educate federal departments about GCLCA obligations, focusing on contracting.
- The GTC agreed to educate Gwich'in communities on GCLCA obligations and government contracting policies.
- The Government of the Northwest Territories agreed to provide a listing of its programs and training opportunities, as well as specific information on adult education upgrading.
To date, the Government of the Northwest Territories has provided the GTC with a listing of its programs and training opportunities, as well as information regarding adult education upgrading.
The parties continue to work collaboratively on completing the tasks agreed to at the April 2006 meeting.
3.3 Mackenzie Gas Project— Regulatory Review
A consortium of four gas producers (Imperial, Conoco, ExxonMobil and Shell) with gas holdings in the Mackenzie Delta, in partnership with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG), proposed the construction of a 1,300 kilometre, stand-alone, natural gas pipeline. This line, estimated at a cost of $4 billion to $5 billion, would have an initial capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/day), with the potential to increase capacity to 1.9 bcf/day. The Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) addresses natural gas development in the Mackenzie Delta, including gathering lines, processing and pipeline facilities to transport the gas south through the Mackenzie Valley to northern Alberta. The facilities would connect to the Nova Gas Transmission System and the associated commercial natural gas market, known as the NOVA Inventory Transfer near the Northwest Territories–Alberta border.
The parties continue to work collaboratively on completing the tasks agreed to at the April 2006 meeting.
The regulatory hearings for the MGP got underway in 2005-2006. Both the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Joint Review Panel (JRP) held a number of hearings in various communities in the Northwest Territories and Alberta. The GTC hired an environmental impact assessment officer to work with the communities to coordinate Gwich'in input into the environmental and technical review processes. The GTC is an intervener in the review process and held meetings with other interveners as well as the proponents, participated in various workshops and conferences, discussed the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of the project with Gwich'in community members and is preparing submissions for upcoming JRP hearings.
The GTC concluded negotiations with Imperial Oil Ltd in November 2005; the GTC Board of Directors ratified a comprehensive access and benefits agreement that will ensure the GTC will receive direct benefits from this project. The agreement established Imperial's obligations for ensuring that there will be employment, contracting and other benefits for the communities. The agreement respects the Land Claim Agreement and provides the access and certainty requested by Imperial. The Agreement is based on modified Gwich'in Land Management and Control Guidelines.
In recognition of the huge socio-economic issues that will accompany a project of this magnitude, and after political lobbying by the GTC and other Aboriginal groups, the federal government agreed to establish the $500 million Socio-Economic Impact Fund (SEIF). Funding is conditional on parliamentary approval and the project proceeding. Funding will be released according to predetermined milestones.
In November 2005, a management framework was finalized by a joint federal, territorial and Aboriginal working group and was submitted for consideration and subsequent development of the legislative documents necessary for parliamentary consideration.
After the federal election, the new government confirmed the previous government's commitments and proceeded in the budgeting process to obtain approval of the Mackenzie Gas Project Impacts Act.
After the federal election, the new government confirmed the previous government's commitments and proceeded in the budgeting process to obtain approval of the Mackenzie Gas Project Impacts Act. The Act approved the full amount of $500 million with $60 million per year available in 2006 and 2007. The Act also created a territorial corporation to administer and disburse the funding. Consideration was given to allow the GTC and other Aboriginal groups to provide $5 million in start-up funding to be made available under separate funding agreements. To date, INAC has identified $2.5 million for SEIF regional start-up and planning activities. During the fall and winter of 2006-2007, the GTC began its SEIF planning process and established its regional decision-making and administrative structures.
The GTC has been participating in the regulatory review. The project proponents, led by Imperial, filed their regulatory applications and environmental impact statement with the NEB and the JRP respectively, in October 2004. The NEB and JRP conducted a technical review of the application material in 2005 and began the public hearing process in early 2006. The NEB is considering the technical aspects, safety and economic issues while the JRP considers evidence on environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues. The GTC has participated in the JRP hearing as an intervener and will continue to monitor and participate as required.
3.4 NWT Wildlife and Species at Risk Acts
The GTC is now an active participant in the development of the Species at Risk Act. It and other land claim groups attended integration meetings to ensure that applicable land claim provisions are adequately incorporated into the new legislation, the main concern being effective integration of the land claim agreements. The Government of the Northwest Territories negotiated a process with the Aboriginal groups to develop the Species at Risk Act in a manner acceptable to all parties. The NWT Species at Risk Act has been drafted and the GTC is involved in its review.
The process to develop the new NWT Wildlife Act will not begin until the Species at Risk Act has been completed. The concern of the GTC and other land claim groups about being included in the drafting process has been addressed by the Government of the Northwest Territories. The GTC has nearly completed work on a CD-Rom that focuses on the relevance and importance of the Agreement by highlighting life before the Agreement and changes resulting from the Agreement. It raises awareness of what lies ahead in terms of self-government and other implementation challenges.
4. Implementation Committee
The Implementation Committee consists of senior officials representing each of the parties to the Agreement. Committee members for the reporting periods covered by this report included Fred Carmichael, President, Gwich'in Tribal Council (GTC), who was represented by Norman Snowshoe, Director of Lands, Resources and Implementation; Mark Warren/Jake Heron, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Northwest Territories, who was represented by Scott Alexander, Director of Implementation; and Mavis Dellert, Director of Implementation Management Directorate, INAC, who was represented by Allan Burnside A/Director for the latter part of fiscal year 2006-2007.
Pursuant to section 28.2 of the Agreement, the Committee:
- oversees and provides direction to guide the implementation of the Agreement;
- monitors the status of the Implementation Plan;
- revises the schedule of activities, reallocating resources and amending the Implementation Plan, when necessary;
- addresses disputes between the parties;
- prepares an annual report on the implementation of the Agreement for the general public; and
- makes recommendations for the implementation of the Agreement following the initial 10-year implementation period.
The Committee met six times during the reporting period, alternating between Inuvik, Yellowknife and Ottawa, with numerous conference calls in between the meetings.
The Implementation Committee also:
- oversaw the nominations and appointment process for boards established under the Gwich'in Land Claim Agreement;
- agreed to a reporting process for the results exercise in the application of the economic measures chapter of the Agreement; and
- discussed the need for surface rights legislation.
5. Implementing Bodies
The Agreement provides for implementing bodies to manage wildlife resources, conduct environmental impact assessments and review development proposals, plan and regulate land and water use, resolve issues relating to surface entry and compensation, settle disputes related to the interpretation of the Agreement and determine 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, Gwich'in Land and Water Board (GLWB), Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board (GLUPB), Gwich'in Renewable Resource Board (GRRB), renewable resources councils (RRCs) and the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) are operational.
The Agreement requires that a surface rights board be established through separate legislation. This quasi-judicial body will have the jurisdiction to resolve disputes between landowners and holders of surface or subsurface commercial interests over entry to the lands and compensation for their use. Since the surface rights board has yet to be created by legislation, relevant surface rights disputes in the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA) may be referred to the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel.
5.1 Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement Arbitration Panel
In June 2005, Panel members were notified of their appointment and received materials from the Implementation Committee dealing with the history of the Panel, including the chronology of events leading to the signing of the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle. The Panel held its first introductory conference call on September 8, 2005. On October 31 and November 1, 2005, members met in Edmonton, Alberta, for an initial planning meeting. The Panel dealt with proposed budgets for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, and set dates for conference calls and for the first meetings in the GSA in March 2006 and June 2006. Panel members also planned the Panel's Web site and proposed revisions to the Panel's rules of procedure. Officials from INAC attended by conference call and confirmed a number of items relating to budgets, work plans, honorariums, carry-forward and accounting procedures. The Panel appointed Karen Snowshoe as the Chair, Bob Kasting as the Vice-chair and Francis Price as the Administrative Secretary. Further conference calls were held in December 2005 and January and February 2006.
In March 2006, the Panel held meetings in the GSA. These meetings gave the non-resident Panel members an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the land, its people and current issues. The Panel members also travelled to Yellowknife and met with the MVEIRB before continuing on to Inuvik and a meeting with representatives of the GLUPB and GRRB. Then, in both Inuvik and Aklavik, the Panel held open houses for the communities and answered questions on the role and function of the Panel.
5.2 Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board
The GLUPB is responsible for developing and implementing a land use plan for the GSA. The Gwich'in Land Use Plan provides for the conservation, development and use of land, resources and waters for the benefit of all Canadians, with special attention devoted to the needs of the Gwich'in.
Part of the Board's duties of implementing the plan is to ensure it addresses social and environmental changes over time, by facilitating a comprehensive review once every five years. Between the reviews, exceptions or amendments may be made to the plan to address specific issues.
The Board worked on a strategy document that will provide more detail about the implementation issues identified in Chapter 7 of the Plan. This strategy document is a five-year work plan, which will be revised and updated as needed. Progress on the work plan is reported in detail in the GLUPB Annual Report.
The Land Use Plan has been approved, but there are a few conditions leading to that approval are being tracked by the Board over the next few years. Fulfillment of these obligations by INAC is necessary before the Plan's five-year review.
- Canada Mining Regulations Amendments: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada began an amendment process for the Canada Mining Regulations in 2002 after it recognized the Land Use Plan is an implementation obligation from the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. Because the land claim agreement takes precedence over other federal legislation, INAC has to change the Canada Mining Regulations to recognize the zoning in the Land Use Plan that restricts mineral exploration and mineral development requiring permits.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada chose to undertake an amendment process for the Canada Mining Regulations that includes updating the whole regulation. Progress has been slow. The Board had preliminary discussions with INAC in February 2007 about the wording specific to the land use plan.
The Land Use Plan has been approved, but there are a few conditions leading to that approval are being tracked by the Board over the next few years.
- Non-Renewable Resource Assessment in the Gwich'in Conservation Zones: The NWT Geoscience Office is the government agency tasked by INAC with doing the assessment.
The Board received the phase I assessment report in February 2005; the Phase II report is still not available.
- Conformance with the Plan: In addition to the usual number of permits and licences that are checked for conformance, the Board has again spent time reviewing the MGP. Staff also spent time listening to the Joint Review Panel hearings to learn about the details and issues raised that may be necessary for the Board to consider when processing applications for exceptions and an amendment to the Plan submitted by the MGP proponents.
- Five-Year Review of the Plan: The board continued its research on specific projects and produced project reports that have and will supply information needed for more detailed planning. The following project reports will be part of the five-year review the plan use plan:
Best Practices Guidelines for Granular Resource Extraction, started in 2005-2006 was finalized. This will be a tool for the Board to discuss granular resource management, which was highlighted as an issue in the MGP report.
Phase two of cultural research in the Arctic Red River headwaters was started in April 2006 and completed in August 2006. The Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) used existing sources and undertook new interviews.
The GSCI started work on its own project to identify two Ehdiitat Gwich'in sites to nominate as NWT heritage sites. The Board contracted with the GSCI so it could do some interviews to further document several heritage sites specific to the Ehdiitat.
The Board was also involved in planning and organizing a regional caribou impact workshop in November 2006 and the Northern Caribou Summit in January 2007, in Inuvik.
The Board hired a consultant to compile known geoscience information in the Arctic Red River headwaters. The report contains some indications of mineral potential. A modelling program and staff training assisted work with the Nihtat Gwich'in on more detailed planning in the Campbell Lake area. The models will allow the Board to see how more cabins or a potential camp for the MGP might look from different angles. The Board will also use the modelling on other areas, such as the pipeline route near Travaillant Lake.
The Board contracted the GSCI to compile a database of most known Gwich'in heritage and cultural sites. The database will include a description of the current management of each site, the GSCI's preferred management approach and a priority ranking.
The Board plans to discuss these reports with the communities in October 2007 when some options for plan amendments are presented. Before that, to hear what issues are priorities for people, the Board will visit the communities, and bring together community representatives for discussions.
The Board's curriculum-based teacher's resource package, to introduce students to resource management using the example of the Gwich'in Plan, was presented at the October 2006 Beaufort Delta regional teachers conference. The Board also assisted with a book in a series designed to tell children's experiences on the land from the various regions of the Northwest Territories. The book also includes information on land use planning and the Board.
5.3 Gwich'in Renewable Resource Board
The GRRB has a mandate to ensure that wildlife, fish and forests are used in a sustainable manner. In 2005-2007, The Board was fully operational with six members and a chair appointed and a staff of seven in place. Steady progress was made in renewable resource research and management.
The Board meets two times per year in a Gwich'in community. In 2005-2006, the meetings were held in Fort McPherson (September 29-30, 2005) and Inuvik (February 23-24, 2006). In 2006-2007, the Board met twice in Tsiigehtchic (September 14-15, 2006) and in Inuvik (February 7-9, 2007). During regular meetings in the communities, the Board meets with the RRCs to discuss local renewable resource management concerns and issues. During the 2006 meetings, the Board met with the RRCs to discuss local renewable resource management concerns and issues. In the fall and winter of 2005-2006, the Board was also involved in the barren-ground caribou consultation process in the GSA.
Research and Management Projects
To gather current information on renewable resources in the GSA and make informed management decisions, in 2005-2006 the Board allocated $223,750 from the Wildlife Studies Fund to 18 projects, including eight related to wildlife ($137,500), seven related to fisheries ($68,700) and three related to culture/education projects ($17,550). In 2006-2007, the Board allocated funds to 15 projects and provided in-kind support to federal and territorial governments and some non-governmental organizations for projects in the GSA: three wildlife ($77,825), nine fisheries ($108,340) and two culture/education projects ($15,000).
The GRRB received additional outside funding and assistance of about $200,000 from various organizations to conduct research and management projects in the GSA. Many of the research projects were conducted jointly with the NWT Department of Environment and Natural Resources (boreal woodland caribou study and Dall's sheep aerial survey) and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Travaillant Lake fish population analysis and Mackenzie River fish radio tracking). Other projects included further work with Dall's sheep, grizzly bear and wolf interactions, community-based furbearer monitoring, the Vittrekwa River Dolly Varden char population, Mackenzie River fish stocks and Red River index netting.
Renewable Resource Management
As the GRRB was established as the main instrument for wildlife and forestry management in the GSA, its mandate is to ensure that wildlife, fish and the forests are used in a sustainable manner. A main concern over the reporting period has been the decline of barren-ground caribou. After consultations with communities and several meetings with other wildlife management organizations, the GRRB provided recommendations to the Minister.
The Northern Richardson Mountain Dall's Sheep Management Plan community consultations and baseline ecological studies continued. The management planning process was expanded to include all the Yukon side of the North Richardson Mountain, and the Dall's Sheep Working Group now includes members from
all wildlife management bodies in that area.
Work also continued on the Forest Management Plan. A draft plan includes the planning framework, terms of reference for forest management in the GSA, a summary of community forest management needs, and short- and long-term work plans.
The GRRB also chaired the annual Rat River char fishing plan consultation, held in Fort McPherson in 2005-2006. The GRRB is working on closing the char fishery for a year to improve the ability of char stocks to recover.
In 2006-2007, the decline of the barren-ground caribou was the most serious management issue. The Board's recommendations were sent to the Minister in the fall of 2006. The Board was also involved in planning and organizing a regional caribou impact workshop in November 2006 and the Northern Caribou Summit in January 2007, in Inuvik.
Gwich'in Harvest Study
Back checking of harvest data collected from 2000 to 2005 continued. Without funding, the work is being done on a volunteer basis. The technical report is expected in the fall of 2007.
Gwich'in Local Knowledge
Community knowledge continued to be collected by the GRRB as part of regular community consultations. The Dall's sheep local knowledge study report was finalized and a study of the Arctic Red River traditional knowledge carried out. The report is in progress.
Education and Training
Education and training of Gwich'in beneficiaries in renewable resource research and management is an important part of the GRRB's operations. In 2005-2006, the Board continued to offer several programs including:
- on-the-job training positions (one technician trainee position);
- the Summer Student Program (one summer student position);
- Jim Edwards Sittichinli Scholarships to college or university students pursuing studies in renewable resources or a related field (three scholarships of $1,000 each and two scholarships of $500 each awarded in 2005-2006); and
- the Youth Work Experience Program to encourage students to pursue a career in renewable resources management. Researchers and community monitors are encouraged to include youth in field research and programs.
Staff from the GRRB participated in community career days, nature day, and science camps and fairs to encourage youth to pursue careers in renewable resources management. The Board also continued to offer a training program that addressed professional enhancement of all staff.
The Board provided partial funding for the Flowing Generations project on the Wind River within the Peel River watershed. A video of the project was completed in 2005.
Northern Gas Pipeline Project
The GRRB received funds to participate in the JRP process as an intervener. A report on Gwich'in views of the MGP study was finalized. The MGP hearings and related research continue to consume a great deal of the Board and staff's time. In 2006-2007, the Board continued as an intervener in the JRP process and worked on related research permit applications in addition to other development proposals.
5.4 Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board
The MVEIRB is mandated by the Gwich'in and Sahtu final agreements and the MVRMA to conduct environmental assessments and reviews of development projects in the Mackenzie Valley. The Board is responsible for ensuring that environmental impacts, and the concerns of Aboriginal people and other members of the public, are considered carefully during the environmental impact assessment of proposed developments.
The Review Board received 79 preliminary screening notifications in 2005-2006. Land and water boards conducted most of the preliminary screenings with the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) conducting 60 percent of these. In 2006-2007, the Review Board received 87 notifications for preliminary screenings. An additional seven notifications were for activities that did not require a preliminary screening.
Environmental Assessments in Progress
- EA0506-004: Tyhee NWT Corporation – Yellowknife Gold Project: The developers want to establish a 1,500 tonnes/day underground gold mine with an operating life of eight years. The environmental assessment has remained in its initial stages while the developer examines options and the feasibility for moving from an underground mine to an open pit mine.
- EA0506-005: Consolidated Goldwin Ventures – Drybones Exploratory Drilling: Noting public concerns, the MVEIRB ordered an environmental assessment for this proposed diamond exploration development in September 2005. The developer's response to information requests were not received by the Board until November 2006. Public hearings were scheduled for Yellowknife in April 2007.
- EA0506-006: Sidon International Resources Corporation– Exploratory Drilling at Defeat Lake: Noting public concerns, the MVEIRB ordered an environmental assessment for this proposed diamond exploration development in September 2005. Information request responses were finally received by the Board in November 2006 with public hearings scheduled for Yellowknife in April 2007.
- EA0607-002: Tamerlane Ventures Inc.– Pine Point Pilot Project: In June 2006, Environment Canada determined that this proposed development might have significant adverse environmental impacts and referred the development to an environmental assessment. As of March 31, 2007, the Board was still waiting on additional information from the developer.
- EA0607-003: UR Energy Inc.– Screech Lake: In September 2006, the MVLWB found evidence of public concern and referred this proposed uranium exploration development to an environmental assessment. A community hearing took place in Lutsel K'e in January 2007 and the public record closed at the end of February 2007. As of March 31, 2007, the Review Board had not yet issued its report of environmental assessment.
Completed Environmental Assessments
- EA0506-008: De Beers Canada Mining Ltd– Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine: Environment Canada referred this proposed development's land use permit and water licence application to the Review Board for an environmental assessment in December 2005. In June 2006, the Review Board completed its environmental assessment and ordered an environmental impact review. In July 2006, DeBeers applied to the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories for a judicial review. The hearing took place in November 2006 and the Supreme Court subsequently upheld the Review Board's decision.
- EA0405-002: Canadian Zinc Corporation – Prairie Cree Phase III Exploration Drilling: The Board completed its report in December 2005 and the Minister accepted the report in February 2006.
- EA03-003: North American General Resources Corporation– Wool Bay Exploration Drilling: The MVEIRB submitted its report to the Minister in February 2004 and it was accepted with final revisions in April 2005.
- EA03-004: New Shoshoni Ventures– Drybones Bay Mineral Exploration: The Board recommended the rejection of this development in its final report to the Minister in February 2004. The Minister accepted the Board's recommendation in April 2006.
Completed Environmental Assessments Waiting for Ministerial Approval
- EA050-6007: Paramount Resources Ltd – SDL 8/2D Geophysical Program: Paramount's proposed geophysical exploration for oil and gas would take place between Cameron Hills and Highway 1 north of the Northwest Territories–Alberta border. The Ka'a' Gee Tu First Nation wrote to INAC requesting an environmental assessment. The Board submitted its report to the Minister in November 2006. As of March 31, 2007, a decision was still pending.
The Board is responsible for ensuring that environmental impacts, and the concerns of Aboriginal people and other members of the public are considered carefully during the environmental impact assessment of proposed developments.
- EA03-009: Imperial Oil Ventures Ltd. Deh Cho Geotechnical Program: The Review Board submitted its report to the Minister in February 2005. The federal and responsible ministers initiated a consultation process with the Review Board in June 2005, which was still ongoing in March 2007.
Cancelled Environmental Assessments
- EA0506-001: Alberta Star – Uranium Exploration, MacInnis Lake
- EA0506-002: Wyn Developments– Mineral Exploration (North of Sachowia Point)
- EA0506-003: Ur Energy– Uranium Exploration Thelon Basin (Screech Lake)
- EA0607-001: Miramar Con Mine– Amendment to Existing Water Licence: In April 2006, The City of Yellowknife referred the development of an environmental assessment. The Board ruled it had no authority to conduct an environmental assessment.
Environmental Impact Reviews
- EIR0405-001: Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Ltd.– Mackenzie Gas Project: The Review Board established the JRP, in cooperation with the federal Minister of the Environment and the Inuvialuit Game Council, to review the proposed MGP. The formal review began in 2005-2006 with hearings and deliberations continuing throughout 2006-2007. The Review Board is paying for one third of the JRP budget with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency recovering the remaining two thirds from the proponent, Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited.
The Board highlighted the need for participant funding, and for monitoring, reporting and evaluating measures recommended in reports of environmental assessment.
- EIR0607-001: De Beers Canada Mining Ltd û Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine: In June 2006, the Review Board completed its environmental assessment report in which it ordered this proposed development to an environmental impact review. In July 2006, De Beers applied to the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories for a judicial review of the order. The Supreme Court subsequently upheld the Review Board's order for an environmental impact review.
Other Board Activities
- Promote the Review Board's Mandate: The Board continues to have ongoing discussions and dialogue with INAC to clarify roles and responsibilities related to consultation during an environmental impact assessment.
The Board attended six annual assemblies of Aboriginal organizations and six trade shows and conferences to promote its roles, responsibilities and achievements. The Board was also represented at the Tulita Unity Accord celebrations in February 2007.
The Board published an article for general distribution to raise awareness among residents of the Mackenzie Valley about the Board and how it came to be, particularly how the MVRMA arose from Aboriginal land claim negotiations.
- Improve Environmental Impact Assessment Processes, Procedures and Reporting: Stakeholders told the Board that its processes should consider a project's physical magnitude more carefully. The Board maintains that the magnitude of public concern rather than the proposed development's physical size and scope must inform and guide the assessment process. In 2005-2006, the Board developed a more detailed preliminary approach to scoping issues about proposed developments. In 2006-2007, the Board hosted its fourth environmental impact assessment practitioners workshop in Yellowknife. The theme of "Do Early Work," was chosen to encourage early and active engagement from developers and others involved in assessing proposed developments. The goal is to prevent backlogs later in the process. About 140 participants attended from various resource management boards, Aboriginal organizations, federal and territorial governments, communities, non-government organizations, consultants and developers.
The Board published Guidelines for Incorporating Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Impact Assessment in 2005-2006. The Guidelines are a first of their kind in Canada. In 2006-2007, the Board published Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Guidelines. The guidelines resulted from an intensive and thorough consultation period with residents of the Northwest Territories with more than 30 representatives from industry, government, Aboriginal and non-governmental organizations participating in the meetings. The Board also produced a condensed overview of the Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines.
Stakeholder capacity requirements, including those of government were also identified to INAC. The Board highlighted the need for participant funding, and for monitoring, reporting and evaluating measures recommended in reports of environmental assessment. There is also the need to streamline the process after a report of environmental assessment has been issued and for direction and resources to implement regional land use plans to guide developers and assist in the environmental impact assessment process.
- Strengthen Relationships: The Review Board renewed and signed a memorandum of cooperation with the NEB and received approval from the NWT Board Forum to include the NEB in future Board Forum meetings. The Board also continued to forge good transboundary working relationships with neighbouring jurisdictions. A memorandum of cooperation was signed with the Inuvialuit Settlement Region's Environmental Impact Review Board and Environmental Impact Screening Committee. A cooperation agreement was also signed with the new Yukon Socio-economic and Environmental Assessment Board and initial discussions were held with Alberta Environment on a relations document and memorandum of understanding document as well as with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency should joint assessment of transboundary projects become necessary.
In addition to attending annual First Nation assemblies, Board members and staff met with Aboriginal leaders and residents in 13 communities to improve relationships and the public's understanding of Board operations. These discussions took place in concert with community meetings about assessing the social and economic impacts of proposed developments. Board staff also met with the Yellowknife Dene First Nation to review the results of the Drybones/Wool Bay environmental assessment.
The workshops focus on translating terminology associated with the oil and gas industry, the mining industry, the environmental impact assessment process, scientific research and study, and conservation.
- Increase Participation in the Environmental Assessment Process and Promote Community Participation: Review Board members and staff began an extensive two-month community tour in September 2005 to discuss socio-economic impact assessment. More than 50 meetings with about 350 people took place in 13 communities. The focus was on front-line workers — those dealing with the social, economic and cultural impacts of development. The Board summarized what it heard on the tour in a report that also includes valuable information about the communities in the Mackenzie Valley.
Board staff continued to deliver educational presentations to school and government organizations. In 2005-2006 discussions were also initiated with the NWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment to examine how the northern studies curriculum could include information about environmental impact assessments.
Goals of the annual interpreters/translators workshops initiatives were to train translators and develop standard socio-economic impact assessment terminology for the five main Aboriginal languages in the Mackenzie Valley. The workshops focus on translating terminology associated with the oil and gas industry, the mining industry, the environmental impact assessment process, scientific research and study, and conservation. In February 2006, the board published the Glossary of Terms Manual, a broad collection of the terms translated into English for the majority of the Northwest Territories' Aboriginal languages. The terms had been developed at the Board's interpreter/translator workshops. In 2006-2007, 17 translators and seven elders participated in seven workshops in five different communities. A minimum of 80 words were translated at each workshop. The Government of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services co-sponsored the 2006-2007 workshop.
The Board provides for conservation, development and use of land and water resources in the Gwich'in Settlement Area in a manner that will provide the optimum benefit for present and future residents of the GSA and Mackenzie Valley, for all Canadians.
The Review Board is taking steps to ensure its proceedings are available to a wide audience. In January 2006, the Board launched its new, more user-friendly Web site. In 2006-2007, the Review Board used Web broadcasting and phone-in capabilities at a hearing held in Lutsel K'e. The Review Board set up a toll-free number to assist northerners living in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon in contacting the Review Board. (1-866-912-3472).
Review Board staff participated in a leadership role in the Board Forum communications working group. In 2006-2007, the working group developed a concept for a Web site communications portal for stakeholders, the public and Review Board members to access relevant information about the environmental impact assessment process and the regulatory system in the Northwest Territories.
5.5 Gwich'in Land and Water Board
The GLWB is the regulatory authority identified under the Agreement and given effect by the MVRMA to provide for an integrated and coordinated system of land management in the Mackenzie Valley of the Northwest Territories.
The Board provides for conservation, development and use of land and water resources in the Gwich'in Settlement Area in a manner that will provide the optimum benefit for present and future residents of the GSA and Mackenzie Valley, and for 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 Settlement Area, including all Crown, Gwich'in and other lands.
In 2005-2006, the Board received eight applications for land use permits and no water licence applications. All land use permits were approved. In 2006-2007, ten land use permits and three water licence applications were received and approved.
Board objectives for the coming year include, but are not limited to:
- maintain an efficient and timely method of processing land use permits and water licences in the Gwich'in Settlement Area as per the MVRMA;
- continue to employ and train qualified First Nations people;
- continue to develop a more effective communication process with the Gwich'in communities; and
- continue to work with other co-management boards in the Gwich'in Settlement Area and elsewhere to provide for an integrated and coordinated system of land management in the Mackenzie Valley of the Northwest Territories.
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.
6.1 Enrolment Board
The Enrolment Board enrols eligible persons of Gwich'in ancestry (participants) as per Chapter 4 of the Agreement. Only enrolled individuals are entitled to run for office, vote and participate in the activities of the GTC, receive money in future payouts, and enjoy the rights granted to participants under the Agreement. The first Enrolment Registry, published in April 1994, listed 1,245 beneficiaries. This number was
3,118 as of March 31, 2006. The responsibilities of the GTC and Enrolment Board are ongoing, as new participants are enrolled or registered participants move, marry, have children or die.
New participants receive a certificate of enrolment and a Gwich'in enrolment card. These documents include picture identification with the individuals' enrolment number, and can be used as photo identification for airline travel and other purposes.
6.2 Land Claim Agreement Coalition
A number of land claims groups formed a coalition called the Land Claim Agreement Coalition to work together to address issues related to land claims agreement implementation and to encourage INAC to take new, more effective approaches to implementation. The GTC participates in the coalition and supports its initiatives.
The GTC has participated in the development of a draft implementation policy with officials from INAC and other land claim groups. The drafting of the policy continues with little or no success due to disagreement on content.
6.3 Amendments to the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement
The GTC and INAC have been working on an amendment to the Agreement to allow more than the 15-year specified period for distribution of funds to beneficiaries. The reason for the request is that the GTC will not be able to make full use of the provision allowing it to distribute up to $3,541 per participant in 1991 dollars by the time the 15 years expires.
6.4 Self-Government Negotiations
Pursuant to Chapter 5 of the Agreement, the Gwich'in are negotiating a self-government agreement with Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. In January 2006, the GTC Board of Directors passed a motion rejecting the 2003 Gwich'in and Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement-in Principle as the basis for a Gwich'in final self-government agreement. In April 2006, the Gwich'in Main Table was set up to facilitate negotiations between the Gwich'in, Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories. In terms of self-government activities, the focus has been the development of Gwich'in community constitutions. In 2005-2006, intensive community consultations took place, including two home visit programs, public information sessions, workshops with chiefs and councils and associated self-government committees, two information sessions held outside the Gwich'in Settlement Region, the distribution of self-government newsletters, radio broadcasts and Web site use. As a result of this consultation process and a legal review of the constitutions, three of the four Gwich'in community constitutions were presented at the Gwich'in Annual Assembly in August 2006.
During 2006, the GTC and the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories negotiated a process and schedule agreement that includes a negotiations work plan which outlines subject matters:
- structures of governance;
- jurisdictions including discussion of the taxation of Gwich'in settlement lands;
- whether to include provisions in a final agreement on matters concerning the Indian Act and the four Gwich'in Indian Act bands;
- general provisions and the exercise of jurisdictions; and
- other matters as agreed.
In May 2006, the GTC Board of Directors approved a new negotiation mandate and appointed a new Gwich'in chief negotiator to oversee the implementation of this mandate.
In light of the evolving nature of negotiations, the Gwich'in Self-Government Main Table has decided to undertake a process of clarification and review to ensure that all parties at the Main Table possess a shared understanding of past issues and interests in relation to current issues and interests. The goal was to identify any outstanding issues to be resolved so the parties can move toward a final agreement. Included in the process is a review of the agreement-in-principle to determine what provisions of the agreement will carry over into a final self-government agreement.
6.5 Resource Management
Chapter 12 of the Agreement addresses wildlife harvesting and management and Chapter 13 addresses forestry. The following are some of the resource management issues addressed by the GTC over the past reporting period.
Peel River Watershed Planning
Land use planning in Yukon occurs under the authority of the Umbrella Final Agreement to which non-Yukon First Nations are not a party. The Umbrella Final Agreement establishes a land use planning council that guides the initiation of regional land use planning initiatives and their respective land use planning commissions. Pursuant to this process, the GTC participates in the Peel Watershed Planning Commission. Terms of reference for the Commission have been finalized and the Commission is in place. The Commission completed meetings in the communities and produced an issues and concerns report that is being reviewed by the parties.
Although the GTC will participate in the Commission, the current process mandated by the Umbrella Final Agreement does not provide for the GTC to participate in the final approval of the regional land use plan, as is the case with Yukon First Nations. The Agreement neither requires nor prevents this. To date, the Yukon government has not provided a reason for its policy of not treating Gwich'in on the same footing as other settled land claim groups in Yukon. This is being pursued as an implementation issue. There has been no progress on this issue.
Management of the Porcupine Caribou
In 1998, in response to safety and over-harvesting concerns among some First Nations, the Yukon government implemented regulations governing hunting along the Dempster Highway, including the following restrictions:
- a 500 metre "no hunting corridor" on each side of the highway;
- no snowmobile use until there are appropriate snow conditions; and
- one week closure to enable the leaders of the herd to cross the highway.
While some believe the restrictions are necessary for safety and to protect the herd, others believe they infringe on their basic land claim harvesting rights. The Porcupine Caribou Management Board forwarded recommendations to the Minister regarding ultimate removal of regulations in favour of an educational approach. During 2005-2006, the Government of Yukon did not respond to these recommendations.
Land claims extinguish the participants' harvesting rights in other settled areas. This situation can be particularly problematic in adjacent land claim areas, where the beneficiaries of both claims traditionally hunted on both sides of the newly created political boundary. Claimant groups must enter into overlap or sharing agreements to re-establish mutual harvesting privileges. Over the past reporting period, the GTC worked toward agreements with the Sahtu, Inuvialuit and Na-Cho Nyak Dun land claim groups.
In the case of the Sahtu agreement, finding historic maps and documenting historic harvesting use has led to delays. The Na-Cho Nyak Dun seek funding to begin negotiations. An agreement had been signed with the Inuvialuit, but due to the passage of time, is now being updated.
Chapter 13 of the Agreement establishes the framework for forest use and management in the Gwich'in Settlement Area. Since 1995, the GTC worked with the Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) and Government of the Northwest Territories on the development of a forest management plan. This plan has stalled due to differences in opinion regarding jurisdiction over the management of forests on private lands. These differences have been resolved and the final draft of the plan is undergoing review with the Government of the Northwest Territories.
In May 2006, the GTC Board of Directors approved a new negotiations mandate and appointed a new Gwich'in chief negotiator to oversee the implementation of this mandate.
6.6 Gwich'in Land Administration
The administration, management and control of Gwich'in lands is the responsibility of the GTC. In addition to processing and dealing with issues of land access applications, the GTC constantly updates the administration process to address new challenges and improve existing procedures. The following are some of these improvements.
Land Management and Control Guidelines
The GTC frequently updates its Land Management and Control Guidelines, which describe how it administers the rights of access to private lands. Over this past reporting period, the guidelines were updated to reflect improvements to land administration procedures. A major overhaul of the fee schedule was completed to bring it up to date with the Inuvialuit Land Administration fee, including an annual factor for increases to the fee schedule.
Each year the GTC adds to or improves the terms and conditions used in land access authorizations and leases. The objective is to standardize the terms as much as possible and to ensure that the requirements and obligations are adequate to protect Gwich'in interests.
Pit Management Plans
The GTC worked with various gravel pit users on Gwich'in lands to implement or update pit management plans. It finalized a pit development and management plan for the Frog Creek Quarry and Willow River Site 467. The plan will be used as a template for all other quarries. Proponents who want to develop a quarry will be asked to prepare a plan that is consistent with the approach and detail of this template.
Over the past reporting period, maps were created showing the locations of all cabins and camps in the Gwich'in Settlement Area, whether on Crown or private land. These maps are being updated with government input and field research. Once they are finalized, non-Gwich'in cabin owners will be contacted about entering into a lease.
Land administration and resource management staff are working with communities to develop a harvester database and maps. The purpose is to identify harvesters and their harvest areas so potential harvesting impacts can be determined in advance when applications are made to access the land.
6.7 Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute
The Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) is the cultural and heritage arm of the GTC. The Institute is responsible for implementing the GTC's obligations under the heritage resources chapters of the Agreement and the Yukon Transboundary Agreement. As well, it comments on any potential cultural and heritage impacts of applications to access Gwich'in land. The following projects are largely based on Iindo Khe…ok Tr'eedah (Moving Forward as One) Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute Five-Year Plan 2003-2008.
The GSCI completed the key word index of oral history tapes, inventoried the GSCI research materials in all offices, prepared a manual on digitizing tapes, and finalized an archival strategic plan to ensure research materials created such as audiotapes, transcripts, maps, photographs and videos will be preserved and maintained
for future generations.
Arctic Red River Headwaters Project
The GSCI carried out a cultural assessment and gap analysis of the headwaters of the Arctic Red River for the Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board (GLUPB) to provide input into determining if the status of this area should change from a special management zone, to a protected area or a Gwich'in heritage conservation zone.
Black City Ethno-Archaeology Project
The GSCI worked with the Tetlit Gwich'in Council, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation and Yukon Heritage Branch to excavate the Black City site located north of Dawson City to preserve artifacts and record graves. Black City was a large village site inhabited during the Klondike Gold Rush and into the 1930s by the Teetł'it Gwich'in, Dagoo Gwich'in and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in.
A book documenting the Gwich'in Clothing Project, Long Ago Sewing We Will Remember: The Story of the Gwich'in Traditional Clothing Project was published by the Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, Quebec, in 2005. The GSCI worked on an exhibition of the Gwich'in Clothing Project with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, NWT. The Centre hosted the exhibition in 2006. In 2007 the Museum of Civilization worked on, and hosted, the exhibition with GSCI.
Fort McPherson Ethno-Archaeology Booklet
The GSCI completed a booklet about the Fort McPherson archaeological site. The booklet is now available from Outcrop Ltd.
Fort McPherson National Historic Site
The GSCI and Parks Canada staff met with the Fort McPherson Steering Committee to discuss text for a new plaque acknowledging the contribution of the Teetl'it Gwich'in to the fur trade and the establishment of Fort McPherson. A new plaque will be installed onsite within the year.
Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute Web Site
Over the past year, the GSCI Web site recorded several thousand visits from Canadians, Americans and other countries worldwide, including China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Iran, Turkey, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cameroon, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, Sweden, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.
Mackenzie River – Canadian Heritage River Nomination
The GSCI is participating on behalf of the GTC in a steering committee to nominate the Mackenzie River as a Canadian heritage river. It is hoped that other Aboriginal groups will participate and that each of their Aboriginal names for the Mackenzie River will be recognized officially alongside the English and French names.
Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Traditional Knowledge Project
The GSCI is on contract to Imperial Oil to research and prepare a traditional knowledge report for use in the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) environmental assessment.
Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site Project
The GSCI is working with Parks Canada to finalize the commemorative integrity statement for the Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site. The next steps are a cost-sharing agreement and site management plan.
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre North Gallery on the Arctic/Delta
The GSCI is working with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre on a new gallery showcasing Gwich'in and Inuvialuit culture. Exhibits of a fish camp along the Mackenzie River, and the Fort McPherson archaeological site will be displayed for several years, and then replaced with new exhibits based on different themes.
6.8 Yukon Issues
The GTC continues to seek status as a Yukon First Nation recognized by the Government of Yukon. Currently, the GTC is not designated as a Yukon First Nation due to the definition under the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA). All Government of Yukon land and resource policies use the UFA definition. This is a problem for the GTC as it excludes the Gwich'in from meaningful and full participation in land and resource management in Yukon. An example would be under the Yukon Oil and Gas Act; any development that costs over $1 million requires an impact benefits agreement with the Yukon First Nation in whose traditional territory that development occurs. The Yukon First Nation has to be defined by the UFA. The GTC is not defined as such so if any development happens in Gwich'in traditional territory in Yukon that exceeds $1 million, an impact benefits agreement is not required.
The GTC also continued to be an active participant in the implementation of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA). The GTC successfully advocated that all its Yukon land will be administered under one, and not two designated offices.
The GTC was successful in accessing funding to participate in YESAA environmental assessments on a case-by-case basis. This request was based on the provision of about $100,000 to Yukon First Nations annually to participate in YESAA including environmental assessments. The GTC will also seek capacity development funding to participate in the YESAA.
Another issue concerns which organization has political authority over the Tetlit Yukon lands: the GTC or Tetlit Gwich'in Council.
7. Government of the Northwest Territories
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) performed various implementation activities pursuant to the Agreement, Implementation Plan and related funding agreements.
7.1 Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations
The Department worked closely with the GTC, federal and GNWT officials, and the various implementing bodies established by the Agreement. The Department coordinated the implementation activities of all Government of the Northwest Territories departments, prepared regular status reports for the Implementation Committee and prepared the GNWT component of this annual report.
A Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (DAAIR) official actively participated as the GNWT representative on the Gwich'in Implementation Committee dealing with such issues as economic measures, communications, board funding requests, board appointments and the reallocation of implementation resources.
The Department continues to work with INAC and Gwich'in representatives on economic measures initiatives; DAAIR provided the GTC with a listing of its programs and training opportunities as well as information regarding adult education upgrading.
In accordance with Chapter 5 and Appendix B of the Agreement, the Department participated in the Beaufort-Delta self-government negotiations process.
7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) processed a royalty payment to the GTC based on Government of the Northwest Territories sand and gravel sales. Payment was processed in April 2007 for the entire 2006-2007 fiscal year.
Solicitations for the property tax rebate program for Gwich'in municipal lands were expanded in 2006-2007 to include the local band governments and Gwich'in designated authorities in addition to the GTC. One qualified application was received and processed before the deadline of March 31, 2007.
7.3 Industry, Tourism and Investment
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) continued to meet its obligation through ongoing consultations with the GTC, designated Gwich'in organizations and the RRCs. The Department also worked closely with the Gwich'in Development Corporation, the local hamlet community councils, band organizations and community development corporations.
The Department continued to work in close cooperation and consultation with the GTC and 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 to gain access to financial support from various sources.
- The Department continued to provide loans and operational subsidies through the Grants for Small Business Development Fund and NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation programs.
- Economic development officers continued to provide business advice and counselling services in the Gwich'in communities.
- The Department continued to provide business training workshops in Gwich'in communities.
- With ITI support, Western Arctic Business Development Services (WABDS) continued to provide small business services in the GSA and the Beaufort Delta region; WABDS also provided business counselling and training services and conducted a business seminar on tax rules and regulations.
- The Department continued to work with Education, Culture and Employment and WABDS to deliver the Self Employment Incentive Program for entrepreneurs in the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA) and the Beaufort Delta region.
- The Department delivered a managing and financing workshop for small businesses in Fort McPherson and Inuvik.
- The Department requested and was approved for a community transfer initiative for Tsiigehtchic to provide a part-time economic development officer.
A government-to-government memorandum of understanding within the GSA establishes a process to improve Gwich'in participation in the NWT economy. The memorandum applies to Government of the Northwest Territories departments and the NWT Housing Corporation, but not to other corporations, agencies and community governments. Industry, Tourism and Investment provides the lead for the Government of the Northwest Territories in the implementation of this memorandum.
The Department coordinated the implementation activities of all Government of the Northwest Territories departments, prepared regular status reports for the Implementation Committee and prepared the GNWT component of this annual report.
The memorandum of understanding established targets of 50 percent of Government of the Northwest Territories by value within the GSA, excluding the overlap communities of Inuvik and Aklavik where the agreed targets are 18 percent and 16 percent respectively.
Minerals, Oil and Gas
Under the Aboriginal Capacity Building Program, ITI provided $90,000 to be used in support of capacity building projects to ensure maximum Gwich'in participation and benefits from ongoing petroleum exploration and development activities. Specific activities included the following:
- Information sessions helped representatives of the Mackenzie Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) work with businesses to identify areas of opportunity in the construction phases of the pipeline.
- A negotiations workshop was provided for small businesses continuing to have difficulty with the negotiating process.
- A business plan writing seminar helped small businesses seeking funding for start-up or expansion.
- An orientation on the legal requirements for registering a small business helped businesses maximize their potential access to opportunities.
A contribution of $30,000 was made to the GTC to support, coordinate and deliver the Mackenzie Gas Project Access and Benefits Workshop for Gwich'in, Inuvialuit, Sahtu and Deh Cho representatives.
Parks and Tourism
The Gwich'in Territorial Park was established as a result of being identified in the GCLCA. The purpose of the park was to provide training and employment opportunities for Gwich'in beneficiaries. A memorandum of agreement guides the development, operation and maintenance of the park between the GTC and the Government of the Northwest Territories. Having a seasonal parks officer who is a Gwich'in beneficiary further augments the memorandum. Contracts valued at $181,000 to develop park infrastructure and $30,300 for general park maintenance were sole-sourced to a Gwich'in company.
A Gwich'in beneficiary was hired to work at the Western Arctic Visitor Centre during the summer. The Department also leases the land from the GTC for the Visitor Centre.
To provide a balance to all resource-based development, ITI provided support to Gwich'in beneficiaries for traditional economic activities. The Department also continued to promote the GSA and Gwich'in arts and crafts through departmental marketing initiatives.
- Core funding, in the amount of $32,400, was provided to the RRCs in the Gwich'in communities under the Local Wildlife Committee Program.
- Community harvesters' assistance was provided to the RRCs in the Gwich'in communities. Total allocations were $41,052. A community hunt in the spring of 2007 received $5,000 in support from ITI and $2,000 for an outpost cabin.
- The Ehdiitat Gwich'in Council and the Moose Kerr School each received $5,000 for on-the-land training for youth. The Tsiigehtchic Gwicha Gwich'in RRC received $3,600 for an on-the-land program and cultural camp for youth and the Tetlit Gwich'in RRC received $12,500 for an on-the-land program for youth.
- The ITI provided $107,000 to 38 applicants under the harvesters' disaster compensation program for damages caused by flooding in the spring of 2006.
The Department also has a program to assist with the marketing and sales of wild fur from the Northwest Territories, long considered among the very best in the world. The pelts are marketed under the brand name Genuine Mackenzie Valley Furs.
7.4 Environment and Natural Resources
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) promotes and supports the sustainable use and development of natural resources and works to protect, conserve and enhance the NWT environment for the social and economic benefit of all NWT residents. In 2006-2007, the Department continued to meet Government of the Northwest Territories obligations through ongoing consultation with the GTC, and other Gwich'in boards and organizations, including designated Gwich'in organizations. The Department also promoted responsible forest management and continued to coordinate Government of the Northwest Territories nominations and appointments to the various co-management boards.
Throughout the period, the Department worked closely with the GTC to draft new wildlife legislation to protect species at risk in the NWT. The Department also provided support to the Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) biological staff and collaborated on related research projects including:
- Dall's sheep population estimates and ecology studies (including satellite tracking of sheep, wolves and grizzly bears);
- moose population estimates;
- Porcupine caribou herd monitoring including body condition (led by the Yukon government and the US Fish and Wildlife Service);
- woodland caribou ecology (including satellite tracking);
- photo census and recruitment studies of the Cape Bathurst and Blueness West caribou herds (including satellite tracking);
- harvest monitoring including wolf and wolverine carcass collections; and
- small mammal monitoring.
The Department continued to consult with the GRRB and the RRCs on all aspects of wildlife research programming in the GSA. This included collaboration and consultation with the GRRB on the collection and analysis of baseline data for woodland caribou.
During the reporting period, the Department continued to play a significant role in the development of a North Richardson Dall's sheep management plan, participating on the working group and distributing a draft plan for comment to the co-management boards and government. Community consultations are planned for the 2007-2008 fiscal year.
In the fall of 2005, further surveys of the Cape Bathurst, Bluenose West and Tuktoyaktuk peninsula caribou herds indicated a continued decline in populations. The results were presented to the GRRB and RRCs and then broad consultations took place with all the user communities and groups. This resulted in closure of the harvest for non-Aboriginal harvesters and recommendations for new legislation governing the harvest of caribou by Gwich'in. The RRCs and GRRB were involved throughout the process.
The Department continues to consult with and coordinate ongoing meetings and workshops with the Gwich'in including the Caribou Decline Impacts Workshop held in November 2006 in Inuvik and the NWT-wide Caribou summit in Inuvik in January 2007.
7.5 Department of Education, Culture and Employment
The Department of Education, Culture and Employment was responsible for the planning, delivery and management of a broad range of employment, social, educational and cultural programs and services in the Gwich'in Settlement Area.
The Culture and Heritage Division continued to provide funding and professional support to the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) for repatriation projects. A contribution was made to the GSCI to hold a community workshop in Aklavik to identify elders' knowledge of artifacts and to plan for repatriation of ethnographic and archaeological materials.
The Division reviewed applications for land use permits and environmental impact assessments to identify possible threats to heritage resources and provided advice on the preservation of heritage resources to a variety of agencies. The environmental assessment of the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline dominated much of the work in this area.
The Division also maintained and provided access to a database of traditional Aboriginal place names in the GSA and consultations were continued as part of a process to obtain official recognition of multiple names for the Mackenzie River including Nagwichoonjik (Gwich'in), Dehcho (Slavey) and Kuukpak (Inuvialuktun).
7.6 Department of Justice
The Legal Division continued to support the implementation of the Agreement by providing legal advice to Government of the Northwest Territories departments as required.
Certificates of title have been issued for all of the specific sites and all but one of the municipal lands parcels. Natural Resources Canada has indicated that 26 of 54 surface and/or subsurface parcels have not been surveyed. The Land Titles office may have to register surveys for some or all of these parcels in the future. Fifty-three survey plans have been registered for portions of the boundaries of settlement land parcels and certificates of title have been issued for all 54 settlement land parcels.
7.7 Department of Transportation
Within the Gwich'in Settlement Area, the Department awarded five contracts with a combined total value of $7,599,505 to businesses owned by Gwich'in beneficiaries in 2006-2007.
- contracts of $3,749,974 and $2,400,000 to Mackenzie Valley Construction Ltd;
- $1,066,531 to Wolfcreek Services Ltd;
- $346,000 to Chii Construction Services Ltd; and
- $37,000 to Tetlit Gwich'in Council.
7.8 Department of Public Works and Services
The Department of Public Works and Services supports the Agreement's economic measures provisions, provides contracting opportunities for Gwich'in businesses and employs residents of Gwich'in communities.
Contracts Within the Gwich'in Settlement Area
In 2006-2007, the Department awarded six contracts with a combined value of $119,061 to businesses owned by Gwich'in beneficiaries.
- contracts of $7,866 and $5,343 to Arctic Digital Ltd for server equipment and colour laser printers in Inuvik;
- $10,417 to Gwich'in Properties Ltd for soundproofing interview rooms in Inuvik;
- $30,300 to Chii Construction Services Ltd for park work in Inuvik;
- $22,900 to Mackenzie Valley Construction Ltd for vehicle maintenance services in Inuvik;
- $17,995 to Mackenzie Valley Construction Ltd for campground road repair in Inuvik; and
- contracts of $18,000 and $6,240 to A.C. Contracting for carpentry services and snow removal in Aklavik.
Leases Within the Gwich'in Settlement Area
Public Works and Services maintained two leases with a total value of $2,330,262 with Gwich'in-owned businesses: $1,239,262 and $1,091,000 for office space and emergency lease space with Inuvik Commercial Properties Zheh Gwizu Ltd in Inuvik.
7.9 Northwest Territories Housing Corporation
In support of the economic measures provisions of Chapter 10 of the Agreement and consistent with Government of the Northwest Territories preferential contracting policies and procedures intended to maximize local, regional and northern employment and business opportunities, in 2006-2007, the Corporation awarded eight contracts, totalling $609,200, to businesses owned by Gwich'in beneficiaries:
- construction contracts of $22,600 and $21,700 to A.C. Contracting in Aklavik;
- $20,000 to the Aklavik Indian Band;
- $30,000 to the Tetlit Gwich'in Council in Fort McPherson;
- $67,900 to LJ's Contracting in Fort McPherson;
- $7,200 to Mackenzie Valley Construction; and
- contracts of $158,100 and $281,700 to Chii Construction Services Ltd in Tsiigehtchic.
8. Government of Canada
8.1 Federal Coordination of Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The Implementation Branch coordinates the fulfilment of federal government responsibilities and obligations pursuant to the Agreement. In 2005-2007, the Branch continued to participate in the Implementation Committee and to consult with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Gwich'in Tribal Council (GTC) regarding the implementation of Canada's obligations under the Agreement. The Branch continued to serve as the secretariat to the Implementation Committee and coordinated its three meetings in April, September and December of each period (2005-2006 and 2006-2007).
The Branch maintains regular contact with all federal government departments and agencies with respect to their implementation activities, intervening as necessary, and maintaining a comprehensive implementation status report of these activities.
In addition to consulting the institutions of public governance, GTC and the Government of the Northwest Territories to assess their funding requirements to year-end, the Branch managed flexible transfer payment funding agreements with these bodies during the period of this annual report.
In partnership with the Regional Office, the Implementation Branch also assisted in processing ministerial and order-in-council appointments of individuals to various institutions of public governance created pursuant to the Agreement. During the fiscal year, appointments were made to the GLUPB, the MVEIRB and GLWB. As a result of a number of delays and setbacks in appointing individuals to the various institutions of public governance, the Implementation Branch, along with the Regional Office and Corporate Secretariat of INAC, worked on strategies for improving the efficiency with which individuals are appointed.
8.2 Economic Activity and Employment
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The following resources were provided to Gwich'in bands and organizations in 2005-2006 to support the traditional economy and encourage employment.
Tetlit Gwich'in Band
- $85,872 from the Community Economic Development Program (CEDP) for community-based, community-driven support for economic development.
Gwichya Gwich'in Band
- $34,358 from the CEDP.
- $42,032 from the CEDP; and
- $6,499 from the Resource Partnership Program (RPP).
Inuvik Native Band
- $30,952 from the CEDP; and
- $13,942 for economic activities under the Community Economic Opportunities Program (CEOP).
Gwich'in Tribal Council
- $328,297 from the CEDP for access and benefits negotiations on the MGP;
- $417,542 to the Aboriginal Pipeline Corporation which represents a 25 percent share of funding to establish a Mackenzie Valley First Nations and Inuvialuit ownership position in the MGP; and
- $630,380 for tribal council funding for band governance, financial management and economic development.
This multi-year funding program will assist the Gwich'in to identify and support clients through interventions that will lead to permanent and meaningful jobs in the oil and gas industry.
Nihtat Gwich'in Development Corporation
- $1,798 from CEOP
Gwich'in Development Corporation
- $25,550 from the CEDP.
The department is unable to report on the allocations that were issued in 2006-2007.
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Government economic activities in the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA) are structured to ensure that the traditional economy is maintained and strengthened, and to work toward the economic self-sufficiency of the Gwich'in.
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement
Human Resources and Social Development Canada, through Service Canada, provides funding to Aboriginal groups to undertake skills training and employment development. Funds are provided to Aboriginal groups through constitution agreements. These agreements are in place until March 31, 2009.
The Agreement stipulates the capture of results data to reflect the achievements resulting from program expenditures. Key results data include total clients served, intervention competitions, employed and returns to school. In 2006-2007, the Gwich'in received $968,404 in funding. During the year, 99 clients participated with 90 completed interventions, 18 employed as a result of the program and one returned to school.
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program
The Gwich'in Tribal Council was one of the partners that developed a multi-year strategy for industrial skills development related to opportunities anticipated out of oil and gas industrial development. A proposal from this partnership was successful in being funded pursuant to the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) Program.
This multi-year funding program will assist the Gwich'in to identify and support clients through interventions that will lead to permanent and meaningful jobs in the oil and gas industry. The GTC share of funding provided to Aboriginal Futures (the training partnership) was $2,103,840 for 2004 through to March 31, 2008.
An important characteristic of initiatives supported under the ASEP Program is that all training undertaken will lead to long-term sustainable jobs.
Industry Canada continued to deliver its Aboriginal Business Development Program from Yellowknife, NWT. Aboriginal Business Canada (ABC) serves the area with a full-time development officer who visits the Gwich'in Settlement Area on a regular basis. The Program, which is available to all Aboriginal individuals and business organizations, has the following strategic priorities: youth entrepreneurship, tourism, innovation, and trade and market expansion. Further information on ABC can be obtained from the development officer or from INAC's Web site. As of December 1, 2006, ABC was transferred from Industry Canada to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Public Works and Government Services Canada continued to provide opportunities for claimant groups to bid on government contracts by advertising procurement opportunities on the government electronic tendering system and by notifying all claimant groups of the procurement of goods, services and construction destined for the GSA.
Assistance and information on the procurement process were provided as requested during the year, as was information on contracts. Whenever it was practical and consistent with sound procurement principles, evaluation criteria are included in bid solicitations to maximize socio-economic benefits to the claimant groups.
8.3 Environmental Assessment and Wildlife Management
A range of wildlife, fisheries and forestry research and monitoring projects were successfully completed during the reporting period, 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 throughout the year or in the summer months. The GRRB participated in a number of departmental workshops and conferences. With regards to the settlement area harvest study, the final report is nearly complete and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) has provided input through to this stage.
Management of Migratory Wildlife Species
Through its seat on the GRRB, the CWS advised the Board of all changes to migratory bird regulations that may impact the Gwich'in. The GRRB is aware that migratory birds are managed according to a well-defined set of regulations. The setting of a total allowable harvest for migratory birds has not been discussed by the GRRB. The harvest study will provide data on which a total allowable harvest could be determined.
In 2005-2006, the CWS did not carry out any research on migratory birds in the Gwich'in Settlement Area. However, in 2006-2007, the CWS conducted aerial surveys of shorebirds and waterbirds along, and adjacent to, the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline route. The results were reported to the GRRB.
During the year, 99 clients participated with 90 completed interventions, 18 employed as a result of the program and one returned to school.
Species at Risk
In 2005-2006, the CWS sought and received approval from the GRRB to list the grizzly bear and wolverine under the federal Species at Risk Act. In 2006-2007, the rusty blackbird was added to the list.
Mackenzie Gas Project
The CWS participated in the environmental assessment of the MGP and participated in the initial sessions of the Joint Review Panel (JRP) in 2006-2007. The CWS conducted a thorough review of the environmental impact statement submitted by the MGP and initiated the preparation of submissions to the JRP in preparation for public hearings in 2006. The CWS was an intervener at a number of hearings.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
In 2005-2006, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) provided funding of $17,500 to the GRRB toward the hiring of a technician and $5,000 toward the publication of a conservation calendar. The Department also funded two meetings held by the Rat River Working Group (RRWG), which developed the monitoring plan used to collect scientific information for the management of Rat River Dolly Varden charr and contributed funding to the Rat River Dolly Varden charr monitoring program. Monitors from the communities of Aklavik and Fort McPherson were hired for the program through contracts with the local renewable resource councils (RRCs).
Natural Resources Canada completed all surveying activities of municipal parcels as per its obligations.
The Department was involved in the Travaillant Lake study and had contracts with the RRCS of Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic to conduct a harvest study of the Peel and Mackenzie rivers.
In 2006-2007, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) funded several Rat River Working Group meetings, involving the participation of community members, the Aklavik and Fort McPherson renewable resources councils (RRCs) and other interested parties in the management of the Rat River Dolly Varden charr population. Monitors for the Dolly Varden charr population were hired through contracts DFO negotiated with the local RRCS. The monitors were to catch and sample Dolly Varden charr as part of a long-term ongoing harvest study to better understand and develop strategies for addressing the declining stocks of the charr in the Rat River.
Net monitors and salmon coordinators were also hired in Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson to ensure that subsistence fishing nets were checked regularly and to collect salmon caught during the fall as part of an ongoing study on the colonization of Pacific salmon in the Peel and Mackenzie rivers, which have been historically predominated by charr fisheries. The Department also provided funding to the GRRB to hire a technician and toward the publication of a conservation calendar.
The Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region, is responsible for the provision of the Marine Aids to Navigation Program, marine communications and traffic services, environmental response, and through the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, marine search and rescue activities on Great Slave Lake, Mackenzie River, Mackenzie-Athabasca Waterway system and the Western Arctic waters.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency continues to work with INAC to clarify the relationship between the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Work was also ongoing, together with other government organizations and First Nations to develop frameworks for environmental assessment and regulatory processes for potential project developments in the Northwest Territories. In particular the Agency continued to implement agreements to harmonize environmental assessment processes for the review of the MGP.
The Agency is a signatory to a memorandum of understanding that established the Northern Gas Project Secretariat to support the environmental assessment and regulatory review processes for the MGP.
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 that are judged to be in the public convenience and of necessity. The NEB has not been required to deal with any activities under this chapter to date.
Work is progressing on pipeline hearing as per Cooperation Plan. The NEB's partners in the Cooperation Plan include the MVLWB, GLWB, Sahtu Land and Water Board, NWT Water Board, MVEIRB, EISC and Environmental Impacts Review Board for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Inuvialuit Game Council, Inuvialuit Land Administration, The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, INAC, observers from the Deh Cho First Nation and the governments of the Northwest Territories and Yukon.
8.4 Heritage Sites and Resources
Parks Canada Agency
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 Gwich'in.
In 2005-2006, the Gwichya Gwich'in Charter Community of Tsiigehtchic completed a contract to install the Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site plaque near the band office. The spot provides a view over the site and the Mackenzie River.
Parks Canada Agency funding for Gwich'in goods and services was $190,205 in 2005-2006 with $596 on goods and $189,609 on services.
In 2006-2007, the Teetl'it Gwich'in Steering Committee, the Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) and Parks Canada staff completed the draft text for a new plaque at the Fort McPherson National Historic Site. After distribution to stakeholders for review and comments, the final draft was sent to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board Inscriptions Committee. The wording reflects the importance of the Gwich'in role in the fur trade.
Parks Canada Agency worked with the GTC, local bands and GSCI on heritage projects, including consultation on policy and legislation that would affect Gwich'in interests.
In 2006-2007, total Gwich'in expenditures by Parks Canada were $68,850, allocated as $21,506 for goods and $47,344 for services.
8.5 Land and Water Management
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Sand and Gravel Resources
The NWT regional office provided quarterly reports on the quarry royalties collected in the Mackenzie Valley, which totalled $103,184 in 2005-2006. Royalties of $118,453 were paid in 2006-2007.
Parks Canada Agency worked with the GTC, local bands and GSCI on heritage projects, including consultation on policy and legislation that would affect Gwich'in interests.
Land and Water Use Process
The North Mackenzie district office continued to work with the Gwich'in Land and Water Board in recommending terms and conditions on applications for land use permits and water licences, and provided, on an ongoing basis, inspection services to the GLWB to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions attached to these authorities.
Land Use Planning
The NWT Region of INAC continued to track progress on the implementation of the Board's approved land use plan, keeping in touch with the Board on a regular basis, providing input on projects to the five-year plan review process and the MGP proponents' applications to the Board for an amendment and an exception to the Plan.
Work continued within the Department related to amending the Canada Mining Regulations, to remove the incompatibility between the Regulations and the approved Gwich'in Land Use Plan, and the options for extending or renewing the five-year Interim Land Withdrawal for the conservation zones if the current Interim Land Withdrawal expires before the new section 11(1)(f) has been promulgated.
Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada completed all surveying activities of municipal parcels as per its obligations. All plans have been recorded in the Canada Land Surveys Records and Land Titles Office where appropriate. Surveys of a few selected boundary portions of some parcels have been completed.
Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency's responsibilities under the Agreement include the provision of general information on the taxation implications for the settlement corporations and related tax aspects of the Gwich'in and Sahtu land claim agreements, and the preparation of an information document on this topic, which has been done. The Agency has also provided a contact point in the Edmonton Tax Services Office for inquiries.
8.7 Other Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
In 2006-2007, $63,612 was transferred to the Board for costs associated with completing a non-renewable resource assessment of the Arctic Red River headwaters and to assist the GSCI in researching potential heritage sites near Aklavik.
The NWT regional office met with each of the four Gwich'in bands and made the following annual treaty payments: Aklavik Band on April 18, 2005, Gwichya Gwich'in Band in Tsiigehtchic and Tetlit Gwich'in Band in Fort McPherson on April 19, 2005 and Inuvik Native Band on April 20, 2005. In 2006, the treaty payments were made in Aklavik on April 18, 2006, the Gwichya Gwich'in in Tsiigehtchic and Tetlit Gwich'in in Fort McPherson on April 19, 2006 and the Inuvik Native Band on April 20, 2006.
Membership of Implementing Bodies
(as of March 31, 2007)
Karen Snowshoe, Chair
Gabrielle Mackenzie-Scott, Chair
John Stevenson, Vice-Chair
Bob Simpson, Chair
Karen LeGresley Hamre
Gabrielle Mackenzie-Scott, Chair
John Stevenson, Vice-Chair
Willard Hagen, Chair
Willard Hagen, Chair
Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board
Robert Charlie, Chair (2005-2006)
Map of Gwich'in Settlement Area
Map: Gwich'in Settlement Area (Northwest Territories)
The image illustrates the Gwich'in Settlement Area. More specifically, it portrays the Gwich'in Settlement Region including the Gwich'in Settlement Area, the Primary Use Area, and the Secondary Use Area. It also portrays Gwich'in Lands, including lands with Surface Rights, Subsurface Rights and both Surface and Subsurface Rights. The image also illustrates territorial borders, regional boundaries, the Dempster Highway, water features, community boundaries, special harvest areas and the Gwich'in Territorial Park.
Note: A new map of the Gwich'in Settlement Area can be downloaded at Gwichin Tribal Council.
Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments 1992-2007
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 to Chapter 8. The GTC will receive its final capital transfer payment on the 15th anniversary date of the Agreement.
|Date||Capital Transfers to the GTC* $|
|At effective date||2,000,000|
|December 23, 1992||7,426,766|
|April 22, 1993||4,180,680|
|April 22, 1994||6,271,020|
|April 22, 1995||7,455,068|
|April 22, 1996||9,318,835|
|April 22, 1997||9,318,835|
|April 22, 1998||9,318,835|
|April 22, 1999||9,318,835|
|April 22, 2000||9,318,835|
|April 21, 2001||9,318,835|
|April 21, 2002||9,318,835|
|April 21, 2003||9,318,835|
|April 24, 2004||9,318,835|
|April 24, 2005||7,455,068|
|April 24, 2006||5,591,301|
Note: * Net of negotiation loan repayments.
Implementation Payments to the GTC, Government of the Northwest Territories and Institutions of Public Government, 1992-1993 to 2006-2007
The annual implementation funding amounts provided to the GTC, the Government of the Northwest Territories and institutions of public governance created pursuant to the Agreement represent the Government of Canada's total contribution to assist each body to fulfil its obligations pursuant to the Agreement, Implementation Plan and related act(s) of Parliament. The annual funding levels are identified in the Implementation Plan.
|Fiscal Year||Implementation Payments $|
|Wildlife Studies Fund||2,030,000|
Resource Royalties, 1992 to 2006
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.
|Fiscal Year||Resource Royalties Paid to GTC $|
Note: Amounts include amendments done throughout the year.
Gwich'in Property Taxes Reimbursed to the Government of the Northwest Territories, 1994 to 2006
Pursuant to Chapter 22 of the Agreement, the Government of Canada agrees to pay the Government of the Northwest Territories 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 within Chapter 22.
|Fiscal Year||Amount $|
Web Site Addresses
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (link to all sectors and regions)
Government of the Northwest Territories (link to all departments)
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