Archived - Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement - Annual Report of the Implementation Committee April 1, 2004 - March 31, 2005
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Catalogue No. R31-9/2005
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
- 6.1 Enrolment Board
- 6.2 Northern Gas Pipeline Project
- 6.3 Council of Yukon First Nations Membership
- 6.4 Land Claim Agreement Coalition
- 6.5 Amendments to the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement
- 6.6 Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act
- 6.7 Communications CD-Rom
- 6.8 Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations
- 6.9 Resource Management
- 6.10 Gwich'in Land Administration
- 6.11 Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute
- 7. Government of the Northwest Territories
- 7.1 Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
- 7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
- 7.3 Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
- 7.4 Department of Education, Culture and Employment
- 7.5 Department of Justice
- 7.6 Department of Transportation
- 7.7 Department of Public Works and Services
- 7.8 Northwest Territories Housing Corporation
- 8. Government of Canada
- Appendix 1 Membership of Implementing Bodies (as of March 31, 2005)
- Appendix 2 Map of Gwich'in Settlement Area
- Appendix 3 Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments 1992-2004
- Appendix 4 Implementation Payments to the GTC, Government of the Northwest Territories and Institutions of Public Government, 1992-1993 to 2004-2005
- Appendix 5 Resource Royalties, 1992 to 2003
- Appendix 6 Gwich'in Property Taxes Reimbursed to the Government of the Northwest Territories, 1994 to 2004
- Appendix 7 Web Site Addresses
The Implementation Committee is pleased to provide its 11`h annual report on the implementation of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. This report covers the fiscal year extending from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005.
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 Comittee 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.
Progress by the Implementation Committee is being achieved within a relationship defined by mutual respect and a commitment to fulfilling the obligations set out in the Agreement.
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
|AGJV||Arctic Goose Joint Venture|
|AHRDA||Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreement|
|APG||Aboriginal Pipeline Group|
|ASEP||Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (Program)|
|BCF||Billion cubic feet|
|CEDP||Community Economic Development Program|
|CIMP||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program|
|CIMPWG||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group|
|CYFN||Council of Yukon First Nations|
|CWS||Canadian Wildlife Service|
|DFO||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|EISC||Environmental Impact Screening Committee|
|GIS||Geographic information system|
|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|
|IGC||Inuvialuit Game Council|
|INAC||Indian and Northern Affairs Canada|
|IPGS||Institutions of Public Government|
|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|
|NHS||National Historic Site|
|NHSMBC||National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada|
|PAS||Protected Area Strategy|
|RPP||Resource Partnership Program|
|RRC||Renewable Resources Council|
|RWED||Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, GNWT|
|SAHS||Settlement Area Harvest Study|
|YESAA||Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act|
1. Features of theAgreement
On April 22, 1992, the Gwich'in Tribal Council and the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada signed the Agreement and the accompanying Implementation Plan. The Agreement took effect on December 22, 1992.
Major provisions of the Agreement include:
- 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.
Significant highlights of the Annual Report of the Implementation Committee, 2004-2005 include:
- The Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group completed a revised version of the five-year work plan entitled NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) and Audit — An Environmental Monitoring Program and Audit for the NWT in March 2005.
- Work continued on strategies and priorities for the implementation of the economic measures chapters of the Gwich'in and Sahtu land claim agreements. On November 16-18, 2004, the Three-Year Economic Measures Review meeting was held in Inuvik. A subsequent meeting was held in December 2004.
- The Mackenzie Gas Project producers submitted "trigger" applications for land and water use authorizations to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, which referred the project for further assessment to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB). The Board held scoping sessions and submitted its report on May 21, 2004 to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development recommending that the project be referred to a joint review panel.
- The Gwich'in Tribal Council was accepted for membership by the Council of Yukon First Nations, which will allow a more effective participation by Gwich'in with other Yukon First Nations on matters of resource management, land administration and land claims implementation.
- The Settlement Area Harvest Study was completed in September 2004.
- The Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board allocated $224,120 to 19 research and management projects including those directed at increasing knowledge of wildlife, fisheries, forestry and the environment.
- In 2004-2005, the MVEIRB received 99 notifications of preliminary screenings and worked on 11 environmental assessments.
- The MVEIRB Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines were released in the summer of 2004.
- Gwich'in-owned businesses were awarded contracts totalling $607,842 by the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Public Works and Services and $553,985 by the Northwest Housing Corporation, Government of the Northwest Territories.
- The Gwich'in Tribal Council share of funding provided under the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program was $2,103,840 for 2004 through to March 31, 2008.
3. Specific Issues
3.1 Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program
Throughout 2004-2005, emphasis was placed on preparing for and conducting the first NWT-wide environmental audit. The Audit Sub-Committee (ASC), a subset of the NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group (CIMPWG), developed and finalized the terms of reference for the audit in late April 2004. A request for proposals was posted on the federal government contract tendering web site and five proposals were received by the closing date in August. In July 2004, a plain language fact sheet on the audit was released for distribution to government, regional organizations and communities. Following extensive review and a competitive evaluation process, the ASC recommended the selection of SENES Consultants Limited to carry out the audit.
The purpose of the audit is to assess the state of both the environment and environmental management in the Northwest Territories. The audit began in October 2004, followed by a draft work plan to the ASC in January 2005, with a draft audit report expected by mid-May 2005. The draft report will be reviewed by the ASC. Feedback will be provided to SENES and the final audit report should be completed by mid-June 2005 and made available to the public.
The NWT CIMPWG met in October 2004 to review proposals for monitoring and capacity-building projects. Of the 20 proposals submitted, 14 were awarded funding. Of these, three were related to the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA).
A revised version of the five-year work plan, NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (LIMP) and Audit — An Environmental Monitoring Program and Audit for the NWT, originally developed by the CIMPWG was completed in March 2005. This work plan will form the basis of a formal submission to Canada for long-term (five-year) program funding.
After several postponements, community consultations occurred in Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour in June 2004 to provide general information and an opportunity to share feedback on monitoring needs and the audit process.
The NWT Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Steering Committee, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development are committed to advancing the implementation of the various recommendations outlined in the Blueprint for Implementing the Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Strategy and Framework in the NWT and its Region (updated July 2004). Implementation is underway and is a shared responsibility among all key players in the Northwest Territories. One recommendation is the timely implementation of the CIMP and audit.
3.2 Economic Measures
Chapter 10 of the Agreement requires the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories to meet with the Gwich'in Tribal Council (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.
In 2003, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) developed a terms of reference and awarded a contract for the development of a framework to better evaluate government economic development programs as they relate to the economic measures objectives in the Gwich'in and Sahtu land claim agreements.
In April 2004, the contractor presented the template and report to federal, territorial and Gwich'in representatives in Yellowknife. The parties commented on the presentation and the contractor incorporated those comments into the report. The parties agreed to deliver the revised report and template report cards to their respective departments for their consideration for the Economic Measures Review meeting.
On November 16-18, 2004, the Three-Year Economic Measures Review meeting was held in Inuvik. The Government of the Northwest Territories and federal departments made presentations on their programs and handed out the completed report cards. The majority of presentations were well received by those in attendance.
Government, Gwich'in and Sahtu representatives met again in December 2004 to discuss the effectiveness of the Economic Measures Review meeting and next steps. Many government departments indicated they felt the report cards were only partially successful for reviewing the effectiveness of economic development programs. The parties agreed that the reporting mechanisms needed improvement and discussed various approaches for improving these reports.
It was agreed that a complete list of economic development programs would be beneficial as beneficiaries might not be aware of certain programs or how to apply for the 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.
3.3 Northern Gas Pipeline Project
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 facilities 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 Cooperation Plan for the Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project through the Northwest Territories represents the agreement by government and co-management boards on potential methods of cooperation in assessing a northern gas pipeline project. The purpose of the Plan is to define clearly the regulatory roles and responsibilities for applications relating to a northern gas pipeline project and to avoid duplication where possible. The Cooperation Plan in no way prejudges or pre-approves any potential project that may be proposed, nor does the approach prejudge the decisions to be made by any authority or bind any authority to a certain course of action.
Three agreements will give effect to the Cooperation Plan. Together, they add specific details for the review of the MGP to harmonize environmental assessment processes and avoid duplication.
- An Agreement for the Environmental Impact Review of the Mackenzie Gas Project was negotiated between the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB), Inuvialuit (as represented by the Inuvialuit Game Council) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency representing the Minister of the Environment. The Agreement provides for the establishment of a single joint review panel process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) and Inuvialuit Final Agreement for a gas development project. This Agreement was signed in August 2004. During the same period, Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Statement for the Mackenzie Gas Project were also signed and the seven panel members announced. These signings followed public consultation on the draft agreement and environmental impact statement terms of reference, and joint finalization of the documents by all three parties.
- A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Minister of the Environment and the Inuvialuit. It provides for a review process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act that encompasses certain unique measures contained in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.
- The Agreement for the Coordination of the Regulatory Review of the Mackenzie Gas Project (Regulators' Agreement) was signed on April 22, 2004. It includes the regulators for the review, principally, the National Energy Board (NEB), the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB), Northwest Territories Water Board, Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Inuvialuit Land Administration.
In January 2004, the Inuvialuit Environmental Impact Screening Committee (EISC) referred the MGP to a joint review panel after deciding that the development could have a significant negative environmental impact on wildlife or Inuvialuit harvesting. The federal Minister of the Environment accepted the EISC recommendation that the project undergo further assessment through an environmental review panel. The EISC referral was followed by the MVEIRB on May 21, 2004 which, in its scoping report, similarly recommended to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development that the project be referred to a joint review panel.
In October 2004, the MGP filed the project's environmental impact statement for review by the Joint Review Panel. Project proponents also filed the major regulatory applications for all parts of the project with the NEB. Filing these applications initiated the formal environmental assessment and regulatory review of the project.
The Joint Review Panel consists of seven members selected by the Inuvialuit Game Council, MVEIRB and federal Minister of the Environment. The environmental impact assessment will consider the potential effect of the project on the environment and on the social, cultural and economic well-being of the residents and communities affected.
An environmental impact assessment coordinator was hired to work with the communities to coordinate Gwich'in input into the environmental and technical review processes. Hearings will not occur until the next reporting period, but the information request and response process is underway. Communities expressed concern about the potential social impacts of the project. It is hoped employment, training, business and other benefits will outweigh any negative social impacts.
Social concerns will also be addressed in benefits and access negotiations. The GTC established a benefits and access negotiating team made of up two representatives from each community. Legal counsel, technical staff from the GTC and consultants with expertise in pipelines, finance, contracting and labour matters support the team. The negotiations with Imperial are to put in place a benefits agreement that will establish Imperial's obligations for ensuring there will be employment, contracting and other benefits flowing from the project to the communities. This agreement must be in place before Imperial will be granted access to Gwich'in-owned land and will be based on the following principles, which were agreed upon during the last fiscal year:
- protecting the land and resources throughout the Gwich'in Settlement Area;
- maximizing economic development in all communities;
- improving socio-economic conditions in all communities;
- building capacity. in Gwich'in beneficiaries to maximize their employment and business opportunities in all communities; and
- minimizing post-project impacts in all communities.
By the close of the fiscal year, the team had met 18 times as a caucus and with Imperial. The emphasis at recent meetings has been on developing an understanding and agreement on maximizing employment and contracting opportunities.
Neither the benefits agreement nor the regulatory review processes are ideal forums in which to address the social concerns of the communities. In the benefits agreement process, it is difficult to obtain industry agreement to address pre-existing social problems that need attention to ensure the benefits of the project will outweigh the impacts. Industry argues these are government responsibilities and that industry is only responsible for the impacts it causes. In the regulatory review process, environmental concerns can be heard and addressed as conditions attached to environmental permits and project approvals. This is not the case with social concerns. While there is provision for social concerns to be heard, there is no regulated mechanism for them to be addressed through mitigation requirements applicable to either industry or government.
Several letters were sent by the GTC to the federal and territorial governments directing their attention to this problem and requesting their engagement on social issues. To date there has been no response.
3.4 Yukon Issues
Council of YukonFirst Nations Membership
Over the past reporting period, the GTC sought and was accepted for membership by the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN). This membership status neared finalization in 2004-2005. As a CYFN member, the GTC will be able to participate more effectively with other Yukon First Nations on matters of resource management, land administration and land claims implementation. The GTC is not covered by the Yukon Umbrella Final Agreement. However, CYFN membership helps confirm the GTC's status as a First Nation with a land claim agreement in Yukon.
Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act
The GTC 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 YESAA provides for First Nations nominees to its assessment board by the CYFN. Before making its nominations, the CYFN is required to consult with the GTC. There was some confusion over the initial consultation conducted by the CYFN. The appointments were delayed so the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development could obtain assurance from the CYFN that the appropriate consultation was completed. At the time, the GTC was negotiating for a Gwich'in nominee to the assessment board; these negotiations were unsuccessful.
3.5 NWT Wildlife Act
The Government of the Northwest Territories will revise the NWT Wildlife Act, and draft species at risk legislation in conformance with the federal Species at Risk Act and regulatory regime. Land claims groups in the Northwest Territories attended "integration meetings" led by the NWT Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED) to ensure that applicable land claim provisions are adequately incorporated into the new legislation. The main concern of the land claim groups is to ensure the effective integration of land claim agreements. Adequate integration is an obligation. To this end, the groups asked that before going to full public consultation, the Government of the Northwest Territories consult first with Aboriginal groups to accomplish integration of the land claims. The groups also asked the NWT government to use a contract drafter who could be present at all Aboriginal group consultations to facilitate the drafting process. Finally, the Aboriginal groups want to identify and incorporate important principles and objectives of the land claim provisions on wildlife management and on the paramountcy of land claims generally. They also want to ensure the roles of the land claim boards and renewable resources councils (RRCs) are explicitly incorporated.
By the end of 2003-2004, the territorial government had put the drafting on hold pending other government and political priorities. During the past fiscal year, there was no progress made on this initiative.
4. Implementation Committee
The Implementation Committee consists of senior officials representing each of the parties to the Agreement. Committee members include Fred Carmichael, President, GTC, who was represented by Deb Bisson, Director of Lands, Resources and Implementation; Jake Heron, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Northwest Territories, who was represented by Scott Alexander, Director of Implementation, at the April meeting; Aideen Nabigon, Director of Implementation Management Directorate, INAC who represented INAC at the April meeting; and Mavis Dellert, Director of Implementation Management Directorate, INAC, who represented INAC at the December 2003 meeting.
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 in Yellowknife on April 28, 2004 and in Ottawa on December 7, 2004.
4.1 Communications Package
The Implementation Committee continued to edit and revise the Communications Package, an educational tool, in the form of a CD-Rom, to assist Gwich'in students in understanding the Agreement. The text for the package was finalized in January 2005 and a prototype of the CD-Rom was produced. The Committee expected the CD-Rom to go into production in 2005-2006.
4.2 EconomicMeasures Review
The Implementation Committee coordinated a review of government economic development programs as they relate to the economic measures chapters of the Gwich'in and Sahtu agreements. The review was held in Inuvik in November 2004 with many government departments and Gwich'in community representatives in attendance. The review was facilitated by a template developed by INAC in 2003. The Implementation Committee discussed the implementation of the economic measures chapter in detail throughout 2004-2005. Topics discussed included the utility of the review as it had been conducted thus far, the scope and extent to which the economic measures chapter can apply in addressing questions and issues of economic self-sufficiency in the Gwich'in and Sahtu settlement areas, and next steps following the review of government programs.
The Implementation Committee was pleased overall with the economic measures review but will continue to strive to improve the implementation of the economic measures chapter.
4.3 Other Activities
The Implementation Committee also:
- supervised the production of its 2003-2004 annual report;
- oversaw the nominations and appointment process for boards established under the Agreement;
- pursued active membership on the economic measures working group charged with improving the review of economic measures for the Gwich'in and Sahtu agreements; and
- discussed the need for surface rights legislation.
5. Implementing Bodies
The Agreement provides for the establishment of implementing bodies responsible for managing wildlife resources, conducting environmental impact assessments and reviews of development proposals, planning and regulating land and water use, resolving issues relating to surface entry and compensation, settling disputes related to the interpretation of the Agreement and determining eligibility for participation as beneficiaries of the Agreement. The Implementation Plan sets out the membership, functions and time frames for the establishment of each implementing body.
The Gwich'in Arbitration Panel, Gwich'in Land and Water Board (GLWB), Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board (GLUPB), Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB), RRCs and MVEIRB are operational. Appendix 1 identifies membership in 2004-2005 on these implementing bodies (excluding the RRCs).
Chapter 26 of 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. The Board will consist of members residing in the Northwest Territories and, when dealing with Gwich'in lands, shall act through a panel of its members at least one of whom shall be a resident of the Gwich'in Settlement Area. Since the surface rights board has yet to be created by legislation, relevant surface rights disputes in the Settlement Area may be referred to the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel.
5.1 Gwich'in Arbitration Panel
Chapter 6 of the Agreement provides for the establishment of the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel to resolve disputes that arise during the implementation of the Agreement. However, the Panel has not been called upon to arbitrate any disputes since its inception. Panel members did not meet in 2004-2005.
5.2 Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board
The GLUPB is responsible for developing and implementing a land use plan for the Gwich'in Settlement Area. The Gwich'in Land Use Plan will provide 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 is adapted to address 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.
Implementing the Gwich'in Land Use Plan
Nành' Geenjit Gwitr'it T'igwaa'in, (Working for the Land), the Gwich'in Land Use Plan, received final approval on August 7, 2003. It is very important for the Board to understand the Land Use Plan's implementation and its effect on land use in the Gwich'in Settlement Area. It is also very important that communities and other stakeholders understand how the Plan works, because they have a continued role under the Plan to participate in decisions about development activities.
The Board worked on a strategy document that will provide more detail about the Land Use Plan's 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 actions listed in this document, which includes implementation of the Land Use Plan and preparation for its five-year review, is reported in detail in the GLUPB Annual Report.
Two conditions leading to the approval of the Land Use Plan are being tracked by the Board over the next few years. Fulfilment of these obligations by INAC is necessary before the Plan's five-year review.
- Canada Mining Regulations Amendments: Since submitting comments in March 2003 on the first draft of proposed amendments to the Canada Mining Regulations, the Board has had no role in the amendment process. The Board expects to participate in the review of the second draft of amendments in the fall of 2005. The Board's focus will be to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed wording to respect zoning in the land use plan that restricts mineral exploration and mining.
- Non-Renewable Resource Assessment in the Gwich'in Conservation Zones: Throughout 20042005, the Board maintained communication with the government agency undertaking the assessment: the NWT Geoscience Office (previously named the C.S. Lord Northern Geoscience Centre). The Phase I assessment report was received in February 2004 and addresses work completed in 2003. The second and final year of field work was completed in August 2004. The final report must be completed by the end of 2006 to ensure that the Board can use this information in the five-year review.
The MGP has added considerable work for the Board. This project, with an estimated construction value of $7 billion, is clearly well beyond the scale and impact of any other project the Board has dealt with to date. As such, many items related to pipeline review were added to the original time frame and work plan, which moved a number of other tasks to later dates or increased the time frame of others.
The Board retained consultants to review the MGP's environmental impact statement as a way to identify issues.
The Board undertook a research plan this year, seeking funding from outside sources to complete work. With assistance from the federal and territorial offices for the NWT Protected Area Strategy (PAS), Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (NWT chapter), the following reports were completed by March 31, 2005, either in final or draft forms:
- cultural sites in the Arctic Red River headwaters (identified from existing literature and other sources);
- ecological information about the Arctic Red River headwaters (identified from existing literature);
- ecological information about the Travaillant Lake/Thunder River areas (identified from existing literature);
- ecological information about the Campbell Hills and Creek area (identified from existing literature); and
- a review of the conditions of the special management zones.
These reports have supplied some of the information needed for more detailed planning, which will be part of the five-year review of the Land Use Plan.
The Board also undertook for the first time, a youth-specific project involving the development of a curriculum-based classroom guide for grades 4, 7 and 10. Still in draft, it is anticipated this will be available to schools in the Gwich'in Settlement Area in 2005-2006. This guide will give teachers resources to introduce students to resource management using the example of the Land Use Plan.
During the year, the Board had concerns about its membership. In December, the terms of three of the five members lapsed before the Government of Canada completed the appointment process. Because of this lack of membership, the Board was without a quorum for two months and unable to meet officially and work on mandated tasks, including an inability to make a formal decision on an application for an exception to the Land Use Plan. The application was submitted to the Board by Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Ltd. to allow winter geotechnical work near Thunder River (related to the pipeline project). The Board corresponded with INAC on this issue to ensure that the problems with the appointment process are addressed.
5.3 Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board
The GRRB, created pursuant to section 12.8 of the Agreement, has a mandate to ensure that wildlife, fish and forests are used in a sustainable manner so they are available today and for future generations. In 2004-2005, the five-year terms of most of the Board members and the chair of the Board expired. The appointment/reappointment process of the Board members started slowly and it is hoped this process will be completed in 2005-2006. In other areas of GRRB activities, steady progress was made during the year.
The Board completed its 11`h year of operation in 2004-2005. A 10-year report covering the period 1993 to 2003 will be made available through the GRRB Web site.
The Board meets two times per year in a Gwich'in community. In 2004-2005, the meetings were held in Tsiigehtchic (October 4-5, 2004) and Aklavik (February 8-9, 2005). A one-day GRRB strategic planning workshop was held in Aklavik on February 7, 2004 before the regular Board meeting, to revise and update the GRRB Strategic Plan.
During regular meetings in the communities, the Board met with the RRCs to discuss local renewable resource management concerns and issues. The Board has good working relationships with other institutions of public government and government agencies.
Research and Management Projects
To gather current information on renewable resources in the Gwich'in Settlement Area from which to make informed management decisions, the Board allocated $224,120 from the Wildlife Studies Fund to 19 projects, including seven related to wildlife ($133,000), four related to fisheries ($67,000) and eight related to culture/education projects ($24,120).
The GRRB received additional outside funding and assistance totalling over $200,000 from various organizations to conduct research and management projects in the Gwich'in Settlement Area.
Renewable Resource Management
As the GRRB was established as the main instrument for wildlife and forestry management in the Settlement Area, its mandate is to ensure that wildlife, fish and the forests are used in a sustainable manner. The Board promotes community-based sustainable resources management and continued to work on various management plans in the area.
The Northern Richardson Mountain Dall Sheep Management Plan community consultations and baseline ecological studies continued during the year, as did work on the Forest Management Plan. A draft of the latter plan includes the planning framework, terms of reference for forest management in the Settlement Area, a summary of community forest management needs, and short- and long-term work plans.
The GRRB chaired the annual Rat River Charr Fishing Plan consultation in Aklavik.
Settlement Area Harvest Study
The Settlement Area Harvest Study (SAHS) was completed in September 2004, based on the feedback the Board received from the SAHS Working Group and communities. Work to confirm the data collected between 2000 and 2005 was initiated.
Gwich'in Traditional/Local Knowledge
Community knowledge continued to be collected by the GRRB through the SAHS and as a part of regular community consultation.
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. 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 of $1,000 to college or university students pursuing studies in renewable resources or a related field (three scholarships awarded in the reporting period); 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 will be available during the first half of 2005.
Staff started updating the organization's web site at Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board to enhance communication about the Board's activities and programs to the public.
Implementing community-based resource management poses challenges to all participants — communities, government departments and land claim organizations. During the year, the GRRB worked to ensure that all the partners involved in renewable resources management came together to promote long-term sustainable resource conservation and active community participation.
For institutions of public government, such as the GRRB, in which the majority of board members have served since its establishment, the appointment/ reappointment of members happens in predictable five-year intervals. In spite of this predictability, the process is and has been slow. The Board would be appreciative if all the parties involved in nominating and appointing members could revisit the process and discover ways to make it more effective and timely.
Providing financial and in-kind support for various research and management studies was, and remains, one of the GRRB's main functions, as seen through its funding of 19 projects for $224,120. Incorporation of traditional/local knowledge into renewable resources management continued to be a cornerstone of the GRRB's operations, as well as supporting the training of Gwich'in beneficiaries in renewable resources management.
The Board enjoyed working with the Implementation Committee and looks forward to future cooperation.
5.4 Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board
The MVEIRB is mandated by the Gwich'in and Sahtu land claim agreements and the MVRMA to conduct environmental assessments and reviews of development projects in the Mackenzie Valley. The Board's jurisdiction applies to all lands in the Northwest Teritories, excluding the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Wood Buffalo National Park. The MVRMA replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in the Mackenzie Valley except under specific circumstances.
As of March 31, 2004, the Board had two vacancies. A temporary replacement for the Deh Cho is being sought by the Board, and there is a vacancy from the TI}chp arising from the appointment of Gabrielle Mackenzie-Scott to the chair's position. The Board continues to work with INAC to resolve the quorum issues arising out of Board vacancies.
Staffing and Location
Hiring occurred for various staff positions including the manager of environmental impact assessment, manager of finance and administration, community liaison officer and environmental assessment officer.
In 2004-2005, the Board received 99 notifications of preliminary screenings. This compares to 162 screenings in the last fiscal year, 151 screenings in 2002-2003, 220 screenings in 2001-2002, 186 screenings in 2000-2001 and 161 screenings in 1999-2000.
Eleven environmental assessments were handled during the year. Of these, four were new referrals and the others were carry-overs from previous years. Out of the four new referrals, three files were closed when the companies either withdrew the permit applications or chose not to proceed with the environmental assessment.
The Board completed four environmental assessments; three of the completed files were carry-overs from the previous year. At fiscal year end, the Board was carrying over one project into the new fiscal year — the Canadian Zinc Ltd. Prairie Creek exploration drilling project.
Environmental Assessments in Progress
EA0405-002 Canadian Zinc Prairie Creek Exploration Drilling
The MVLWB referred this development to environmental assessment on June 1, 2004 on the basis of public concern over cumulative effects on the South Nahanni River watershed. The company proposes to drill at 60 sites on its mineral claims. Canadian Zinc submitted the project description in January 2005, and the Board plans scoping sessions in the Deh Cho communities of Wrigley, Fort Simpson, Nahanni Butte and Fort Liard, and in Yellowknife, in early April 2005.
Completed Environmental Assessments
EA03-008: Deh Cho Bridge Corporation, Mackenzie River Bridge Project
The Deh Cho Bridge Corporation had proposed to build a bridge over the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence. The steel and concrete bridge would be 1,045 metres long and supported by eight piers in the Mackenzie River. This would be the largest bridge in northern Canada. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans referred this project to environmental assessment in January 2004.
The environmental assessment considered issues, such as possible accidents and malfunctions, effects on ice movements during river break-up, effects on river users, economic impacts on Fort Providence and other communities, socio-cultural impacts of all-weather access across the Mackenzie, and impacts on fish and wildlife. The Board submitted its Report of Environmental Assessment on December 10, 2004 and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development accepted the Board's report on March 16, 2005.
EA03-007: Mackenzie Gas Project, Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline
The MGP producers, in participation with the APG, filed a land use permit and water licence application with the MVLWB for a barge landing and staging site at Camsell Bend in July 2003. This application was the "trigger" to initiate the environmental assessment of the MGP. The MVLWB referred the development to the MVEIRB for environmental assessment in December 2003.
The Board held scoping sessions in Norman Wells, Inuvik and Fort Simpson during March and April 2004, and submitted its scoping report on May 21, 2004 to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development recommending that the project be referred to a joint review panel.
EA03-006: Snowfield Development Corporation Drybones Bay Exploration Program
Snowfield Development Corporation proposed a five-year program in the Drybones Bay area south of Yellowknife that included drilling 98 holes, bulk sampling, road construction and a semi-permanent camp with sumps and a storage area. The public hearing for the Snowfield Development Corporation's project was held in Yellowknife on January13, 2004. The Report of Environmental Assessment for Snowfield Development Corporation was submitted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development on February 26, 2004, and was accepted by the Minister on August 19, 2004 after a consult-tomodify process which sought clarification on some of the Board's recommendations.
EA02-002: WesternGeco Ltd. River Seismic Survey
WesternGeco Ltd. proposed to conduct a river seismic survey 1500 kilometres down the Mackenzie and Liard rivers. The company would use air cannons firing into the water and floating microphones to pick up the vibrations from below the river bottom. The NEB and DFO referred the development to the Board on June 26, 2002, because information gaps about the impacts of air guns led them to conclude that the project might cause significant adverse environmental impacts. The environmental assessment was put on hold at the request of the company in order to complete a test program and then was reinstated in December 2002.
WesternGeco conducted research on what effects noise from the air guns would have on fish and animals. The company's acoustic studies helped to clarify how sound from the air guns will behave in the river, but were insufficient to determine whether the air guns will harm fish.
The Board proposed certain measures to reduce impacts. These included a program for monitoring, evaluation and management, designed cooperatively with, and supervised by, DFO. The Report of EnvironmentalAssessmentwas submitted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the NEB on June 30, 2003. A subsequent consultto-modify process was concluded by the Board on December 15, 2004.
Completed Environmental Assessments Waiting For Ministerial Approval
Four reports of environmental assessment were waiting for the approval of the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs as of fiscal year end. Two went to a consult-tomodify process where INAC has sought clarification from the Board on its recommendations.
EA03-009: Imperial Oil Ventures Ltd. Deh Cho Geotechnical Program
The Board called up on its own motion the Imperial Oil Ventures Ltd. Deh Cho Geotechnical Program survey on February 26, 2004. The Board made the decision on the basis of public concern in letters received from several Deh Cho communities. This environmental assessment considered the impacts from activities proposed by Imperial to investigate subsurface conditions in the Deh Cho Region in preparation for the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. The proposed geotechnical work included the use of heavy equipment and drills, creation of new access, and the construction of two portable 65-person camps.
Related issues include the potential effects on boreal caribou, social impacts on communities near temporary camps, impacts on heritage and archaeological sites, and impacts on proposed protected areas and places of concern to communities. The Report of Environmental Assessment was submitted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development on February 18, 2005.
EA03-005: Paramount Resources, Cameron Hills Extension
Paramount Resources operates an oil and gas gathering system in the Cameron Hills area south of Hay River. In April 2003, Paramount applied to the MVLWB to amend existing land use permits and water licences to allow drilling of an additional five wells. The MVLWB concluded that the development required an environmental assessment to address the cumulative effects of adding these and possibly other wells at a later date.
The Board initiated this assessment in June 2003. Paramount Resources submitted a development description that included developing up to 48 additional wells and associated flow lines. At Board hearings in Kakisa and Hay River in February 2004, concerns about air quality, caribou, cumulative effects and economic benefits were raised. The Report of Environmental Assessment was submitted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development on June 1, 2004. A subsequent consult-tomodify process was concluded in March 2005 and awaits ministerial approval.
EA03-003: North American General Resources Corporation Drybones Bay Exploration
The MVLWB referred the North American General Drybones Bay exploration project to environmental assessment on April 21, 2003. The Board held a public hearing for this and two other associated projects in Yellowknife on November 2003.
The evidence presented showed a level of concern disproportionate to the size and physical impacts of the proposed exploration projects. The importance of the Drybones and Wool Bay area to the culture of the Akaitcho and Metis peoples near Yellowknife elevated the level of concern. Much of the evidence highlighted the vulnerability of largely undocumented archaeological, burial and cultural resources in an important traditional use area.
Aboriginal parties were concerned about the potential for cumulative impacts from increasing mineral exploration and other land use in the vicinity of Yellowknife. Unresolved land ownership and the absence of a land use plan were also concerns.
The Board submitted its Report of Environmental Assessment to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development on February 11, 2004. It concluded the subsequent consult-to-modify process on December 16, 2004, and at fiscal year end, was awaiting ministerial approval.
EA03-004: New Shoshoni Ventures Ltd. Drybones Bay Diamond Exploration
Public concern about development in the Drybones Bay, an area of cultural, spiritual and environmental importance, led to a series of referrals between April and June 2003. The New Shoshoni Ventures Dry-bones Bay exploratory drilling project was referred on May 28, 2003.
New Shoshoni Ventures proposed CO drill up to 10 exploratory holes, mainly on ice, with potential line cutting to prepare for future work, supported by an eight-person camp over five years.
The Board held a joint public hearing in November 2003 where Consolidated GoldWin Ventures, North American General Resources, and New Shoshoni Ventures projects were reviewed. It found that the projects would or could result in significant negative impacts to archaeological or burial sites. Recommendations were made to provide additional protection for heritage resources. As the New Shoshoni Ventures exploration project was in an area so culturally sensitive and the adverse effects of the project would be so substantial, the Board recommended the project be rejected.
The Board submitted its Report of Environmental Assessment to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development on February 11, 2004. As of the close of 2004-2005, the Board was still waiting for a response to this report.
Cancelled Environmental Assessments
EA0405-004 Northrock Resources Keele River Airstrip
The Sahtu Land and Water Board referred this development to environmental assessment on November 15, 2004. The Board cancelled this environmental assessment after the company withdrew its permit application on November 17, 2004.
EA0405-003 Fortune Minerals Meridian Lake Exploration Drilling
The MVLWB referred this development to environmental assessment on July 2, 2004. The Board cancelled this environmental assessment in January 2005 due to a lack of response on the part of the company to proceed with the environmental assessment.
0405-001: Jane Lind Horn River Mineral Exploration
The MVLWB referred this development to environmental assessment on June 1, 2004 on the grounds of public concern. The Board cancelled this environmental assessment after the individual withdrew the application for a land use permit on August 6, 2004.
OBD0405-02 Hay River Bio-Treatment Pad Development
The Town of Hay River applied to have its water licence amended to operate a bio-treatment pad for hydrocarbon-contaminated soil. The K'atlodeeche First Nation requested an environmental assessment after the town proceeded with developing the site. On October 28, 2004 the Board requested parties to submit arguments on three key questions. After reviewing the submissions, the Board determined that it would not call up the development on its own motion.
In June 2004, members visited the proposed Fort Providence location for the Mackenzie River Bridge project.
Board members participated in 14 board meetings and 23 teleconferences during the year. The meetings were held to discuss the full schedule of environmental assessments. Several Board meetings were held in conjunction with MVEIRB public hearings. The September Board meeting was held in Inuvik.
A strategic plan is prepared by the Board each year that outlines expenditure and policy priorities for the next three years. In it, five broad categories of initiatives are identified to meet the Board's goals. These are to provide leadership in environmental management; develop and implement effective environment impact assessment processes and procedures; enhance Board communications; enhance effective working relationships and partnerships; and secure resources and develop capacity. The MVEIRB Strategic Plan guides the Board in the development of its annual business plan for coming fiscal years.
The 2005-2006 Business Plan was submitted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development along with an expenditure plan and budget. The budget for 2004-2005 was $2,378,315. This was supplemented by an additional $725,000 from INAC Northern Region to address capacity issues in preparation for the anticipated assessment of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline.
Strategic Plan Initiatives
Several initiatives were outlined in the MVEIRB Strategic Plan accompanied by proposed strategies to achieve these. The following commentary on these initiatives provides background and undertakings of the Board, and is based on the five categories of the Strategic Plan.
Providing Leadership in Environmental Management
- Responding Effectively to an Environmental Audit: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada contracted SENES Consultants to undertake an environmental audit of the MVRMA as required by Part VI of the Act. This audit looked at the effectiveness of the regulations, organizations and methods in dealing with the environmental impact of development in the Mackenzie Valley.
A workshop was held for the Board on the MVEIRB submission to the environmental audit. This engaged Board members and increased their experience in the implementation of Part V, providing valuable insight and information to the consultants.
- Enhancing Understanding and Effectiveness of Board Recommendations: As part of its initiative to enhance the working relationship between the MVEIRB and the land and water boards, the Board implemented a formalized process for clarifying and confirming the understanding of the Board's recommendations. This process involves the development of a "guided tour" of the Board's recommendations to enhance certainty and understanding, and to monitor and follow up on the implementation of its recommendations to assess their effectiveness.
- Clarifying Role and Responsibility: The MVEIRB mission statement was revised to clarify the Board's role and responsibility under the legislation. Staff made presentations at conferences on the Board's environmental impact assessment standards and practices. This included presentations to the International Association of Impact Assessment annual conference in Vancouver in April 2004; the Socio-Economic Effects Assessment Workshop in Whitehorse in March 2005, and the Arctic Oil and Gas Symposium in Calgary in March 2005.
- Improving Practices through Lessons Learned and Workshops: Staff organized an Environmental Impact Assessment Practices Workshop in March 2005 to present and share lessons learned in conducting environmental assessments with other boards and stakeholders to the MVRMA
- Monitoring and Influencing Positive Legislative Change: With the introduction into Parliament of the Tlicho land claim legislation, INAC invited the Board to comment on specific amendments to the MVRMA that might be implemented as consequential amendments to the Act as a result of the Tlicho Agreement. The Board also had some recommendations for improvements that would clarify certain sections regarding the administration of the provisions within the Act. However, to remove any - uncertainty about passage of the MVRMA amendments, only those consequential amendments required as a result of the Tlicho legislation were presented to Parliament for approval.
Developing and Implementing Effective Environmental Impact Assessment Processes and Procedures:
- Making the Process Fit: The Board looked at developing procedures for applying different levels of effort depending on whether a development is perceived to be large, medium or small in size. It determined that it is the size of the issue that brings a development to an environmental assessment rather than the size of the development itself. And, it is the size of the issue that eventually determines how much effort and time an environmental assessment requires.
- Guidelines and Procedures Definition: The MVEIRB Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines were released in the summer of 2004. The MVEIRB and its stakeholders had worked on these guidelines for the previous two years.
The Board resumed work on socio-economic impact. It also released the reference bulletin, "Government and First Nations as a Developer," to guide the development of projects by government.
Revisions were initiated to the MVEIRB Rules of Procedure for Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Review Proceedings in November 2004, and will be concluded in the new fiscal year.
- Engaging Practitioners' Peer Group in Best Practices: In its efforts to improve the environmental assessment process, the Board held a practitioners' workshop on March 1-2, 2005. Over 90 participants discussed issues ranging from traditional knowledge in environmental assessment to the environmental impact assessment process. The results will provide guidance for the conduct of future environmental assessments. This workshop combined elements of various lessons learned from previous Board assessments.
- Recognizing the Value of Traditional Knowledge: The latest revision of the Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Impact Assessment Guide was released for discussion in December and will be finalized in the new fiscal year.
Enhancing Board Communications
- Explaining the Jargon: A three-day translator's workshop was organized in January to develop terms and phrases in the Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal languages for words frequently used in environmental impact assessment hearings. The Board plans to continue this initiative in coming fiscal years. This was the third year it has held such workshops.
- Building Awareness: As part of its public information and awareness programs, information sessions were begun in Mackenzie Valley communities to explain the traditional knowledge guidelines and to improve understanding of MVEIRB processes. Board members and staff held community information sessions in February 2005 in Detah and N'dilo, and plan to hold these sessions in different communities in the next fiscal year.
Board representatives attended the GTC's Annual General Assembly in Tsiigehtchic in August 2004 and the Dene National Assembly in Weledeh in September 2004. As part of the Board's efforts to provide information to industry, it set up an information booth in cooperation with the MVLWB at the Inuvik Oil and Gas Symposium in June 2004, the Geoscience Forum in Yellowknife in November 2004, Exploration Roundup Mining Conference in Vancouver in January 2005, and the Prospectors' and Developers' Association of Canada conference in Toronto in March 2005.
Enhancing Effective Working Relationships and Partnerships
- Forum of the Boards: The Board continued its leadership role in improving coordination among northern boards by initiating the first meetings of the Forum of the Boards. The Forum met twice during the year to discuss issues of mutual concern.
- Memorandums of Cooperation: As part of its efforts to improve relationships between the MVEIRB and government agencies, the Board renewed its Memorandum of Cooperation with the NEB. It also initiated discussions with the Yukon government to develop a similar agreement until the establishment of a Yukon environmental and socio-economic assessment board in late 2005. The MVEIRB and Nunavut Impact Review Board signed a memorandum of cooperation on June 22, 2004 that sets out how the two bodies can cooperate on transboundary issues.
- Joint Review Panel: The Board continued its association with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Inuvialuit in providing support for the establishment of the Joint Review Panel to review the MGP. The MVEIRB nominated three members of the Panel, choosing representatives from the Gwich'in, Sahtu and Deh Cho regions.
- Board Relations Secretariat: Working relationships between INAC and the MVEIRB were improved through participation in INAC's Board Relations Secretariat activities and through meeting with senior INAC officials in Ottawa in January 2005.
Securing Resources and Developing Capacity
- Funding Security: Securing the financial and human resources to support the Board's operations remains a key priority for the MVEIRB. A multiyear funding mechanism is needed for the Board as a means of providing some financial stability in its operations.
- Procuring Expertise: Standing offer agreements were arranged with its key providers in the fields of legal services, computer maintenance, and in design and advertising services.
- Protecting and Enhancing Data Resources: The implementation of a document and file management system was begun with the acquisition of the appropriate hardware. The software and training components will be completed in the coming fiscal year. The geographic information system (GIS) capability identified in the previous year's strategic plan was brought into the MVEIRB office and is being used to generate maps for the environmental assessments.
- Managing by Policy: Various board policies for management of e-mail, security and documentation have been implemented or revised. Two staff members were trained in access to information legislation and procedures. Job descriptions and responsibility statements were developed for members and the chair, and governance issues continued to be addressed.
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 throughout the Gwich'in Settlement Area.
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 Settlement Area 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 private lands.
The Board consists of five members. The GTC nominates two members, and two members are nominated by the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada. The four members then nominate a chair. All members are appointed by Canada for a three-year term.
Staff for the GLWB include an executive director, GIS special projects, GIS technician, land and water technician, and office manager.
In fiscal year 2004-2005, the sixth full year of operation of the Board, eight land use permits and one water licence application 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 GSA;
- 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 institutions of public government in the Gwich'in Settlement Area and elsewhere to provide for an integrated and coordinated system of land management in the Mackenzie Valley.
6. Gwich'in Tribal Council
The GTC is the organization mandated by the Agreement to represent Gwich'in beneficiaries on the Implementation Committee and to ensure the protection of Gwich'in rights and interests as outlined in the Agreement. Key implementation activities undertaken by the GTC are described below.
6.1 Enrolment Board
The Enrolment Board began operating in March 1993. The GTC became responsible for the Board on December 22, 1997. The Board is responsible for enrolling eligible persons of Gwich'in ancestry (participants) as per Chapter 4 of the Agreement. Only those enrolled in the Agreement 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 Enrolment Coordinator distributes and receives applications for enrolment and presents them twice yearly to the Board for approval. New participants receive a certificate of enrolment and a Gwich'in enrolment card. These documents include picture identification with the individuals' enrolment number, so it can be used as photo identification for airline travel and other purposes.
The first Enrolment Registry, published in April 1994, listed 1,245 beneficiaries. This number was 2,943 as of March 31, 2005. The responsibilities of the GTC and Enrolment Board are ongoing, as new participants are enrolled or registered participants move, marry, have children or die.
6.2 Northern Gas Pipeline Project
See Specific Issues, section 3.3.
6.3 Council of Yukon First Nations Membership
See Specific Issues, section 3.4.
6.4 Land ClaimAgreement Coalition
Following a land claims implementation conference November 11-14, 2003, a number of land claims groups formed a coalition called the Land Claim Agreement Coalition. This conference occurred almost simultaneously with the release of the Auditor General's 2003 Chapter 8 critical review of INAC's performance in implementing land claim agreements.
The objective of the Coalition is to pursue with the federal government ways to improve its approach to the implementation of land claims. Coalition participants are Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (chair), Nisga'a Lisims Government, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the CYFN, Grand Council of the Crees, GTC, Makivik Corporation and Sahtu Secretariat Inc.
On March 24, 2004, the Coalition sent a letter and discussion paper to the Prime Minister's Office to initiate discussion of a more effective approach to implementation. The Coalition pursued this initiative, starting with a meeting held June 27, 2004 in Ottawa with members of the Privy Council Office, the Department of Justice, INAC, DFO and Environment Canada. The purpose of the meeting was to review four key coalition proposals as set out in the letter to the Prime Minister.
- Land claim agreements are with the Crown, not INAC. This means there needs to be a cross-government approach to implementation. There may also need to be some form of higher coordination body.
- There needs to be progress against broad objectives. The coalition's position is that it is necessary for the federal government to move away from its mantra that fulfilling legal obligations is equivalent to satisfying the objectives of the Agreement.
- There needs to be a new structure to the federal government's implementation program.
- There needs to be regular independent audits and reviews of the federal government's implementation performance.
By the end of the meeting, a working group was established to follow up on the issues. On February 24, 2005, the federal government responded to the Coalition's discussion paper with a draft paper of its own. In the new fiscal year, work will continue on finding alignment on a new approach to implementation.
6.5 Amendments to the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement
The GTC asked for an amendment to Chapter 11, Schedule 1, item 11 to change the 15-year period appearing in the first line to 25 years. 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-year period expires. This request was not addressed by Canada in 2004-2005.
6.6 Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act
See Specific Issues, section 3.4.
6.7 Communications CD-Rom
The Implementation Plan sets out a communication strategy to provide information to, and educate, Gwich'in participants, the general public and government officials about the Agreement. Further to this strategy, the Implementation Committee agreed to develop a CD-Rom for distribution to schools in the Gwich'in Settlement Area as an educational tool, providing an overview of the Agreement. In 20042005, the CD-Rom text underwent significant revisions and was finalized. This project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of the next fiscal year. It is already slated for use in training RRCs, environmental monitors and self-government staff.
6.8 Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations
Pursuant to Chapter 5 of the Agreement, the Gwich'in have been working with the Inuvialuit to negotiate a joint self-government agreement with Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories.
The primary focus of self-government for the Gwich'in in 2004-2005 was to develop community Gwich'in government constitutions. This is a departure from the public government model on which past negotiations have been based. Under the new model, there will be one constitution for each Gwich'in community. These community constitutions will then be rolled into one regional Gwich'in government constitution, with the GTC re-constituted as a Gwich'in government. The community constitutions will be presented at the Gwich'in Annual Assembly in August 2005, along with a framework for the regional constitution. It is hoped all the constitutions will be finalized by the fall.
Self-government negotiations concentrated on the following issues.
- Intergovernmental Services Agreement: The concept of an intergovernmental services agreement was generally agreed to by the negotiators; however, further work is needed to identify the purposes of this agreement.
- Core Principles and Objectives: The Beaufort-Delta and Government of the Northwest Terrritories exchanged documents and consulted with other negotiation tables on core principles and objectives. Fundamental disagreements in approach and intent may not be resolved until after the finalized self-government agreement.
- Guardianship: The position of the NWT government is that there should be core principles and objectives in the final self-government agreement. This is an outstanding issue due to disagreement with the government's position by the Inuvialuit and Gwich'in.
- Legal Working Group: Several draft chapters are being completed on economic development, marriage, guardianship and intergovernmental relations.
- Implementation and Finance Working Group: It was agreed that this group would begin work on an own-source revenue agreement. It was also observed by the Beaufort-Delta that unless significant progress was made on the issue of incremental funding for self-government, it would not be useful to continue the financial negotiations. With that in mind, at the end of the fiscal year, the Beaufort-Delta tabled calculations of the costs of the Beaufort-Delta Regional Government.
- Taxation Working Group: Although there was some discussion on territorial tax revenues, the issue of net fiscal benefit remains outstanding.
Since the approval of the agreement-in-principle, positions have been taken and issues raised that may affect the directions set for the final agreement. The following is a summary of these positions and issues.
- Dissolution of Band Councils: The chiefs of the four Gwich'in communities raised concerns in relation to the bands created under the Indian Act and the formation of a new Gwich'in government. Although Treaty 11 is not affected by the proposed self-government agreement, the chiefs are concerned that with the introduction of the new public government institutions, there will be erosion of treaty rights and a weakening of fiduciary duties owed by Canada to the bands and band members.
- Land Claim Institutions and Government: During land claim negotiations, the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit were not afforded the opportunity to negotiate self-government. Since then, the federal government has recognized the inherent right to self-government. Subsequent land claim and self-government agreements allow for Aboriginal peoples to exercise the full extent of their self-government rights. To achieve an equivalent approach for the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit may be problematic from a legal perspective.
- Completing Land Claim Obligations: Even though the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit have agreed to use public government institutions to implement their inherent right to Aboriginal self-government, with the result that the agreement-in-principle does not recognize the typical Aboriginal self-government powers for the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit governments, Canada continues to request that the negotiations discharge any obligations of Canada to negotiate self-government. Canada has also agreed to provisions for review and amendment of the Final Agreement that would systematically allow for negotiation of these typical Aboriginal self-government powers.
- Financial: Shortly after the agreement-in-principle was approved, at the request of the Beaufort-Delta, the Government of Canada agreed to review its policy in relation to taxation powers for public governments. As a result of that review, Canada reaffirmed that in a self-government agreement, it would not agree to have a direct funding relationship with public governments in the Northwest Territories other than the Government of the Northwest Territories, nor would it agree to public governments in the Northwest Territories, other than the Government of the Northwest Territories, having law-making powers over taxation. In response, the Beaufort-Delta negotiators approached the territorial government to see whether it would be willing to provide taxation powers or revenues to public governments. The Government of the Northwest Territories agreed to have community governments retain their property taxes, but for the Beaufort-Delta Regional Government, the territorial government's position is that any revenues transferred must not result in a loss of revenues to the territorial government unless Canada compensates the territorial government for that loss. Canada is unwilling to alter the formula financing agreements between the federal government and the Government of the Northwest Territories to take into account transferred taxation powers and revenues from the territorial government to the Beaufort-Delta public governments. As a result, the Beaufort-Delta Regional Government could not obtain any net fiscal benefit from financing from the territorial government. This, in turn, is unacceptable to the Beaufort-Delta, and has led to a loss of confidence in regional government on the grounds that although the Beaufort-Delta Regional Government would have onerous obligations in key areas of public programs and services under the agreement-in-principle, it would have no significant revenue source other than transfer payments from the Government of the Northwest Territories, and from the Inuvialuit and Gwich'in governments (which will have tax revenues through tax-sharing agreements with Canada).
The federal negotiator has stated that if these issues and positions result in substantive changes to the agreement-in-principle, it would be necessary for the federal government to conduct a mandate review and federal cabinet approval might be required. It was agreed that the Inuvialuit and Gwich'in leadership should provide a clear decision on their views or options for a final agreement. Then the federal and territorial governments will assess the need to change their mandates, make any required mandate changes and proceed with final agreement negotiations based on renewed mandates.
6.9 Resource Management
Chapter 12 of the Agreement addresses wildlife harvesting and management and Chapter 13 addresses forestry. The implementation of these chapters of the Agreement falls within the resource management function of the GTC. The following are some of the resource management issues addressed by the GTC over the past reporting period.
Northwest Territories Wildlife Act and Species at Risk Act Consultations
See Specific Issues, section 3.5.
Peel River Watershed Planning
Land use planning in the Yukon is subject to the terms of the Umbrella Final Agreement and specific Yukon First Nations' final agreements, none of which have non-Yukon First Nations as a party. The Nacho Nyak Dun Final Agreement establishes a process for creating a regional land use planning commission for the traditional territory of the Na-Cho Nyak Dun. Pursuant to this, the GTC participated in establishing the Peel Watershed Planning Commission. The general terms of reference for the Commission were finalized during the year. Abe Wilson of Fort McPherson is the appointed GTC nominee on the Commission, and Norman Snowshoe is the GTC representative on the Technical Working Group. A representative selected by the Tetlit Gwich'in Council will sit on the Senior Liaison Committee. The Commission completed preliminary meetings and will begin community meetings to introduce the Commission and discuss its work plan. A meeting was proposed for Fort McPherson in June 2005.
Although the GTC will participate in the Commission, the current process mandated by the Nacho Nyak Dun 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 self-governing Yukon First Nations affected by a proposed plan. 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.
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 of Renewable Resources regarding ultimate removal of regulations in favour of an educational approach. The GTC supports 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, Tljchp, Vuntut Gwitchin, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and Na-Cho Nyak Dun.
In the case of the Sahtu agreement, finding historic maps and documenting historic harvesting use has led to delays. The Na-Cho Nyak Dun are seeking funding to begin negotiations. An agreement had been signed with the Inuvialuit, but it could not be fully implemented, because one map had not been finalized due to an outstanding issue. Over the past reporting period, the issue was resolved, paving the way for the implementation of this agreement with the Inuvialuit. Due to the passage of time, it now needs to be updated and that work is underway.
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 GRRB and NWT government on the development of a forest management plan. This plan has been 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 community consultation.
6.10 Gwich'in Land Administration
The administration, management and control of Gwich'in lands is the responsibility of the GTC in accordance with section 18.1.6 of the Agreement. Typical activities on Gwich'in lands include gravel pits, rock quarries, oil and gas exploration, pipeline development, scientific research, recreational access, military uses, government road construction and maintenance, helicopter landing pads, communications sites, municipal water sources and timber harvesting. These activities must be approved in accordance with the GTC land administration process. In addition to processing and dealing with issues of land access applications, the GTC constantly updates the land administration guidelines 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 changes the Inuvialuit Land Administration made to its 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. The Pit Management Plan for the Frog Creek Quarry was finalized. This 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.
In October 2002, the GTC began updating its cabin/camp database. One objective is to establish leases for non-beneficiaries who occupy cabins on Gwich'in-owned land. Another objective is to establish free leases with beneficiaries for their cabins to try to maintain some control over inter-cabin proximity and tidiness.
Over the past reporting period, maps were created showing the locations of all cabins/camps in the Gwich'in Settlement Area, whether on Crown or private land. These maps are being updated with the input of designated Gwich'in organizations, RRCs and government as well as through field research. Once they are finalized, non-Gwich'in cabin owners will be required to enter into a lease with the GTC.
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.
6.11 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 are some of the specific projects and activities in which the GSCI was engaged over the 2004-2005 reporting period. The 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.
Traditional Knowledge Policy
On June 22, 2004, the GTC finalized a traditional knowledge policy. The policy will apply to all traditional knowledge work conducted in the Gwich'in Settlement Area.
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 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
In July, the GSCI worked with the Tetlit Gwich'in Council, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation and Yukon Heritage Branch to begin excavation of 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 Teetl'it Gwich'in, Dagoo Gwich'in and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in.
Exhibits of the 19th century Gwich'in caribou skin clothing replicas were unveiled in Aklavik, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic during ceremonies that took place February 28 to March 2, 2005. The exhibits in Aklavik and Fort McPherson were located at the schools, and the exhibit in Tsiigehtchic was in the boardroom of the band office. The unveiling ceremony for the Inuvik replica will occur early in the new fiscal year at the Capital Suites.
The GSCI has been working with the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife on the exhibition of the Gwich'in Clothing Project at each location. The exhibit will be put on display at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in 2006 and at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 2007. Smaller versions of the exhibit will also be displayed in the four Gwich'in communities.
Dempster Highway Brochure
In the winter of 2004, the GSCI was approached by the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in in Dawson to partner with the Vuntut Gwitchin, Na-Cho Nyak Dun and Inuvialuit on a fold-out map and brochure about the Aboriginal peoples who live in the area of the highway. The GSCI provided cultural, historical, place name and oral history information and photos for the Gwich'in traditional area of use, which encompasses the area north of Dawson to Inuvik.
Fort McPherson Ethno-Archaeology Booklet
In September, the GSCI completed a booklet about the Fort McPherson archaeological site. The booklet will be available from Outcrop Ltd. in June 2005.
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 which will 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 on site 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 has been contracted by Imperial to research and prepare a traditional knowledge report for use in the MGP environmental assessment. It is expected that the report will be reviewed with the communities in April 2005.
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-share 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.
Teetl'it Gwich'in Cultural Places Inventory
Under a new NWT government program for the NWT Historic Places Register, the GSCI worked with the community of Fort McPherson to nominate two places: Nataiinlaii and the Mouth of the Peel Village. The nominations were submitted at the end of March 2005.
7. Government of the Northwest Territories
The territorial government performed various implementation activities pursuant to the Agreement, Implementation Plan and related funding agreements.
7.1 Ministry ofAboriginal Affairs
The Ministry worked closely with the GTC, federal and Government of the Northwest Territories officials, and the various implementing bodies established pursuant to the Agreement. The Ministry coordinated the implementation activities of all NWT departments, prepared regular status reports for the Implementation Committee and prepared the NWT government component of this annual report.
A Ministry official actively participated as the Government of the Northwest Territories representative on the Implementation Committee dealing with such issues as economic measures, communications, board funding requests, board appointments and reallocation of implementation resources.Chapter 10 of the Agreement requires the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories to meet with the Gwich'in at least once every three years to review the effectiveness of economic development programs relating to Gwich'in self-sufficiency and strengthening the traditional Gwich'in economy. The Ministry worked with other NWT government departments, coordinating the department presentations for the Economic Measures meeting held in November 2004. The Ministry works with the Gwich'in and Government of Canada to address commitments made at the meeting. (For further information, see Specific Issues, section 3.2.)
In accordance with Chapter 5 and Appendix B of the Agreement, the Ministry participated in the Beaufort-Delta self-government negotiations process.
7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs processed a royalty payment to the GTC based on Government of the Northwest Territories sand and gravel sales.
Tax rebates were processed for individuals residing in Gwich'in owned lands in the Gwich'in communities. At the request of the GTC, for subsequent years, the band offices or designated Gwich'in organizations will handle the applications at the community level.
7.3 Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
The Department continued to meet its obligations through ongoing consultation with the GTC, designated Gwich'in organizations and RRCs. The Department also worked closely with the GRRB, GLUPB, GLWB, GSCI and Gwich'in Development Corporation, promoting, assisting and advising these bodies on wildlife management, forest management, resource development and economic development issues.
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.
As the lead territorial department for the implementation of a memorandum of understanding on government contracting within the Gwich'in Settlement Area, RWED works to support the economic measures objectives of the memorandum in the Settlement Area.
Trade and Investment
The following activities related to trade and investment occurred during the year in the Settlement Area:
- continuation of the delivery of business programs by RWED;
- continuation of the provision of business advice and counselling services through economic development office services to the communities;
- with the support of RWED, continuation of the provision of small business services by Western Arctic Business Development Services in the Settlement Area and the Beaufort-Delta region; and
- provision of business counselling and training services, a business seminar and five counselling sessions by Western Arctic Business Development Corporation.
Minerals, Oil and Gas
Through the Mackenzie Valley pipeline office, RWED provided a $90,000 contribution to the GTC from the Building Aboriginal Capacity Program. The contribution was to support efforts to ensure maximum Gwich'in participation and benefit from ongoing petroleum exploration and development activities in the Mackenzie Delta.
Some specific activities completed by the GTC under the Building Aboriginal Capacity Program included:
- development and delivery of a Gwich'in-specific environmental monitor training course;
- design and delivery of an oil, gas and mining business seminar to enable Gwich'in business persons to learn more about potential business opportunities and contracting practices within the petroleum and mining industries;
- support to assist Gwich'in businesses to develop and implement a health, safety and environmental program to enable them to obtain contract work in the oil and gas industry; and
- support for research analyzing the socio-economic impacts of the proposed MGP on Gwich'in communities.
Through the Maximizing Northern Employment Program's Private Sector Partnership Fund, RWED provided the GTC with a $10,000 contribution as a wage subsidy for on-the-job training of a lands and resources officer.
Park management activities by RWED included:
- licensing one Gwich'in-owned tourism operator in the Settlement Area;
- continued promotion of the Settlement Area and its products through the Department's marketing initiatives;
- hiring three Gwich'in beneficiaries to work at the Inuvik region visitor centres during the summer season;
- employment of a Gwich'in beneficiary as a seasonal parks officer; and
- continued implementation of the Gwich'in Territorial Park Master Plan. Contracts valued at $183,000 to develop park infrastructure and $40,610 for general park maintenance were sole sourced to a Gwich'in company.
NWT Wildlife Act
The Department continued to work closely with the appropriate Gwich'in organizations on drafting changes to the NWT Wildlife Act and species at risk legislation that are consistent with the Agreement.
Monitoring of the various Bluenose caribou herds was ongoing. The paper, "Defining Herds within the Range of Bluenose Barrenground Caribou in Canada's Northwest Territories and Nunavut" by J.A. Nagy, A.M. Veitch, K. Zittlau, N.C. Larter, D. Cooley, B.R. Patterson and S. Strobeck for the Journal of Wildlife Management was in its final stages of completion.
The Department worked cooperatively with the GRRB on wildlife studies for woodland caribou, Dall's sheep and grizzly bears.
7.4 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, Heritage and Languages Division continued to provide funding and professional support to the GSCI for repatriation projects. Displays of reproductions of garments in museum collections made by Gwich'in seamstresses with reclaimed traditional knowledge were installed in each Gwich'in community. A multi-year project to preserve and provide public access to the Bern Will Brown photo and film collection, which documents the historical development of the Gwich'in Settlement Area was completed. Forty-five reels of 16 mm film and 13,000 catalogued images, many from the Settlement Area, were acquired by the NWT Archives. The photographs are all available in digital format.
The Division also reviewed applications for land use permits and environmental impact assessments to identify possible threats to heritage resources, provided advice on the preservation of heritage resources to a variety of agencies, and maintained and provided access to a database of traditional Aboriginal place names in the Settlement Area.
7.5 Department of Justice
Certificates of title have been issued for all of the specific sites and all but one of the municipal lands parcels. With respect to hinterland 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.
The Legal Division continued to support the implementation of the Agreement by providing legal advice on several issues including access to Gwich'in lands, contracting within the Gwich'in Settlement Area, resource royalty provisions in the Agreement and consistency of the changes to the NWT Wildlife Act with the Agreement. In addition, Legal Division considered amendments to the Agreement related to the implementation of the Tlicho Agreement.
7.6 Department of Transportation
After reviewing the GTC preliminary draft development and reclamation plan for the Frog Creek gravel pit, the Department of Transportation decided to adopt and follow the GTC's Pit Management Plan for the Frog Creek Quarry.
7.7 Department of Public Works and Services
The Department of Public Works and Services supports the Agreement's economic measures provisions in a variety of ways. The Department provides contracting opportunities for Gwich'in businesses and employs residents of Gwich'in communities. It also provides training for employees of community, municipal and Aboriginal governments.
Contracts Within the Gwich'in Settlement Area
In support of the economic measures provisions in Chapter 10 of the Agreement, and consistent with the NWT government preferential contracting policies and procedures intended to maximize local, regional and northern employment and business opportunities, the following five sole-source contracts were awarded to Gwich'in businesses:
- a $170,000 contract to Chii Construction Services Ltd. for work at the Gwich'in Territorial Park in Inuvik;
- an $86,000 contract to Chii Construction Services Ltd. for site furnishings at the Gwich'in Territorial Park;
- a $30,000 contract to Gwich'in Properties Ltd. for heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades in Inuvik;
- a $15,000 contract to Mackenzie Valley Construction Ltd. for work on the Samuel Hearne Secondary School foyer in Inuvik; and
- a $12,000 contract to Mackenzie Valley Construction Ltd. for emergency power for Samuel Hearne Secondary School in Inuvik.
The following additional three contracts were awarded to businesses owned by Gwich'in beneficiaries:
- a $102,752 contract to Mackenzie Valley Construction Ltd. for water offloading modifications in Fort McPherson;
- a $142,090 contract to Arctic Dove Ltd. for fuel in Tsiigihtchic; and
- a $50,000 contract to Chu Construction Ltd. for equipment for the Happy Valley Campground and Jak Park in Inuvik.
Leases Within the Gwich'in Settlement Area
Public Works and Services maintained four leases with Gwich'in-owned businesses:
- a 10-year $223,154 per annum lease with Fort McPherson Incorporated Band Ltd. for the John A. Tetlichi Building in Fort McPherson;
- a 10-year $224,346 per annum lease with Gwich'in Properties Ltd. for the second floor of the Semmler Building in Inuvik;
- a 10-year $265,775 per annum lease with Gwich'in Properties Ltd. for the Mack Travel Building in Inuvik; and
- a $79,005 per annum lease with Gwich'in Properties Ltd. for space on the main floor of the Semmler Building in Inuvik.
7.8 Northwest Territories Housing Corporation
In support of the economic measures provisions of Chapter 10 of the Agreement, the following contracts were awarded to Gwich'in businesses:
- two construction contracts to A.C. Contracting in Aklavik totalling $539,660; and
- a $11,000 construction contract to Chii Construction Services in Aklavik.
8. Government of Canada
8.1 Economic Activity and Employment
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Government economic activities in the Gwich'in Settlement Area 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
The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement (AHRDA) between the GTC and the Government of Canada was extended by one year for 2004-2005. This Agreement provides the AHRDA holder with financial resources from the Government of Canada's Central Revenue Fund and Employment Insurance Fund to manage labour market development activities within its area of jurisdiction, in accordance with the terms of the agreement and subject to relevant federal legislation. The Gwich'in have supported numerous clients through active employment benefits and support measures geared to increasing Aboriginal participation in the labour market.
As the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy was extended for five years, it is expected that the AHRDA will be renewed for a further four years. These agreements represent a strong commitment by Canada to have Aboriginal governments control and manage labour market initiatives related to Aboriginal people; the latter is being achieved.
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program
The GTC 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 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.
The ASEP Program was approved late in the fiscal year. Therefore, projects approved through this initiative were in their early stages at year end. 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 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.
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.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The following resources were provided to Gwich'in bands and organizations in 2003-2004 to support the traditional economy and encourage employment.
Tetlit Gwich'in Band
- $80,262 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.
- $36,890 from the CEDP; and
- $6,499 from the Resource Partnership Program (RPP).
Inuvik Native Band
- $27,905 from the CEDP.
Gwich'in Tribal Council
- $266,450 from the RPP to prepare for access and benefit negotiations on the MGP;
- $18,000 from the RPP to complete a business plan;
- $23,096 from the Resource Access Negotiations Program to negotiate agreements with the MGP producers;
- $525,042 under the RPP to the Aboriginal Pipeline Corporation which represents a 25 percent share of the funding to establish a Mackenzie Valley First Nations and Inuvialuit ownership position in the MGP; and
- $630,380 for tribal council funding to be used for band governance, financial management and economic development.
8.2 Environmental Assessment and Wildlife Management
A range of wildlife, fisheries and forestry research and monitoring projects were completed, and progress and final reports were prepared. Gwich'in beneficiaries continued to be an integral element of GRRB operations with several training positions being funded throughout the year or in the summer months. The GRRB participated in a number of departmental workshops and conferences.
The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) was involved in activities related to the management of wildlife, including representation on the SAHS Working Group, which provides direction on the SAHS. The GRRB is now entering the final reporting stage of the SAHS and CWS has, and will be, providing advice through the Working Group.
The CWS, through its seat on the GRRB, has provided the following services.
Harvest of Migratory Game Birds
The GRRB is aware that migratory birds are managed according to a well defined set of regulations, and is advised by the CWS of any changes which may impact the Gwich'in. The Gwich'in have been regularly consulted over changes to the regulations.
Annual migratory bird harvest statistics are compiled by the CWS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The setting of a total allowable harvest for migratory birds has not been discussed with the GRRB. However, it is expected that the SAHS will provide information from which the GRRB could determine a total allowable harvest.
Management of Migratory Wildlife Species
The CWS communicates with the GRRB on relevant issues discussed by the Arctic Goose Working Group of the Arctic Goose Joint Venture (AGJV). The AGJV is a co-operative Canada—United States body that coordinates goose management and research in both countries. This group deals with the overpopulation of snow geese in the Arctic, especially in the Central Arctic. The Gwich'in harvest snow geese from the Western Arctic population where the problem does not appear to be as severe; however, the GRRB was kept informed about this issue.
The CWS, through its seats on the various flyway committees, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and other international initiatives, is involved closely in the management of migratory bird species that cross international boundaries. The GRRB was routinely apprised of issues arising from these international initiatives that may affect the Gwich'in.
Through its seat on the GRRB, CWS participated in the preparation of management plans for the Bluenose caribou herd and the barren-ground grizzly bears, both of which move in and out of the Gwich'in Settlement Area. The CWS is also represented on the Porcupine Caribou Management Board whose activities are directed to the Porcupine caribou which move between Canada and the United States and are harvested by both NWT and Yukon Gwich'in.
The CWS assisted in the GRRB research project to examine the reproductive ecology of lesser scaup and scoter species, also assisting the research student during thesis preparation. The CWS also advised on the final writing of the research by a graduate student on the impacts of hydrocarbon exploration and development on tundra swans. Some of this work was conducted in the Settlement Area.
Species at Risk Legislation
As a signatory to the International Biodiversity Convention and other international conservation initiatives, the Government of Canada is obliged to take steps that ensure the continued viability of all wildlife species within its borders.
During the year and previous two years, as part of the national Species at Risk Habitat Stewardship Program, CWS funded woodland caribou research in the GSA at about $100,000 annually. Woodland caribou are considered a threatened species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Establishing Protected Areas
The CWS supported the GLUPB with $26,000 for the Phase 1 Ecological Assessment of the Travaillant Lake/Cardinal Lakes. These areas were identified in the Gwich'in Land Use Plan as having a high and moderate level of protection from development activities. The CWS is interested in exploring possibilities with the Gwich'in for permanently protecting those areas through legislation.
Mackenzie Valley EnvironmentalImpact Review Board
The CWS is involved in the Joint Panel Review process for the proposed MGP. It conducted a thorough review of the environmental impact statement submitted by the MGP and is preparing a submission to the Joint Review Panel in preparation for public hearings in 2005.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
The Department provided input on fisheries management issues through attendance at GRRB meetings and consultation on legislation and policies. It contributed $17,500 for ongoing training of a GRRB fisheries technician, $5,000 to a SAHS conservation/education calendar and $3,000 to the printing of the GRRB SAHS report. Not all funds expended by DFO result in direct employment of Gwich'in individuals within the Gwich'in Settlement Area. Some funds were used for travel to bring RRC members to meetings, for example, those for Rat River charr, to ensure that communities are properly consulted on DFO projects.
Departmental projects funded by the GRRB include the Rat River charr monitoring assessment ($11,500), Travaillant Lake Whitefish Movement Study ($1,200) and Arctic Red River Whitefish Movement Study ($3;000). All of these projects were completed with the assistance of local beneficiaries and the inclusion of traditional knowledge.
The Department consulted with, and involved, RRCs in fisheries projects as per the Agreement. It also funded two RRC members to monitor the fall fishery on the Arctic Red River as the local RRC had been concerned with enforcement and wastage/ unattended gill nets.
From a fisheries perspective, one highlight of the year was the cooperative nature in which DFO and the GRRB worked together on Rat River charr monitoring and assessment, and on the completion of the ninth edition of the Rat River Charr Fishing Plan for Dolly Varden.
Total DFO implementation funds were $48,400 in 2004-2005.
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.
With respect to land administration activities of the Coast Guard, a number of sites have been reserved for more than 10 years. Applications to renew these reserves (land sites) in the GSA were pending at year-end.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
During the year, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency finalized and is now implementing agreements to harmonize three environmental assessment processes for the MGP review. It continued to work with other government organizations to establish the Joint Review Panel for the MGP. With respect to the GSA, this involves a draft agreement with the MVEIRB and Inuvialuit that, provides for this panel process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and MVRMA.
Additionally, the Agency worked with the GTC, Inuvialuit Game Council, Inuvialuit Joint Secretariat and other government departments to develop a regional strategic environmental assessment for the Beaufort Sea region.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The NWT regional office continued to coordinate INAC's technical input to environmental assessments undertaken by the MVEIRB. The Department also coordinated, on an ongoing basis, the input of applicable federal departments in responding to the MVEIRB determinations on environmental assessments.
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.
The NEB received applications from Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited on behalf of the MGP producers and APG for the construction and operation of the MGP in October 2004. The NEB Hearing Order GH-1-2004 was issued in November 2004. The hearing will obtain evidence and views of interested persons with respect to the MGP and will be coordinated with the MGP environmental impact review by the Joint Review Panel as contemplated by the Cooperation Plan. A date has not been set for the commencement of the oral public hearing.
Implementation of the Cooperation Plan continued through 2004 and into 2005, with ongoing involvement by the 12 agencies with responsibilities for a pipeline. The NEB's partners in the Cooperation Plan include the MVLWB, GLWB, Sahtu Land and Water Board, NWT Water Board, MVEIRB, EISC and Environmental Impact Review Board for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Inuvialuit Game Council, Inuvialuit Land Administration, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, INAC, and observers from the Deh Cho First Nation, and the governments of the Northwest Territories and Yukon.
8.3 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.
The GSCI and Parks Canada worked toward completing the commemorative integrity statement for the Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site during the year. As part of this work, the boundary of the NHS was identified and agreed to by all parties and approved by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (NHSMBC). A plaque unveiling ceremony for the NHS was held at Tsiigehtchic in July 2003. The field unit provided money for the plaque's permanent installation in 2004, with installation expected in 2005.
Members from the Teetl'it Gwich'in Steering Committee, GSCI, and Parks Canada (Western Arctic Field Unit and Archaeological Services Branch) met in December 2004 in Ottawa to discuss the Fort McPherson National Historic Site and the proposed new NHS on the Peel River. Over the next year, Parks Canada and the GSCI will work with the community to clarify the site boundary of the Fort McPherson National Historic Site and to revise the current plaque text for the site. The new text will recognize the important role of the Teetl'it Gwich'in in the fur trade. The revisions will be submitted to the NHSMBC Inscription Committee for review in the fall, and Parks Canada will then work with the community to choose a new location for the plaque. The submission report prepared by GSCI was funded through Parks Canada's New Sites Initiative Fund.
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.
Parks Canada Agency funding for Gwich'in goods and services was $190,205 in 2004-2005, allocated as $596 for goods and $189,609 for services.
8 4 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 $66,400.61.
Land and Water Use Process
The North Mackenzie district office continued to work with the GLWB in recommending terms and conditions on applications for land use permits and water licences, and provided, on an ongoing basis, inspection services to the GLWB to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions attached to these authorities.
Resource Royalty Regime
No changes in the resource royalty regime were considered this year.
Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada completed all surveying activities of municipal parcels as per its obligations under the Agreement. Plans have been recorded in the Canada Land Surveys Records and Land Titles Office where appropriate.
The Agreement did not contemplate the surveying of Gwich'in parcels per se or NWT hinterland parcels, only a few selected boundary portions of a few selected parcels. These surveys 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. The draft of this information document dealing with settlement corporations and related tax aspects was previously completed and forwarded to the GTC in 2000. Legal counsel for the Gwich'in proposed changes to the document during the year, and if any changes are adopted, an amended information document will be prepared.
During the year, the Agency received and responded to some inquiries relating to the Agreement.
8.6 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 2004-2005, the Branch continued to participate in the Implementation Committee and to consult with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the 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 and December 2004.
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 2004-2005, the Implementation Branch committed a considerable amount of time to finalizing the Federal Implementation Obligation Monitoring System, which will help the Branch to report in detail on the federal government's implementation of the Agreement.
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 2004-2005.
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, 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. It is hoped that such strategies can be used in 20052006 so individuals may be appointed in a more efficient manner and the number of vacancies on the boards of the institutions of public governance can be reduced.
The Implementation Branch also assisted in coordinating the review of the effectiveness of government programs as they relate to the economic measures chapter of the Agreement. This review is required to be completed at least once every three years and was held in Inuvik in November 2004. The 2004 review launched the use of a new template for the review of government economic development programs as required by the economic measures chapters. The RO hired a contractor in 2002 to develop the template on the recommendation of an economic measures working group consisiting of the Gwich'in and Sahtu implementation committees. The Implementation Branch shared the template with the GTC and the Government of the Northwest Territories for review and discussion, and coordinated the review of federal programs by introducing and promoting the template as a tool for other government departments. (See Section 3.2 for a report on the economic measures review.)
The Implementation Branch coordinated the preparation of the annual report for 2003-2004.
The Branch invested considerable effort in responding to, and considering, strategies for implementing the recommendations made in Chapter 8 of the Auditor General's report, tabled in the House of Commons on February 10, 2004, in which the implementation of the Agreement was a focus. In particular, the Implementation Branch focussed on the Auditor General's recommendations on improving the annual reports of the implementation committees by using results-based management and reporting. The Branch worked with a contractor that specializes in this type of reporting to develop a training module which will inform the implementation committees about key strategies, concepts and methods of applying results-based reporting to their planning and reporting activities. A workshop presenting this material will be held in April 2005 in Yellowknife. It is expected that the implementation committees will begin to apply these results-based reporting concepts to their work in 2005-2006.
8.7 Other Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Protected Area Strategy
The NWT PAS Implementation Advisory Committee met in Fort Providence in February 2004 and in Yellowknife in June, November and March 2004. The Committee consists of representatives from each regional Aboriginal organization including the GTC, industry, environmental non-government organizations, and the federal and territorial governments. While the GTC continued to support the PAS and the actions set out in the Mackenzie Five Year Action Plan, at this time the GTC Board has chosen to focus on the implementation of the Gwich'in Land Use Plan, which is seen as providing adequate protection for lands in the Gwich'in Settlement Area. The PAS partners support the conservation measures set out in the Land Use Plan and will continue to work with the GTC to ensure the goals set out in the PAS and Action Plan are met within the region. The PAS Secretariat, consisting of representatives of INAC and RWED, will continue to support the Gwich'in over the coming fiscal year to realize their conservation objectives.
The NWT regional office met with each of the four Gwich'in bands and made the following annual treaty payments: Aklavik Band on April 19, 2004, Gwichya Gwich'in Band and Tetlit Gwich'in Band in Fort McPherson on April 20, 2004 and Inuvik Native Band on April 21, 2004.
Section 5.1.12 of the Agreement requires government to provide the GTC with the opportunity "to participate in any constitutional conference or similar process [emphasis added] for reform of the constitution of the NWT." Since devolution of federal land and resource management responsibilities to the Northwest Territories will entail an amendment to the NWT Act, which is effectively the constitution of the Northwest Territories, it may be regarded as a "similar process."
On May 22, 2001, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Premier of the Northwest Territories and representatives of the Aboriginal Summit (representing the NWT Aboriginal organizations and including the GTC) endorsed a memorandum of intent in which they agreed to work toward establishing a formal process to negotiate the devolution of federal responsibilities over land and water resources in the NWT.
The Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Framework Agreement setting out the subject matters for negotiations, general time lines and negotiation process, was signed by the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Aboriginal leaders in January 2004 and by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in March 2004. As announced at the launch of the Northern Strategy on December 14, 2004, the parties are targeting the end of spring 2005 for the conclusion of the AIP and 2006 for the conclusion of a final devolution agreement.
The GTC participated in discussions with other members of the Aboriginal Summit. Funding for the participation of Aboriginal Summit members was provided by INAC and the Government of the Northwest Territories.
Membership of Implementing Bodies (as of March 31, 2005)
Karen Snowshoe, Chair
Bob Simpson, Chair
Karen LeGresley Hamre
John S. Nagy
Willard Hagen, Chair
George E. John
Gabrielle Mackenzie-Scott, Chair
Map of Gwich'in Settlement Area
Map of Gwich'in Settlement Area
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.
Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments 1992-2004
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|
Implementation Payments to the GTC, Government of the Northwest Territories and Institutions of Public Government, 1992-1993 to 2004-2005
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 fulfill 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 2003
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 $|
Gwich'in Property Taxes Reimbursed to the Government of the Northwest Territories, 1994 to 2004
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
Implementation Branch, INAC
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (link to all sectors and regions)
Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Northwest Territories
Government of the Northwest Territories (link to all departments)
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