Archived - Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement - Annual Report of the Implementation Committee April 1, 2004 - March 31, 2005
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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. Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated
- 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 Al: Membership of Implementing Bodies (as of March 31, 2005)
- Appendix A2: Web Site Addresses
- Appendix A3: Map of Sahtu Settlement Area
- Appendix A4: Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments, 1994 to 2004
- Appendix A4: Implementation Payments, 1994-1995 to 2004-2005
- Appendix A6: Payments under Section 10.1 with Respect to Resource Royalties Paid to Government, 1993 to 2004
- Appendix A7: Property Taxes Reimbursed to the Government of the Northwest Territories, 1994 to 2004
The Implementation Committee is pleased to provide its 11th annual report on the implementation of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. The report covers the fiscal year from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005.
The Committee consists of a senior official from each of the parties: Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada. It functions by consensus and serves as a forum where parties can raise issues and voice their concerns.
The role of the Implementation Committee is to oversee, direct and monitor implementation of the Agreement. This annual report describes achievements and developments during the year. Information is contributed by various federal and territorial departments, SSI and other bodies established under the Agreement.
We are committed to strengthening the partnerships that are key to the successful implementation of the Agreement. Our achievements to date are the product of partners working together to recognize Aboriginal rights in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and the commitment of the parties to fulfil obligations pursuant to this Agreement.
Original signed by
Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated
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 Resources Development Agreement|
|APG||Aboriginal Pipeline Group|
|ASEP||Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership|
|CEDP||Community Economic Development Program|
|CIMP||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program|
|CIMPWG||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group|
|CWS||Canadian Wildlife Service|
|DFO||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|EISC||Environmental Impact Screening Committee (Inuvialuit Settlement Region)|
|GIS||Geographic Information System|
|INAC||Indian and Northern Affairs Canada|
|MGP||Mackenzie Gas Project|
|MVEIRB||Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board|
|MVLWB||Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board|
|MVRMA||Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act|
|NEB||National Energy Board|
|PAS||Protected Area Strategy|
|PAS-IAC||Protected Area Strategy Implementation Advisory Committee|
|ROP||Regional Opportunities Program|
|RRC||Renewable Resources Council|
|RRRC||Regional Renewable Resources Committee|
|RWED||Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development|
|SAHS||Settlement Area Harvest Study|
|SLUPB||Sahtu Land Use Planning Board|
|SLWB||Sahtu Land and Water Board|
|SRRB||Sahtu Renewable Resources Board|
|SSA||Sahtu Settlement Area|
|SSI||Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated|
1. Features and Agreements
In July 1993, the Sahtu Dene and Metis voted to approve the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. After being approved by the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories, the Agreement was signed on September 6, 1993, in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman). The Sahtu Dene and Metis Land Claim Settlement Actcame into effect on June 23, 1994.
Under the Agreement, the Sahtu Dene and Metis:
- received title to 41,437 square kilometres of land in the Northwest Territories, an area slightly larger than Vancouver Island (subsurface rights are included on 1,813 square kilometres of this land);
- will receive financial payments totalling $75 million (in 1990 dollars) over a 15-year period, as well as a share of the resource royalties paid to governments each year by operators in the Mackenzie Valley;
- have their right to hunt and fish throughout the Sahtu Settlement Area (SSA) confirmed and their exclusive right to trap in the SSA established; and
- are guaranteed participation in institutions of public government regarding renewable resource management, land use planning, and land and water use within the Settlement Area, and environmental impact assessment and review within the Mackenzie Valley.
The Agreement also provides for the negotiation of self-government agreements that will be brought into effect through federal and/or territorial legislation.
- On the 11th anniversary of the Agreement, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated (SSI) received a capital transfer payment of $8,300,094 after negotiation loans were deducted, and was paid $1,175,380 in resource royalties for the year.
- The Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group (CIMPWG) completed a revised version of the plan, entitled NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) and Audit — An Environmental Monitoring Program and Audit for the NWT in March 2005.This five-year work plan formed the basis of a formal submission to the Treasury Board for long-term program funding. It is anticipated that this submission will be presented to the Treasury Board in the fall of 2005.
- Work continued on strategies and priorities for the effective implementation of the economic measures chapters of the Sahtu and Gwich'in land claim agreements. On November 16-18, 2004, the Three-Year Economic Measures Review meeting was held in Inuvik. As an outcome of this meeting and a subsequent one held in December 2004, the parties agreed to prepare a work plan and to continue working on improved reporting to better measure how economic development programs are assisting beneficiaries with respect to the economic measures objectives.
- In accordance with the elements of the Cooperation Plan for the Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project through the Northwest Territories, the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) producers submitted "trigger" applications for land and water use authorizations to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB), which referred the project for further assessment to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB). The MVEIRB 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.
- In 2003-2004, the MVEIRB received 99 notifications of preliminary screenings, a decrease of 39 percent from 2003-2004. It worked on 11 environmental assessments. At year end, four environmental assessments had been completed, four had reports of environmental assessment completed but were awaiting a ministerial decision and one was in progress.
- The MVEIRB Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines were released in the summer of 2004.
- The SSI share of funding provided to Aboriginal Futures under the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program was $2,022,024 for 2004 through to March 31, 2008.
- In the spring of 2004, the Sahtu Land Use Planning Board approved two reports Moving Forward and Working Draft, which were prepared as a result of its operational review of the Board's land use planning process.
3. Specific Issues
3.1 Economic Measures
Chapter 12 of the Agreement requires the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories to meet with Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated (SSI) at least once every three years to review the effectiveness of programs relating to Sahtu economic self-sufficiency, and efforts to strengthen and maintain the traditional Sahtu 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 Sahtu and Gwich'in final agreements.
In April 2004, the contractor presented the template and report to federal, territorial and Gwich'in representatives in Yellowknife. The Sahtu declined to attend, stating that Gwich'in participation was sufficient to represent their interests as Gwich'in interests mirror their own. 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 held in Inuvik November 16-18, 2004. The Government of the Northwest Territories and federal departments made presentations on their programs and handed out the completed report cards. The Sahtu chose not to attend the meeting citing other priorities. The presentations by territorial and federal departments were subsequently forwarded to the Sahtu.
Government, Sahtu and Gwich'in representatives met again in December 2004 to discuss the effectiveness of the Economic Measures Review meeting and next steps. Many 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.
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 Sahtu. 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.
3.2 Northern Gas Pipeline Project
A consortium of four gas producers (Imperial, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell) with gas holdings in the Mackenzie Delta, in partnership with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG), proposed the construction of a stand-alone 1,400 kilometre natural gas pipeline. This line, estimated at a cost of $7 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) includes natural gas development in the Mackenzie Delta, 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 Plan clearly defines regulatory roles and responsibilities for applications relating to a northern gas pipeline project, avoiding duplication where possible. The Cooperation Plan in no way pre judges or pre-approves any potential project that may be proposed, nor does the approach pre-judge the decisions to be made by any authority or bind any authority to a course of action.
Three agreements give effect to the Cooperation Plan. Together, they add specific details for an MGP review, which harmonizes environmental assessment processes and avoids duplication.
- An Agreement for the Environmental Impact Review of the Mackenzie Gas Project was negotiated among the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB), Inuvialuit (as represented by the Inuvialuit Game Council) and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (representing the Minister of the Environment) that 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, and provides that the review process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Actencompasses 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), Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB), Northwest Territories Water Board, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Inuvialuit Land Administration.
In January 2004, the Inuvialuit Environmental Impact Screening Committee (EISC) referred the MGP to the joint review panel process, 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 on May 21, 2004 by the MVEIRB scoping report, which 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. The 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 MVEIRB, Inuvialuit Game Council 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.
3.3 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 audit assesses 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-September 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-November 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 (three were related to the Sahtu Settlement Area).
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, originally developed by the CIMPWG was completed in March 2005. This work plan became the basis of a formal submission to the Treasury Board for long-term program funding.
After several postponements, community consultations occurred in Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour in June 2004 to provide these communities with general information, and receive feedback on monitoring needs and the audit process.
The NWT Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Steering Committee and the federal ministers of the Environment and 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 of all key players in the Northwest Territories. One recommendation is the timely implementation of the NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and audit.
4. Implementation Committee
The Implementation Committee consists of three senior officials representing each of the parties involved in the Agreement. In 2004-2005, John Tutcho represented SSI, Mark Warren, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs represented the Government of the Northwest Territories and Mavis Dellert, Director, Implementation Management Directorate, INAC represented the Government of Canada.
As provided for in section 29.2 of the Agreement, the Implementation Committee:
- oversees and monitors the implementation of the Agreement and the Implementation Plan;
- addresses disputes between the parties;
- prepares a public annual report on the implementation of the Agreement; and
- adjusts the schedule for carrying out implementation activities, reallocating implementation resources and amending the Implementation Plan as required.
The Committee met three times during 2004-2005, in April (Yellowknife), August (Edmonton) and December (Gatineau). Its activities included:
- producing the 2003-2004 Sahtu annual report;
- reaching agreement on the wording to amend clause 19.5 of the Agreement;
- providing additional funding to the Sahtu Land Use Planning Board (SLUPB) to finalize the draft land use plan for presentation to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development;signing off on the renewal of the Implementation Plan funding levels;
- initiating discussions on the follow-up to the Auditor General's report;
- hosting the Three Year Economic Measures meeting in November 2004; and
- reallocating funds among the implementing bodies and revising Annex B of the Implementation Plan as required.
5. Implementing Bodies
The Agreement includes provisions to establish implementing bodies responsible for determining eligibility for enrolment as a beneficiary of the Agreement; managing wildlife resources, planning and regulating land and water use; settling disputes related to the interpretation of the Agreement; and conducting both environmental impact assessments and reviews of development proposals. The membership, functions, time frame and method for the establishment of each body are specified in the Agreement and Implementation Plan.
Progress in establishing implementing bodies is outlined below.
- Chapter 27 of the Agreement mandates the establishment of a surface rights board after separate federal legislation is passed. This quasi-judicial body will 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 Sahtu lands, shall act through a panel of its members at least one of whom will be a resident of the Sahtu Settlement Area. Since a surface rights board has yet to be created, relevant surface rights disputes in the Settlement Area may be referred to the Arbitration Panel.
- The Arbitration Panel, Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB), SLUPB, Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB), Sahtu Renewable Resources Board (SRRB) and Renewable Resources Councils (RRCs) are operational. Current memberships of these implementing bodies, excluding the RRCs, are listed in Appendix 1.
Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated took over the responsibility of the Agreement's enrolment function on June 18, 1999 and completed the Ancestral Project in December 2003. Now SSI has an extensive database to assist in determining eligibility for enrolment. The Board of Directors appointed seven community representatives to meet twice annually to review and evaluate the eligibility of individuals who apply for enrolment as per Chapter 4 of the Agreement.
5.2 Arbitration Panel
The parties did not call upon the Arbitration Panel during 2004-2005.
The Panel meets every second year in the Settlement Area to increase awareness of the potential role of the Panel, and provide Panel members with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the land, its people and the issues of the day so they have some broader context in the event an arbitration is convened.
The Panel held its annual meeting in Colville Lake August 28-31, 2004. The Panel also used this opportunity to hold information meetings with a number of groups and individuals including the present and former chief, as well as Council members and other residents of the community. On the return trip through Norman Wells, the Panel met with members of the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED) for a briefing on its activities in the Settlement Area.
5.3 Sahtu Renewable Resources Board
The SRRB is the main instrument of wildlife management in the Sahtu Settlement Area. It is the responsibility of the SRRB and all other affected parties to protect, conserve and manage, in a cooperative spirit, all renewable resources within the Settlement Area in a sustainable manner to meet the needs of the public today and in the future. The SRRB is an institute of public government, thereby representing beneficiary as well as non-beneficiary and non-Aboriginal populations of the Sahtu Settlement Area.
The seven Board members include three members and three alternate members nominated by SSI, three members and three alternate members nominated by the federal and territorial governments, and a chairperson nominated by the members. The Governor in Council and the NWT Executive Council make all appointments jointly. As of March 31, 2005, two member positions and three alternate member positions were vacant.
The SRRB continued to implement its objectives and goals as laid out in 1995. The Board and staff continued to develop and expand their close cooperative working relationship with the RRCs, other institutes of public government and private agencies. In an effort to raise community awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the SRRB and RRCs, the Board contracted Plainspeak to develop and produce a plain-language presentation on resource management in the Settlement Area. The Board plans to bring the presentation to each community in the coming year. The SRRB and RWED travelled throughout the Settlement Area in January 2005 to present current conservation education and wildlife management, research and monitoring projects in the Settlement Area. The summer student program, initiated by the SRRB and RWED continued to provide an opportunity for a Sahtu beneficiary to participate in wildlife biology research projects. The student was involved in many projects including Dall's sheep surveys and butterfly collections in the Mackenzie Mountains, small mammal surveys in and around Norman Wells and Tulita, and necropsies in the Sahtu regional laboratory.
The Regional Renewable Resources Committee (RRRC), consisting of representatives of the five community-based RRCs, continued to assist with wildlife management issues common to the five communities. The RRRC met in September 2004 and February 2005 to address concerns about youth camps, trapping and insurance, the proposed pipeline and its anticipated effects, and the lack of resources (funding and personnel). In addition, the RRCs were involved with research projects, managed by the SRRB and outside agencies, in their own communities.
The Great Bear Lake Working Group, formed to establish a special management regime for Great Bear Lake and its watershed, continued to design a draft management plan. The Working Group convened in Deline during June 2004, October 2004 and January 2005 to discuss several important sections of the draft plan: conservation zones, waste site clean-up, patrol and enforcement, and trans-boundary issues. In future, the Working Group will finalize the draft management plan for incorporation into the Sahtu Land Use Plan.
Consultation work continued between the SRRB and government agencies on matters dealing with the implementation of the next 10 years of the Agreement. With increased exploration and development of hydrocarbons in the Sahtu Settlement Area, including the proposed pipeline route along the Mackenzie Valley, consultations with oil and gas groups and environmental consultants continued through the year.
Increased research activities are closely reviewed by the Board to prevent duplication of past research and to ensure local resources are used and the information gathered is returned to the communities. The SRRB supported the community of Fort Good Hope's initiative to begin a protected area strategy process for the Tsodehniline/Tuy't'ah (Ramparts River and Wetland) areas.
Nine research projects, totalling over $235,000 in funding, were carried out in 2004-2005. The majority of projects for which funds were provided involved outside agencies (RWED, DFO, Ducks Unlimited and Deline First Nation). Studies included research on woodland and barren-ground caribou, fish, waterfowl and traditional knowledge. These studies focussed on distribution and migration patterns, population size, reproduction and survival rates, wildlife health, land cover inventories and Dene laws. Research studies for the Mackenzie Mountain Woodland Caribou Project, initiated by the SRRB, continued under the supervision of the RWED-Sahtu regional office. Throughout the year, the Board used satellite information to produce maps showing caribou movements, which are posted monthly on the SRRB web site. In 2005, the SRRB launched a pilot study in the community of Deline to document Dene rules for respecting the land, which the Board will use to develop culturally relevant resource management and traditional knowledge policies.
In 2004-2005, the renewable resource communications officer, who is responsible for providing communications support and assistance between the community RRCs and the SRRB, concentrated on the importance of conservation education in community schools and organizations. In addition to the January 2005 community tour with RWED, the officer developed and implemented several projects in the Settlement Area school system. Program highlights included Take-a-Kid Trapping, a small mammal population study, aquatic ecosystem project, science fair mentor and judge, and monthly classroom discussions.
Sahtu Settlement Area Harvest Study
The Settlement Area Harvest Study (SAHS) was originally a five-year initiative designed to record all wildlife harvesting activity by Sahtu beneficiaries and to protect Sahtu Dene and Metis harvesting traditions. It provided background data to help establish a minimum-needs level for each species. In light of recent hydrocarbon exploration and development, the SRRB continued to collect subsistence harvest data from all Sahtu communities during 2004-2005. The harvest data collected will be a powerful tool for communities and the SRRB, as well as other institutes of public government, government agencies and industry, for assessment, mitigation and monitoring purposes through all the hydrocarbon development stages. Database software designed to capture non-confidential information from the harvester interviews will assist in the final analysis of data.
Wildlife Studies Fund
The goal is to allow the Wildlife Studies Fund to grow until it reaches the point where the SRRB could use the interest from the fund each year to support wildlife research within the Sahtu Settlement Area. The Fund was valued at about $3.28 million at year end. The Fund has continued to grow at a slower rate than hoped and therefore, the Board plans to continue with a slightly more aggressive investment portfolio. The Board continued to withdraw funds to finance its research activities.
The SRRB continued to address its stated goals and objectives as per its implementation plan during 2004-2005. The Board strived to increase communications with, and to use resources from, the RRCs, institutes of public government and government agencies. It continued to increase its visibility throughout the Settlement Area by holding public board meetings, involving community members with conservation education and research projects, and using community resources. A focus on conservation education, and renewable resource research and management issues will continue to be the main objective of the SRRB.
5.4 Sahtu Land and Water Board
The SLWB regulates land and water use throughout the Sahtu Settlement Area. In its sixth year of operation, the SLWB received and processed 13 Type A land use permit applications, one application for a Type A water licence and 14 applications for Type B water licences. There were no final plans received concerning land use permits and no letters of clearance issued.
The SLWB staff consists of eight positions: executive director, office administrator, financial controller, land/resource geographer, hydrologist, permit/ licence clerk, land technician and water technician.
The Board held 13 meetings during 2004-2005, five by teleconference and the remaining in Norman Wells and Fort Good Hope.
Professional development for staff in northern oil and gas environmental issues and GIS software were notable achievements at workshops and courses. Professional development for Board members in oil and gas production equipment, and pipeline issues occurred through courses provided at the Petroleum Institute Training Service.
In May, the Board's ongoing public information program sponsored the sixth annual Technical Training Session for 17 representatives from land corporations, local governments, RRCs and the renewable resources boards affected by permits/ licences throughout the Sahtu Settlement Area.
During the summer months, Board staff made site visits to all local governments in the Settlement Area to become familiar with the water licence infrastructure, including surveillance network stations. Time was also spent with municipal personnel to better inform them about compliance and reporting requirements associated with their water licences.
During the same period, public hearings were held on a municipal water licence application for Fort Good Hope on June 24, 2004, with the licence issued on July 27, 2004. A second public hearing was held concerning an industrial water licence for Imperial in Norman Wells on July 6, 2004, with the licence for Imperial issued on August 30, 2004.
The summer of 2004 was busy with seven applications for mineral explorations that were determined to be "permits not required." In the following winter season, the Board processed many applications for oil and gas drilling, and geotechnical work that was preparatory for a northern gas pipeline project.
The Board participated in meetings with the MVLWB and GLWB to coordinate regulatory matters related to permits and licences for the MGP.
Significant progress has been made in the administration of water licences, particularly in reporting compliance, site familiarization with physical infrastructure, and training of municipal staff. New terms and conditions are also evolving for industrial water licences related to oil and gas development; in particular, the control of water sources, and the testing and shipment of drilling waste.
Specific issues common to most implementing bodies include cumulative impact monitoring, pipeline preparation and economic measures. The SLWB has not been involved with cumulative impact monitoring, as this task is assigned to INAC under Project 25-9 in the Implementation Plan.
The Board has participated in the work of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Working Group since November 2000 and assisted in preparation of the Cooperation Plan and Regulators' Agreement.
The Joint Review Panel held a number of conference calls during the year to deal with planning, administrative and budget matters.
5.5 Sahtu Land Use Planning Board
Under the MVRMA, the SLUPB is tasked with developing and implementing a land use plan for all lands outside of municipal boundaries in the Sahtu Settlement Area.
The SLUPB has been working to:
- prepare a draft Sahtu land use plan;
- facilitate peoples' understanding of land use planning;
- ensure that the interests of all parties are considered; and
- build strong, effective partnerships.
Again this year, the Board operated for a significant portion of the year without enough members to form a quorum. In the remainder of the year, only three of its scheduled five Board members were appointed. As a result, the Board was limited in its operations, and an executive director/senior planner was not hired. This senior staff position has been vacant for over two years.
The Board completed documents required of a public agency, such as budgets, work plans, interim reports and financial audits. In March 2004, several meetings were held with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers to inform the oil and gas industry of the Board's goals and objectives. Industry input was also sought on the Board's draft Sahtu land use plan.
Draft Sahtu Land Use Plan
To optimize its operations, the SLUPB hired an adviser to conduct an operational review. This review, conducted at the end of 2003-20048 looked at the Board's overall land use planning processes and resulted in a detailed project nianagement strategy, which outlined steps to move toward an approved land use plan.
To achieve the Board's goal of an approved land use plan, the operational review set out two objectives. Each objective outlined tasks, the people responsible for those tasks, time lines and costs. The operational review also identified the need for one-time or incremental funding to achieve the two objectives.
Objective 1 from the operational review was short term. It outlined tasks designed to restructure the preliminary draft Sahtu land use plan. Objective 1 also provided for the evaluation and incorporation of the many comments and recommendations made by organizations on the preliminary draft plan.
The other major direction of objective 1 was to incorporate into the draft plan some of the ongoing planning work, such as a protected area strategy, the Great Bear Lake Watershed Management Plan and the Places We Take Care Of document.
Objective 2 was longer term, more fundamental in nature, and required incremental funding. It laid out a strategy to re-establish the Board and finalize the plan. The first step, a fully appointed Board by August 2004, was not achieved. As a result, subsequent tasks and the proposed budget had to be modified in an attempt to maintain projected time lines for plan approval. A contractor was hired in March 2005 to start the implementation of some of the requirements of objective 2.
As of the end of 2004-2005, an atlas of the Sahtu was in its final editing stages and will be ready for distribution early in the new fiscal year. It will provide a valuable reference and resource tool for the Sahtu. This project was sponsored by the SLUPB, Sahtu Geographic Information System (GIS) Project, SRRB and RWED.
Great Bear Lake Watershed Management Plan
A comprehensive and detailed management plan for the Great Bear Lake Watershed lying within the Sahtu Settlement Area was completed this year. This work, conducted over the past three years, involved many government and non-government experts, along with community representatives and elders. The SLUPB participated in this process and will use the land use planning portions of this document in the Sahtu land use plan.
The SLUPB will continue working with Sahtu communities and organizations, industry, government and non-government organizations in an effort to achieve an approved land use plan for the Sahtu Settlement Area.
5.6 Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board
The MVEIRB is mandated by the Gwich'in and Sahtu final agreements and the MVRMA to conduct environmental assessments and reviews of development projects in the Mackenzie Valley. The Board's jurisdiction applies to all lands in the Northwest Territories, excluding the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Wood Buffalo National Park. The MVRMA replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Actin the Mackenzie Valley, except under specific circumstances.
As of March 31, 2Q04, the Board had two vacancies. The Board is seeking a temporary replacement for the Deh Cho, and there is a vacancy from the Tlicho 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 for various staff positions included 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. 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 carried 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. Fisheries and Oceans Canada 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 breakup, 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 it's 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 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 January 13, 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 1,500 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 the effects of noise from the air guns 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 subsequent environmental assessment report was submitted to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the NEB on June 30, 2003. A subsequent consult-to-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 Affairs and Northern Development as of fiscal year end. Two went to a "consult-to-modify" process where INAC sought clarification from the Board on its recommendations.
EA03-009: Imperial Oil Ventures Ltd. Deb 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 geo-technical 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 induded 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-to-modify 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 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 Drybones Bay exploratory drilling project was referred on May 28, 2003. New Shoshoni Ventures proposed to 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 a period of five years.
The Board held a joint public hearing in November 2003 where Consolidated Gold Win 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 SLWB 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.
The Board prepares a strategic plan each year, which 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: provide leadership in environmental management, develop and implement effective environmental 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 $2,378,315.00. 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 is 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 members on MVEIRB's submission to the environmental audit. This engaged the Board and leveraged 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 felt it necessary to implement 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 the 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, which 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, which eventually determines how much effort and time an environmental assessment requires.
Guidelines and Procedures Definition: The MVEIRB Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines publication was 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 impacts. 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 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. This workshop combined elements of various lessons learned from previous Board assessments. The results will provide guidance for the conduct of future environmental 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 translators' 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 the 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 Gwich'in Tribal Council's Annual General Assembly in Tsiigehtchic in August 2004 and the Dene National Assembly in Weledeh in September 2004. In an effort to provide information to industry, the Board set up an information booth in cooperation with the MVLWB at the Inuvik Oil and Gas Symposium in June 2004, the Geoscience Forum in November 2004 in Yellowknife, the 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 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 the 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, which sets out how the two bodies can cooperate on trans-boundary 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 a joint review panel, which would undertake the review of 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 meetings 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 multi-year funding mechanism for the Board is needed as a means of providing some financial stability in its operations.
Procuring Expertise: Standing offer agreements were arranged with 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 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: Board policies for the 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.
6. Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated
Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated was formed by the seven Sahtu land corporations (four Dene land corporations and three Metis land corporations) on June 23, 1994, with the enactment of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Land Claims Settlement Act.
Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated is mandated to:
- provide information that would assist participants to negotiate and enter into arrangements with industry, and federal and territorial governments concerning the implementation of the Agreement;
- undertake any other activities related directly or indirectly to the interests and concerns of its participants with specific reference to the implementation of the Agreement;
- coordinate educational activities or other activities related to the environmental impact on the lands, air, waters and health of the residents of the Sahtu Settlement Area;
- coordinate discussions with industry and government whose activities or decisions affect the environment in a manner that adversely affects the interest of the residents of the Settlement Area; and
- assist and enable its members to intervene and participate in any hearings, environmental impact assessments, policy or legislative reviews, or other decision-making or review processes that relate to the environmental or economic interests and concerns of its members.
Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated also participates in the implementation of the Agreement through the nomination of board members to the implementing bodies and management of the capital payment through the Sahtu Trust. Also, SSI has a coordinating role in activities involving other designated Sahtu organizations as per Chapter 7 of the Agreement, and ensures that government, industry and the public are aware of the functions of the various implementing bodies, such as land access.
As the only Sahtu joint Dene and Metis regional Aboriginal organization, SSI is the point of contact for government agencies and departments on issues including education, health, environment, highways, wildlife, political and economic development, and implementation of the Agreement.
6.1 Board of Directors
The SSI Board of Directors consists of the following members:
Raymond Taniton, Chair
Joseph Kochon, Vice-Chair
Eddy MacPherson Jr.
6.2 Head Office, Staff and General Operations
The head office is located in the Chief George Kodikin Building in the community of Deline. The building also houses the Sahtu Dene Council; SSI and Sahtu Dene Council staff include:
Brian Davidson Chief Financial Officer/Acting Executive Director
Phoebe Kenny Land and Resource Manager
Verna Menacho Executive Assistant/EnrolmentCoordinator
Tracey Orbell Education and TrainingCoordinator
The Board held six meetings and two executive meetings during the year. The annual general meeting was held in Fort Good Hope in November 2004.
The following is a brief list of some of the activities and processes in which SSI participated:
- trustee of the Sahtu Trust, and Sahtu Master Land Agreement;
- Implementation Committee meetings;
- Enrolment Board appointments, and meetings in November 2004 and February 2005;
- participation in the CIMP terms of reference for the NWT-wide environmental audit, and the appointment of representatives to the ASC;
- The Aboriginal Summit/Intergovernmental Forum (IGF);
- appointment of members to the Sahtu institutes of public government; and
- completion of strategic planning and negotiations for SSI's participation in the 10-year Implementation Plan renewal.
6.3 Sahtu Trust
The Sahtu Trust was created by the seven financial corporations eligible for settlement monies and royalties under the terms of the Agreement. On September 6 of each year, the federal government makes a payment as per Chapter 8 of the Agreement to SSI, which is deposited into the Sahtu Trust. Under the direction of SSI, two fund managers evenly manage the trust.
Twice each year, the income and interest earned by the trust is paid, less fees, on a per capita basis to the seven financial corporations. As of December 31, 2004, the capital balance in the trust was $93 million, and the net income generated by the trust for the year was $5,626,852.
6.4 Community Renewable Resources Councils
Pursuant to section 13.9 of the Agreement, five RRCs were created to advise the SRRB and to encourage and promote local community involvement in conservation, research and wildlife management, and harvesting studies.
Under the Agreement, designated community organizations (land corporations) appoint RRCs for each community. Five RRCs were active in the Sahtu Settlement Area at Colville Lake, Deline, Fort Good Hope, Tulita and Norman Wells.
6.5 Land Ownership
Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated does not own land. Title to all settlement lands outside of municipalities is vested to the district land corporations in the three districts of Deline, Tulita and K'ahsho Got'ine as defined in Chapter 19 of the Agreement. As such, the responsibility for the ownership and management of these lands rests with the three district land corporations on behalf of the land claim participants.
- The Deline Land Corporation holds title to all the land in the Deline district.
- In the Tulita district, title to settlement lands is held by the Tulita District Land Corporation, which consists of the Tulita Land Corporation, Fort Norman Metis Land Corporation and Ernie McDonald Land Corporation.
- In the K'ahsho Got'ine district, title to settlement land is held by the K'ahsho Got'ine District Land Corporation, which consists of the Yamoga Land Corporation, Fort Good Hope Metis No. 54 Land Corporation and Ayoni Keh Land Corporation of Colville Lake.
6.6 Special Harvesting Areas
Under Chapter 13 and Volume II of the Agreement, special harvesting areas exist for fish, moose and game birds (ducks and geese). Fisheries and Oceans Canada maintains that the 28 special harvesting areas for fish are open to all persons with a fishing licence; SSI disagrees with this position. It also disagrees with RWED's interpretation of the Chapter that the special harvesting areas for moose are open to all hunters with a general hunting licence.
6.7 Amendment to the NWT Wildlife Act Regulations
During the year, SSI participated in a legal and technical review of the proposed changes to the NWT Wildlife Actregulations and the proposed species at risk legislation. Input was obtained from the RRCs and communities, and consolidated by RWED into a territorial report, which was then submitted to the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development. The process is ongoing and draft legislation is expected in 2005.
6.8 Aboriginal Summit
In the mid-1990s, the Aboriginal Summit was organized as a means of being involved in constitutional discussions and economic development issues. Later, the Summit became part of the Western Coalition, bringing an Aboriginal perspective to the division of the Northwest Territories.
When the IGF was created in 2001, the Aboriginal Summit became the vehicle for Aboriginal participation in devolution and other IGF initiatives, on a government-to-government-to-government basis with the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada.
The Aboriginal Summit represents the coming together of the majority of regional Aboriginal government leaders across the Northwest Territories to work collaboratively on devolution negotiations and other common territory-wide issues where expressing members' views and solutions with one voice is important.
It is not a political body that represents NWT Aboriginal governments; rather, it is a forum for discussion on topics that affect all Aboriginal governments, and an instrument to make collective gains at the devolution table to benefit individual Aboriginal governments across the territory.
In January 2004, the Aboriginal governments and the Government of the Northwest Territories signed a road map for future negotiations, the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Framework Agreement. The Summit, with the Government of the Northwest Territories, also signed a memorandum of intent on financing Aboriginal governments and forwarded it to the Government of Canada. It is anticipated that negotiations toward an agreement-in-principle will be an ongoing initiative.
6.9 Deline Self-Government Negotiations
The Agreement provides for the negotiation of self-government agreements to be effected through federal and territorial legislation. Provisions relevant to self-government are contained in Chapter 5 and Appendix B of the Agreement. The Deline Land Corporation and the community of Tulita are negotiating a self-government agreement pursuant to Appendix B of the Agreement and the federal government's inherent right to self-government policy.
Deline completed and initialled an agreement-inprinciple on June 16, 2003 and continued to work on ratification of a final agreement. The community of Tulita remains in the early stages of its self-government negotiations.
7. Government of the Northwest Territories
The Government of the Northwest Territories agreed to perform various implementation activities pursuant to the Implementation Plan and related funding agreements as described below.
7.1 Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs worked closely with SSI, federal and other territorial officials, and the various institutes of public government established by the Agreement. It coordinated implementation activities by the NWT government, prepared regular status reports for the Implementation Committee, and prepared the Northwest Territories government component of this annual report. A Ministry official actively participated as the NWT representative on the Implementation Committee dealing with issues, such as economic measures, board appointments, board funding requests, communications and the reallocation of implementation funds.
Chapter 12 of the Agreement requires the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories to meet with the Sahtu at least once every three years to review the effectiveness of economic development programs relating to Sahtu self-sufficiency and measures to strengthen the traditional Sahtu economy. The Ministry worked with other NWT departments, coordinating presentations for the Three-Year Economic Measures meeting, held in November 2004. The Ministry is working with the Sahtu and Government of Canada to address commitments made at the meeting. (For further information, see Specific Issues, section 3.1.)
In accordance with Chapter 5 and Appendix B of the Agreement, the Ministry participated in the Deline and Tulita self-government negotiations.
7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
Municipal and Community Affairs processed royalty payments to SSI based on NWT government sand and gravel sales, and also processed tax rebate applications for individuals residing on Sahtuowned lands.
7.3 Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
The Department continued to meet its obligations through ongoing consultation with the designated Sahtu organizations, working closely with these organizations along with the SRRB, SLUPB and SLWB. The Department promotes, assists and advises these bodies on wildlife forest and park management, resource development and economic development issues.
Working in close cooperation and consultation with Sahtu organizations to support and encourage involvement in business development, training and employment opportunities leading to economic self-sufficiency, RWED provided business advice, counselling and support. Assistance was provided to Sahtu businesses and individuals to access financial support from various sources.
The lands for the Canol Historic Park have been reserved by INAC. The Park Committee, with members from the Tulita Land Corporation, Fort Norman Metis Land Corporation and Ernie McDonald Land Corporation, completed the draft park plan. Consultations on the draft were conducted in all Sahtu communities. The Park Committee submitted the draft plan to the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development in 2003. The Minister reviewed the Plan and requested that the regional office move forward to address gaps and consult further with the communities. The region initiated the first stage of developing a master park plan based on the draft submitted by the Committee.
The economic viability of sustainable resources within the Sahtu Settlement Area was supported by RWED during the year. It continued work in the areas of forest fire prevention, detection, monitoring and fire suppression action through various training opportunities. All forest fire crews were contacted through community organizations.
NWT Wildlife Act
Consultations continued with various Sahtu organizations on the development of changes to the NWT Wildlife Actand new species at risk legislation, ensuring consistency with the Agreement.
Research and Management Projects
The Department continued to work closely with the SRRB and SLUPB on several joint research and management projects, including the ongoing Sahtu Atlas Project and GIS mapping project.
7.4 Department of Education, Culture and Employment
The Department is responsible for the planning, delivery, and management of a broad range of employment, social, educational, and cultural programs and services in the Sahtu Settlement Area.
The Culture, Heritage and Languages Division continued 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 Sahtu. 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, advised a number of agencies on the preservation of heritage resources, and provided access to a database of traditional Aboriginal place names in the Settlement Area.
7.5 Department of Justice
Survey plans have been registered for all municipal parcels, and certificates of title have been issued for all but nine of the municipal parcels. Thirty-seven survey plans have been registered for specific sites, and certificates of title have been issued for all specific sites. One hundred and sixty-two survey plans have been registered for portions of the boundaries of the settlement land parcels and, pursuant to requests, 102 certificates of title have been issued for settlement land parcels out of a total of 221 parcels.
The Legal Division continued to support the implementation of the Agreement by providing legal advice as required by the departments. The proposed resource royalty amendment was reviewed and advice was given on consistency of the changes to the NWTWildlife Act with the Agreement. Legal advice was provided on access in relation to the Department of Transportation's Canyon Creek project. In addition, the Legal Division considered amendments to the Agreement, related to the implementation of the Tlicho Agreement.
7.6 Department of Transportation
To clarify both the exchange process and status of exchanged lands, it was agreed that an amendment to the Agreement would be developed. An INAC legal review determined that the definition of "settlement lands" in the Agreement requires an amendment to include lands transferred to the Sahtu, by government, in exchange for Sahtu settlement lands. Members of the Implementation Committee recommended the suggested definition and amendment to their respective parties for approval. The Department of Transportation will continue to exchange lands for future bridge construction.
7.7 Department of Public Works and Services
The Department supports the economic measure provisions in the Agreement by providing contracting opportunities for Sahtu businesses and employment of residents of Sahtu communities. Public Works and Services also provides training opportunities for employees of community, municipal and Aboriginal governments.
Contracts in the Sahtu Settlement Area
In support of the economic measures provisions in Chapter 12 of the Agreement and consistent with the Government of the Northwest Territories preferential contracting policies and procedures intended to maximize local, regional and northern employment and business opportunities, the following sole source contract was awarded to a Sahtu business:
- a $41,184 contract to the Behdzi Ahda First Nation for the construction of an outdoor rink in Colville Lake.
Without a list of businesses owned by beneficiaries of the Agreement, Public Works and Services was unable to determine if any of the additional 33 contracts, with a total value of $4,845,340 (99.2 percent of the total contracts' value) were awarded to Sahtu Dene and Metis businesses. These contracts, each with a value of $5,000 or more, were for goods and services in the Settlement Area:
- five contracts in Colville Lake with a combined total value of $473,335;
- five contracts in Deline with a combined total value of $119,655;
- five contracts in Fort Good Hope with a combined total value of $266,442;
- nine contracts in Norman Wells with a combined total value of $2,001,276; and
- nine contracts in Tulita with a combined total value of $1,984,632.
Leases within the Sahtu Settlement Area
Public Works and Services maintained the following five leases with businesses owned by Sahtu Dene and Metis beneficiaries.
- a 10-year, $114,032 per annum lease in Deline with the Fort Franklin Dene Development Corporation.
Fort Good Hope:
- a five-year, $25,146 per annum lease in Fort Good Hope with 953766 NWT Ltd.
- a five-year, $117,503 per annum lease with the NWT Metis Development Corporation; and
- a month-to-month lease valued at $12,000 per annum with the Norman Wells Claimant Corporation for space in the Pipeline Building.
- a 10-year, $100,750 per annum lease in Tulita with Tulita Developments Ltd.
7.8 Northwest Territories Housing Corporation
In support of the economic measures provisions in Chapter 12 of the Agreement, the following contracts were awarded to a Sahtu company:
- three construction contracts in Fort Good Hope to Arctic Circle Enterprises Ltd. for a total of $266,323.
8. Government of Canada
8.1 Economic Activity and Employment
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Government economic activities in the Sahtu Settlement Area are structured to ensure that the traditional economy is maintained and strengthened, while working toward the economic self-sufficiency of the Sahtu.
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement
The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement (AHRDA) between the Sahtu Dene Council and 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 directly labour market development activities within its area of jurisdiction and in accordance with the terms of the agreement, and subject to relevant federal legislation. The Sahtu 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.
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program
The Sahtu Dene Council was one of the partners that developed a multi-year strategy for industrial skills development related to opportunities anticipated out of the oil and gas industry. A proposal from this partnership is being funded pursuant to the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) Program.
This multi-year funding program will assist the Sahtu Dene to identify and support clients through interventions that will lead to permanent and meaningful jobs in the oil and gas industry. The Sahtu Dene Council's share of funding provided to Aboriginal Futures (the training partnership) was $2,022,024 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 an early stage at year-end. An important characteristic of initiatives supported under ASEP is that all training undertaken will lead to long-term sustainable jobs.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The Department provides resources to Sahtu bands and SSI to support the traditional economy and encourage employment. In 2004-2005, the following allocations were issued.
Behdzi Adha First Nation
- $15,000 from the Community Economic Development Program (CEDP) for community-based, community-driven support for economic development.
- $63,191 from CEDP.
Tulita Dene Band
- $66,727 from CEDP; and
- $20,000 from the Regional Opportunities Program (ROP).
Tulita District Land Corporation
- $230,000 from the Resource Partnership Program; and
- $80,000 under Resource Access Negotiation to negotiate an access agreement with Imperial.
Tulita Land and Financial Corporation
- $20,000 to Tulita Developments Ltd, from ROP for economic development initiatives.
K'ahsho Got'ine District Corporation
- $73,656 from ROP to assist with the Sahtu Regional Pipeline Group meetings;
- $60,000 from ROP to provide to negotiate access and benefits with the MGP; and
- $200,000 from the Resource Partnership Program to prepare for access and benefit negotiations with the MGP.
Fort Good Hope Band
- $150,000 under Resource Access Negotiation to negotiate access and benefit agreements with the MGP.
Sahtu Dene Council
- $630,380 in tribal council funding for band governance, financial management and economic development.
Industry Canada continued to deliver its Aboriginal Business Development Program from Yellowknife. Aboriginal Business Canada serves the area with a full-time development officer who visits the Sahtu 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 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 Sahtu Settlement Area.
Assistance and information on the procurement process were provided as requested during the year, as well as information on contracts. Whenever it was practical and consistent with sound procurement principles, evaluation criteria are included in tenders to maximize socio-economic benefits to the claimant group.
8.2 Environmental and Wildlife Management
Canadian Wildlife Service
In terms of renewable resource management, including the operation of the SRRB, 2004-2005 was another successful year for the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). A range of wildlife/fisheries/forestry research and monitoring projects were completed and progress and/or final reports prepared. Sahtu beneficiaries continued to be an integral element of SRRB operations, with several trainee positions funded either through the year or in the summer months.
Settlement Area Harvest Study
The Canadian Wildlife Service has a seat on the SAHS Working Group, and has contributed to the design and ongoing implementation of the SAHS, which is in its last year.
Harvest of Migratory Game Birds
Through its seat on the SRRB, CWS advises the Board of all changes to migratory bird regulations that might have an impact on the Sahtu Dene and Metis. Migratory birds are managed according to a well-defined set of instructions. The Sahtu have been regularly consulted over changes to the Migratory Bird Regulations, such as the use of non-toxic bird-shot and the proposed spring hunting season.
The Canadian Wildlife Service also provides the SRRB with annual migratory bird harvest statistics as 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 by the SRRB. The SAHS will provide information from which the SRRB could determine a total allowable harvest.
Management of Migratory Wildlife Species
Through its seats on the various flyway committees, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and other international initiatives, the CWS is closely involved in the management of migratory bird species that cross international boundaries. The SRRB is routinely apprised of issues arising from these international initiatives that may affect the Sahtu Dene and Metis.
The Canadian Wildlife Service sits on the Arctic Goose Working Group of the Arctic Goose Joint Venture (AGJV). This group deals with the overpopulation of snow geese in the Arctic, especially in the Central Arctic. Sahtu Dene and Metis harvest snow geese from the Western Arctic population where the problem does not appear to be as severe. The SRRB was kept informed about this issue. The AGJV is a cooperative Canada-United States body that coordinates goose management and research in both countries.
The Canadian Wildlife Service cooperated with Ducks Unlimited Canada in wetland bird surveys, with an emphasis on shorebirds.
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. Consequently, the Government of Canada, through the CWS, developed species at risk legislation, which received royal assent in October 2002 and was enacted in June 2003. During the year, the SRRB was consulted on the role of institutes of public government in the implementation of this legislation by means of Environment Canada-sponsored workshops in Yellowknife and Whitehorse.
Protected Area Strategy
In late March 2004, the CWS indicated to Fort Good Hope that it was interested in being the sponsoring agency for a candidate protected area for Tsodehniline/Tuy't'ah (Ramparts River and Wetland) areas under the Protected Area Strategy (PAS). As a sponsoring agency, the CWS offers its legislation (Canada Wildlife Actand Wildlife Area Regulations) as a means for protecting this area and will work toward that goal, in partnership with the community, through the steps outlined in the PAS. In the past year, the CWS continued to work with community agencies (e.g., Yamoga Land Corporation and Fort Good Hope RRC) in preparing an application to INAC in mid-2005 for a five-year land withdrawal during which time further assessment of the site will continue. The CWS is planning the first year of on-the-ground ecological assessment for June 2005.
Mackenzie Valley. Environmental Impact Review Board
The CWS is involved in the Joint Review Panel 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.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The Department continued to support the work of the SRRB in its mandate of wildlife management in the Sahtu Settlement Area. Fisheries and Oceans Canada funded the following projects in the Sahtu Settlement Area in 2004-2005:
- Great Bear Lake Management Plan: consultation, travel and meeting costs ($21,000);
- Deline RRC community monitoring of Great Bear Lake: patrol boat assistance ($13,000);
- Great Bear Lake fishery projects ($36,500) resulting in the direct employment of beneficiaries; and
- land claim liaison travel costs ($3,500).
Fisheries and Oceans Canada also participated in the ongoing SRRB project: Great Bear Lake Trout Movement and Stock Assessment of Keith and McVicar Arms. From a fisheries perspective, the highlights of the year were the continuing support of a long-term fisheries assessment project in Great Bear Lake near Deline and participation in the development of the Great Bear Lake Management Plan. Total implementation funding received by DFO in 2004-2005 was $74,200.
The Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region, is responsible for providing the Marine Aids to Navigation Program, marine communications and traffic services, and environmental response services. Through the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Coast Guard provides marine search and rescue activities on Great Slave Lake, Mackenzie River, the Mackenzie-Athabasca Waterway system and Western Arctic waters.
With respect to the land administration activities of the Coast Guard, applications for reserves have been submitted for a number of sites to the Sahtu Dene Council and were pending at year-end.
National Energy Board
The NEB has a specific responsibility under Chapter 24 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 Board 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 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, SLWB, Gwich'in Land and Water Board, NWT Water Board, MVEIRB, EISC and Environmental Impact Review Board for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, the Inuvialuit Game Council, Inuvialuit Land Administration, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, INAC and observers from the Deh Cho First Nation, and governments of the Northwest Territories and Yukon.
Parks Canada Agency
Chapter 17 of the Agreement specifies the production of public information material with respect to protected areas and heritage resources, facilities and projects that give appropriate recognition to the culture and history of the Sahtu Dene and Metis.
The community of Deline officially signed the commemorative integrity statement for the Sahoyûé-zedacho National Historic Site of Canada in 2004-2005. The cultural information report and results of the ecological and economic evaluations as plain language summaries were also completed.
An issues paper setting out options to support the protection, presentation and management of Sahoyûé-zedacho National Historic Site was presented to, and discussed with, the Sahoyûézedacho Working Group and with elders from Deline. The terms of reference for a socio-economic impact assessment as identified in step five of the NWT PAS (evaluation of the candidate protected area) was finalized with the Deline elders. Other activities related to the Sahoyûé-zedacho National Historic Site of Canada included the submission of an application for a five-year extension of the existing land withdrawal for the National Historic Site and of an application to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada for an official name change of the Grizzly Bear Mountain and Scented Hills National Historic Site to the Sahoyûé-zedacho National Historic Site of Canada.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
During the year, the 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 Sahtu Settlement Area, this involves a draft agreement with the MVEIRB and Inuvialuit that provides for the panel process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
8.4 Land and Water Management
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The NWT regional office continued to coordinate INAC's technical input to environmental assessments undertaken by the MVEIRB. The Department also coordinated, on an ongoing basis, the input of all responsible federal departments in responding to the MVEIRB's determinations on environmental assessments.
Sand and Gravel Resources
The NWT Regional Office provided quarterly reports on the quarry royalties collected in the Mackenzie Valley for a total of $66,400.61.
Negotiations with the Deline Uranium Team continued. Assessment work was done at the Silver Bear Mine and El Bonanza as well as consultation with Deline.
Land Use Planning
The NWT Regional Office, on behalf of INAC, completed a comprehensive roll-up of comments on the preliminary draft Sahtu Land Use Plan for the SLUPB on June 30, 2003. In February and March 2004, a consultant hired by the SLUPB conducted an on-site operational review as part of an all-party strategic effort to bring the development of the land use plan back on track quickly.
In the spring of 2004, the SLUPB approved two reports Moving Forward and Working Draft prepared by the SLUPB's consultant as a result of the operational review. The consultant was then commissioned to implement the recommended work plan, including assisting the organization with hiring an executive director and GIS employee. The executive director position remains unfilled.
In May 2004, the SLUPB made a special submission to the Implementation Committee requesting incremental funding for the preparation and completion of the revised draft land use plan. Following revisions to this submission in the fall, the Implementation Committee approved the incremental funding request for 2005-2006. Work progressed by the consultant on discussing a draft map with the communities, regional organizations and planning partners (SSI, the Government of the Northwest Territories and INAC).
With the terms of some of the SLUPB members expiring, new members were appointed in the first quarter of 2005 with one SSI vacancy remaining. The new members held three meetings with the mining, oil and gas industries in the spring of 2005 so these formal consultations with industry could be completed in early May.
Land and Water Use
The North Mackenzie District Office continued to work with the SLWB in a number of areas, including the recommendation of terms and conditions on applications for land use permits and water licences, and the provision of inspection services for the Board to ensure compliance with terms and conditions. On an ongoing basis, INAC Land Administration compiled and submitted monthly reports to the SLWB on any activity in the Sahtu Settlement Area that was recorded in the Land Information Management System.
Natural Resources Canada
As per the Agreement and Implementation Plan, the Surveyor General has responsibility for and control over the legal surveys to determine the boundaries of all Sahtu parcels described in the Agreement. Natural Resources Canada, Legal Surveys Division, is responsible for the management of the boundary surveys for the lands identified in section 19.4, Boundaries and Surveys, Volume 1 of the Agreement.
The following are the percentages for the various schedules of the Sahtu Boundary Survey Program:
- Schedule I: 100 percent complete
- Schedule II: 100 percent complete
- Schedule III: 100 percent complete
- Schedule IV 100 percent complete
- Schedule XVI: 100 percent complete
As the parties ratify the survey plans, they are recorded in the Canada Lands and Surveys Register and are delivered to the Register of Land Titles. The Sahtu rejected the survey of parcel 26, disputing the location of the winter road. This issue will require resolution by INAC. An order-in-council is required to create parcel 51A as parcel 51 was split by a winter road at the time of the land claim ratification.
Should all survey plans be confirmed by all of the parties, the total area of lands surveyed will exceed the agreed upon quantum by 1.61 square kilometres.
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 Sahtu and Gwich'in 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 SSI and the Gwich'in Tribal Council in 2000. Legal counsel for the Gwich'in Tribal Council 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 Other Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Protected Area Strategy
The NWT PAS Implementation Advisory Committee (PAS IAC) met in Fort Smith in February 2004, and in Yellowknife in June 2004, November 2004 and March 2005. The Sahtu representative on the PAS IAC works with the Sahtu leadership to further PAS initiatives within the region.
Deline advanced the Sahoyûé-zedacho area through the PAS. The Sahoyûé-zedacho Working Group includes members from the Deline Land Corporation, Deline RRC, Parks Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, RWED and INAC. Cultural, non-renewable resource and ecological assessments have been completed for this candidate protected area. Community consultations and working group meetings were held throughout the assessment process. A renewable resource assessment and socio-economic analysis will be completed in the coming fiscal year. The interim land withdrawal for Sahoyûé-zedacho ends November 2005. The Working Group has recommended an interim land withdrawal extension. Parks Canada applied to INAC for an interim land withdrawal extension on February 28, 2005 and will continue to work with the Sahoyûé-zedacho Working Group and PAS Secretariat to complete the eight steps of the PAS process and provide Sahoyûé-zedacho with permanent protection.
During the year, the Yamoga Land Corporation worked in partnership with various Fort Good Hope organizations and Ducks Unlimited to complete an interim withdrawal proposal to submit to CWS. Once the proposal is completed, CWS will apply to INAC for an order-in-council withdrawing the surface and subsurface lands of Ts'ude'hliline - Tuyetah (Ramparts River and Wetlands) for five years. The community coordinator is actively working to complete the proposal and has received strong support from the region to see Ts'ude'hliline - Tuyetah protected.
Tulita is advancing several areas of interest, known as the Phase Two Tulita Conservation Initiative, through the PAS. Three priority goals were set for 2004-2005 to advance these areas:
- Finalize support from the land corporations in the Tulita District for a land withdrawal of the South Nahanni Headwaters.
- Redraft boundaries of conservation areas identified in the preliminary draft Sahtu Land Use Plan (#4 Drum Lake and area, #17 Ravens Throat and Redstone Rivers, and #8 Keele River and Headwaters).
- Identify new areas for protection within the Tulita District that are both culturally and ecologically important.
A community coordinator was hired to distribute information, update Tulita organizations and seek regional support for these initiatives. Parks Canada has agreed to proceed with an application for a land withdrawal of the South Nahanni Headwaters on receipt of support from all the Tulita district land corporations. Additional traditional knowledge and place names data, conservation suitability analysis and historical wildlife data were mapped and presented to Tulita and members of the land corporations to further the second and third goals above. This information was also presented to Tulita elders to help them identify new boundaries and lands for protection. Preliminary discussions regarding possible sponsoring agencies for these areas will be undertaken in the coming fiscal year.
The NWT Regional Office held annual treaty payment meetings in the following communities: Fort Good Hope Band in Fort Good Hope on June 2, 2004, Behdzi Ahda" First Nation in Colville and Deline Band in Deline on June 3, 2004, and Tulita Band in Tulita on June 4, 2004.
Section 5.1.12 of the Agreement requires government to provide the Sahtu Tribal Council 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 NWT, 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 Sahtu Dene Council) 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 Northwest Territories.
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 agreement-in-principle and 2006 for the conclusion of a final devolution agreement.
Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated 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.
8.7 Federal Coordination of Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
As in previous years, the Implementation Branch of INAC continues to be responsible for monitoring the fulfillment of federal government obligations contained in the Agreement and accompanying Implementation Plan. The Branch has a senior official that sits on the Implementation Committee, and consults with SSI and the Government of the Northwest Territories on issues that may arise relating to federal obligations.
The Implementation Branch provides funding to the implementing bodies, SSI and the Government of the Northwest Territories as identified in the Implementation Plan. Throughout the fiscal year, the Implementation Branch, in conjunction with the NWT Regional Office, reviewed additional funding requests received from the SLUPB that would allow the organization to complete work on the draft Sahtu land use plan. The Implementation Committee endorsed these additional funding requests.
In partnership with the NWT Regional Office, the Implementation Branch oversaw the ministerial and order-in-council appointments to the boards. During the year, two Sahtu members and one NWT government member were appointed to the SLUPB, and one NWT government member was appointed to the SRRB.
The Implementation Branch, in association with the Implementation Committee, organized the Three-Year Economic Measures Review meeting, which was held in November 2004 in Inuvik. Representatives from federal and territorial departments, and participants from the Gwich'in Tribal Council attended the meeting. Due to timing issues, the Sahtu did not attend the meeting. Work continued on improving this process for the next three-year review, scheduled for 2007.
Funding levels in the Implementation Plan for the implementing bodies, SSI and Government of the Northwest Territories over the next 10-year implementation period were signed off by the parties to the Agreement. Remaining work for the new fiscal year involves a review of the Implementation Plan activity sheets by the technical working group convened for this review.
The Government of the Northwest Territories and the Implementation Branch reached agreement on the wording to amend clause 19.5 of the Agreement. The Implementation Committee signed off on this amendment. At year-end, the Implementation Branch was awaiting the record of decision from SSI, which is required to effect this amendment to the Agreement.
In 2004-2005, funding was provided to the following implementing bodies:
|Government of the Northwest Territories||293,156|
Membership of Implementing Bodies (as of March 31, 2005)
Nigel Bankes, Chair
Deborah Hanly, Vice-Chair
James H. Davis
Robert A. Kasting
Larry Wallace, Chair
Walter Bayha, Chair
Peter Menacho, Interim Chair
Gabrielle Mackenzie-Scott, Chair
Web Site Addresses
Map of Sahtu Settlement Area
Map: Sahtu Settlement Area (Northwest Territories)
The image illustrates the Sahtu Settlement Area. More specifically, it portrays the Sahtu Settlement Area including Sahtu Lands. The image also illustrates territorial borders, regional boundaries, the Mackenzie River, Great Bear Lake, water features, and communities.
Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments, 1994 to 2004
|Date||Schedule of Payments $||Loan Repayment $||Total Paid to the SSI $|
|June 23, 1994||9,000,000||0||9,000,000|
|September 6, 1994||3,853,940||(533,903)||3,320,037|
|September 6, 1995||5,780,911||($800,854)||4,980,057|
|September 6, 1996||7,707,881||(1,067,805)||6,640,076|
|September 6, 1997||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 1998||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 1999||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2000||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2001||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2002||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2003||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2004||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
Implementation Payments, 1994-1995 to 2004-2005
|Fiscal Year||Implementation Payments $|
Note: These amounts include payments to SSI, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the implementing bodies (including MVEIRB beginning in 2001-2002).
Payments under Section 10.1 with Respect to Resource Royalties Paid to Government, 1993 to 2004
|Fiscal Year||Resource Royalties Paid to SSI $|
* As a result of an out of court settlement with SSI on May 17, 2002, an additional $8,738,354 was paid to SSI.
** This amount includes adjustments made during the year.
Property Taxes Reimbursed to the Government of the Northwest Territories, 1994 to 2004
|Fiscal Year||Property Taxes Reimbursed $|
|1994 & 1995 (two years paid in one)||8,666|
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