Archived - Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement - Annual Report of the Implementation Committee April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003
This Web page has been archived on the Web. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record keeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.
Table of Contents
- Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations
- 1 Features of the Agreement
- 2 Highlights
- 3 Specific Issues
- 3.1 Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program
- 3.2 Economic Measures
- 3.3 Resource Development in the Mackenzie Valley
- 3.4 Land Use Planning
- 3.5 Renewal of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan
- 3.6 Core Funding for the Gwich'in Tribal Council
- 3.7 Wildlife Studies Fund
- 3.8 Dispute Resolution Process
- 3.9 Devolution in Yukon
- 4 Implementation Committee
- 5 Implementing Bodies
- 6 Gwich'in Tribal Council
- 6.1 Enrolment Board
- 6.2 Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Framework
- 6.3 Revisions to the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement
- 6.4 Yukon Environmental Assessment Legislation
- 6.5 Communications CD-ROM
- 6.6 Beaufort-Delta Self-Government Negotiations
- 6.7 Resource Management
- 6.8 Gwich'in Land Administration
- 6.9 Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute
- 7 Government of the Northwest Territories
- 7.1 Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
- 7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
- 7.3 Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
- 7.4 Department of Education, Culture and Employment
- 7.5 Department of Justice
- 7.6 Department of Public Works and Services
- 7.7 Department of Transportation
- 8 Government of Canada
- Appendix 1: Membership of Implementing Bodies
- Appendix 2: Map of Gwich'in Settlement Area
- Appendix 3: Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments, 1992 to 2002
- Appendix 4: Implementation Payments, 1992-1993 to 2002-2003
- Appendix 5: Resource Royalties, 1992 to 2002
- Appendix 6: Gwich'in Property Taxes Paid Out, 1994 to 2002
- Appendix 7: Web Site Addresses
The Implementation Committee is pleased to provide its 10th annual report on the implementation of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement ("the Agreement"). This report covers the fiscal year extending from April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003.
The Implementation Committee is composed of a senior official from each of the parties: the Gwich'in Tribal Council (GTC), the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada. The Committee functions by consensus and serves as a forum where parties can raiseissues and voice their concerns.
The role of the Implementation Committee is to oversee, monitor and provide direction on the implementation of the Agreement. This annual report describes achievements and developments during the year. Information is contributed by various federal and territorial departments, the GTC and other bodies established pursuant to the Agreement.
Progress by the Implementation Committee is being achieved within a relationship defined by mutual respect and a commitment to fulfilling the obligations set out in the Agreement.
Original signed by
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 ResourceDevelopment Agreement|
|APG||Aboriginal Pipeline Group|
|ARC||Arctigas Route Corporation|
|CEAA||Canadian Environmental Assessment Act|
|CEAM||Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management|
|CIMP||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program|
|CMRs||Canada Mining Regulations|
|CWS||Canadian Wildlife Service|
|CYFN||Council of Yukon First Nations|
|DTA||Devolution Transfer Agreement|
|DFO||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|EC&E||Department of Education, Culture and Employment, GNWT|
|EIRB||Environmental Impact Review Board, Inuvialuit Settlement Region|
|GDC||Gwich'in Development Corporation|
|GLUPB||Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board|
|GLWB||Gwich'in Land and Water Board|
|GNWT||Government of the Northwest Territories|
|GRRB||Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board|
|GSA||Gwich'in Settlement Area|
|GSCI||Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute|
|GTC||Gwich'in Tribal Council|
|HRDC||Human Resources Development Canada|
|INAC||Indian and Northern Affairs Canada|
|IPGs||Institutions of Public Government|
|MVEIRB||Mackenzie Valley EnvironmentalImpact Review Board|
|MVLWB||Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board|
|MVRMA||Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act|
|NEB||National Energy Board|
|PWGSC||Public Works and Government Services Canada|
|RRC||Renewable Resources Council|
|RWED||Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, GNWT|
|SAHS||Settlement Area Harvest Study|
|SSA||Sahtu Settlement Area|
|SSI||Sahtu Secretariat Inc.|
|YDAP||Yukon Development Assessment Process|
|YEAA||Yukon Environmental Assessment Act|
|YESAA||Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act|
1. Features of the Agreement
On April 22, 1992, the Gwich'in Tribal Council (GTC) and the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada signed the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the accompanying Implementation Plan. The Agreement took effect on December 22, 1992.
Major provisions of the Agreement include:
- Gwich'in title to 22,422 square kilometres of land in the Northwest Territories and 1,554 square kilometres of land in Yukon;
- Gwich'in wildlife harvesting rights and rights of first refusal for a variety of commercial wildlife activities;
- the establishment of institutions of public government (IPGs) to manage wildlife and to regulate land, water and the environment;
- guaranteed Gwich'in representation on IPGs; and
- Gwich'in receipt of $75 million, in 1990 constant dollars, in tax-free capital transfers, which will represent $141 million over 15 years. A $7.4 million capital transfer payment was made to the GTC on the proclamation of the Gwich'in Land Claim Settlement Act. Additional payments are made on each anniversary of the signing of the Agreement. Payments with respect to resource royalties received by government are made to the Gwich'in on a quarterly basis.
The Agreement also provides for the negotiation of agreements on self-government, which will be brought into effect through federal or territorial legislation or both.
Significant highlights of the Annual Report of the Implementation Committee, 2002-2003 include the following.
- The GTC received a capital transfer payment of $9,318,835 after negotiation loans were deducted.
- An implementation framework was completed, which complemented the five-year strategic plan for the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) and Northwest Territories (NWT) Environmental Audit. Work progressed on the development of draft terms of reference and a process for the Audit, which will be the first NWT-wide environmental audit.
- The parties involved in the Gwich'in/Sahtu Economic Measures Review identified the need for a framework to review the effectiveness of government economic development programs in the Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA) and Sahtu Settlement Area (SSA) as they relate to the economic measures chapters in the Sahtu and Gwich'in agreements. A contractor was hired for this framework development.
- The Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee completed the Cooperation Plan for Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project. This group represents the various regulatory and environmental assessment bodies that would deal with an application to build a Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.
- In August 2002, the Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board (GLUPB) submitted an application to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Land Administration for a five-year withdrawal of subsurface resources in the proposed Conservation Zones and Heritage Conservation Zones of the Gwich'in Land Use Plan.
- The first draft of proposed amendments to the Canada Mining Regulations (CMRs) was completed in January 2003 by INAC. These amendments, which are under review by the GLUPB, will address the incompatibility between the Gwich'in Land Use Plan and the CMRs.
- The Implementation Committee members discussed the renewal of the Implementation Plan for the next 10-year implementation period. The Committee drafted two records of decision to guide the parties in implementation until agreement is reached on the renewed Implementation Plan.
- The Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) allocated $207,500 to fund 21 research and management projects including those directed at increasing knowledge of wildlife, fisheries, forestry and the environment.
- The Settlement Area Harvest Study (SAHS) received an additional two years of operational funding through the renewal of the Implementation Plan. Funding was secured from April 2003 to March 2005.
- The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB), the Environmental Impact Review Board (EIRB) for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency released their draft agreement for participation on a joint review panel for the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline.
- The NWT Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED), provided assistance to Gwich'in organizations for numerous initiatives including youth land-based conservation programs, participation at various conferences and capacity building related to resource development.
- The NWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment (EC&E), provided a broad range of employment, social, educational, and cultural programs and services in the GSA.
- Contracts totalling $1.1 million were awarded by the NWT Department of Public Works and Services to Gwich'in-owned businesses.
- The allocation to the Gwich'in under the federal Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement (AHRDA) was $965,817 and was directed to labour market training and child-care initiatives for residents in the GSA.
- Indian and Northern Affairs Canada provided various financial resources to Gwich'in bands and organizations in support of the traditional economy, to encourage employment and for the fulfilment of obligations under the Agreement.
- Environment Canada developed new species at risk legislation, which received royal assent in October 2002 and should be enacted by mid-2003. During the year, the GRRB was consulted on the role of IPGs in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act by means of Environment Canada-sponsored workshops in Edmonton and Whitehorse.
- On May 17, 2002, the Government of Canada, GTC and Sahtu Secretariat Inc. (SSI) reached an out-ofcourt settlement with respect to the definition of royalties under the Gwich'in and Sahtu agreements. As part of the settlement, a compensation payment was made to the GTC and SSI on June 14, 2002, and the parties agreed to amend the definition of royalty in both agreements. Governor in Council approval of the amendments was received on February 6, 2003.
3. Specific Issues
3.1 Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program
Section 24.1.4 of the Agreement calls for a method of monitoring the cumulative impact of land and water uses on the environment in the Mackenzie Valley, and for periodic, independent,environmental audits to be conducted and made public. This obligation is to be fulfilled by Part VI of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA), which requires that the responsible authority collect and analyze scientific data, traditional knowledge and other pertinent information for the purpose of monitoring the cumulative impact on the environment of concurrent and sequential uses of land and water, and deposits of waste in the Mackenzie Valley. The MVRMA also requires that environmental audits be conducted every five years.
The NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group was established in early 1999 to design the CIMP and consists of representatives from the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada, and all Aboriginal governments of the NWT The Working Group held 11 meetings in 2002-2003 to further design the program it will complement existing monitoring programs, provide co-ordinated reporting on the state of the environment in the NWT, and ensure that independent environmental audits are conducted at least once every five years. The MVEIRB accepted the Working Group's invitation to join the Group as an observer. The Inuvialuit Game Council is a founding member of the Working Group, and although the Inuvialuit Final Agreement does not specifically address cumulative impact monitoring, the Council formally confirmed its interest in participating in the implementation planning for the CIMP and NWT Environmental Audit.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada met with the Gwich'in, Tlicho (Dogrib), Inuvialuit, North Slave Metis Alliance and Northwest Territories Metis Nation leadership to discuss the CIMP and Audit, and conducted community consultations on the programs design in the Gwich'in, Inuvialuit, Tlicho, and North Slave Metis regions. Sahtu representatives did not participate in any Working Group meetings, but the SSI continued to receive copies of all materials. Attempts by INAC to meet with Sahtu leadership, communities and co-management organizations were unsuccessful during the year, but will continue in 2003-2004.
Key deliverables for 2002-2003 by the Working Group include:
- development of the implementation framework (June 28, 2002);
- continuing revisions to the draft five-year strategic plan for the CIMP and Audit (the first draft of the five-year work plan was completed September 13, 2002);
- development of a draft Treasury Board submission;
- continuing revisions to the draft state-of-knowledge report of priority valued components including a plain language summary (July 28, 2002) and formation of a marine life valued components advisory team;
- development of the draft terms of reference and process for the first NWT-wide Environmental Audit, as required under section 148 of the MVRMA;
- discussions of Audit draft terms of reference at community and regional meetings in the GSA;
- development of a Web site < wwwnwtcimp.ca >, including an initial information management system;
- development of a Web-enabled version of the CIMP - Tariuq (Oceans) Inventory which includes monitoring activities throughout the NWT;
- development of a CIMP and Audit brochure and presentation materials; and
- funding to regional and community monitoring and capacity-building projects, including three in the GSA and three in the SSA.
The need for timely implementation of the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit was strongly supported by the NWT Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management (CEAM) Steering Committee in its Blueprint for Implementing the Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Strategy and Framework in the NWT and Its Regions.
Work plans for 2003-2004 were developed during the year but await confirmation of funding.
3.2 Economic Measures
Chapter 10 of the Agreement requires that government economic development programs in the GSA consider the objectives of Gwich'in economic self-sufficiency, and maintain and strengthen the traditional Gwich'in economy. The governments of Canada and the NWT are required to meet with the GTC at least once every three years to review the effectiveness of programs with respect to these objectives. There have been three reviews since the signing of the land claim agreement in 1992, including an internal federal review in 1995, a tripartite review on November 4, 1998 and a tripartite review on November 21-23, 2001, of which the latter was considered by the Gwich'in to be unsatisfactory. The reviews did not adequately assess whether the programs were taking into account the objectives of this chapter of the Agreement. It also was apparent that there was not enough data to conduct an assessment of this nature properly. The parties agreed that there was a need for Gwich'in and Sahtu-specific data collection.
The November 2001 joint Gwich'in/Sahtu Economic Measures Review meeting recommended that a working group be established that could develop a review methodology to improve information compilation and presentation, which would be available for use during the following review period. The parties met in April 2002 to discuss the development of measurement strategies and to determine priorities for effectively implementing the economic measures chapters. As a result of the meeting, a number of tasks and action items were identified, including the analysis of current statistics and beneficiary enrolment, the review of existing evaluation tools for appropriateness, establishment of a working group and an examination of the best practices under existing programs.
Follow-up discussions were held regarding a framework that could be used by government departments to review the effectiveness of economic development programs in the GSA and SSA as they relate to the economic measures objectives in the Gwich'in and Sahtu agreements. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada developed terms of reference and awarded a contract for the development of this framework. The contractor had an initial meeting with all the parties in February 2003 and conducted telephone interviews with a number of Gwich'in and Sahtu, territorial and federal representatives. The various government departments are working on improving the statistical data collected. A joint meeting was scheduled for early April 2003 for representatives of the Gwich'in, Sahtu, NWT and INAC to work on defining or coming to a common understanding of words and phrases in the economic measures chapters. This work is seen as a critical prerequisite for effectively developing the framework.
3.3 Resource Development in the Mackenzie Valley
At the beginning of 2002-2003, there were two natural gas pipeline development proposals being considered that increased resource development activities in the GSA.
Mackenzie Valley Pipeline: A consortium of four gas producers led by Imperial Oil (and including Conoco, ExxonMobil and Shell) with gas holdings in the Mackenzie Delta teamed up with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG) and studied the feasibility of constructing a stand alone 1,300 kilometre natural gas pipeline. This line, estimated at $4 billion to $5 billion, would have an initial capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day with the potential to increase capacity to 1.9 billion cubic feet per day. The northern pipeline route design includes three gas fields and the associated gathering lines to a gas processing plant to be located at a centralized site in Inuvik, NWT. A main line would then transport the gas through the Mackenzie Valley to Zama, Alberta.
The Mackenzie Valley Gas Project Producers and the APG planned to file a Preliminary Information Package in January 2003. However, the filing was delayed as the APG completed negotiations on the $80 million in financing the Group required to contribute to the project definition phase.
Over the Top Route: This route is being promoted by an American consortium called the Arctigas Route Corporation (ARC) and the Northern Route Gas Pipeline Consortium (ARC'S Aboriginal partner). The Corporation is studying the feasibility of a route from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, across the top of Yukon, and then down the Mackenzie Valley to Alberta.
The Corporation spent most of the year obtaining Aboriginal support for the project and lobbying specific communities to sign land access deals for the pipeline right of way. However, ARC was not successful in obtaining land access agreements, prompting a shift of focus to lobbying the American government to support the over the top route.
The Alaska Highway route is the third proposed route through Alaska and Yukon; as such, it has little effect on resource activity in either the GSA or SSA.
As of March 31, 2003, no project had been formally proposed. Both the Gwich'in and Sahtu believe it is important to undertake a co-ordinated planning effort to ensure maximum benefit and participation in proposed resource development activities.
The potential development of Mackenzie Delta gas reserves, and the construction of a pipeline to connect these and possibly other reserves in Alaska through the Mackenzie Valley to the south, will trigger a number of environmental assessment and regulatory processes. The authorities with environmental impact assessment and regulatory mandates, which require or may conduct a public hearing including the MVEIRB, Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB), Gwich'in Land and Water Board (GLWB), National Energy Board (NEB) and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, prepared for their potential involvement in these developments. Even though no application has been submitted, the organizations worked to coordinate advanced planning to ensure all roles are clearly defined and understood by all parties, and that mandates can be exercised in a co-ordinated manner that avoids duplication.
The Cooperation Plan for Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project, developed by the Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee, represents an exploration by the organizations of potential methods of co-operation and provides clarity and certainty of process and timing for the public and for potential applicants.
The Plan recognizes that each environmental impact assessment authority and regulator operates independently with a legislative mandate to assess the proposed pipeline development and to make recommendations and decisions. The Plan in no way prejudges or pre-approves any potential project that may be proposed, nor does the approach outlined in the plan prejudge the decisions to be made by any authority or bind any authority to a certain course of action.
In designing the process, the organizations were guided by the following principles:
- a desire for the organizations to co-operate;
- the need for a "made in the North" process;
- the flexibility to consider a variety of development scenarios;
- enhanced public participation in the project review; and
- the need to consider fully the potential impacts before project decisions are made.
The objectives of the Plan include:
- enhancing efficiency and effectiveness;
- improving certainty and clarity in the environmental impact assessment and regulatory process; and
- ensuring compliance with existing legislation and comprehensive land claim agreements.
The work outlined in the preparation phase of the Plan has been effectively completed and included the development of agreements, preparation of consolidated information requirements and plans for shared technical resources.
In October 2002, the MVEIRB signed a draft agreement with the EIRB and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for participation on a joint review panel for the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline.
The Working Group of the Chairs' Committee developed a Regulators' Agreement for Coordination of the Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Development and Pipeline Project. This Agreement provides a mechanism for the regulators to co-ordinate the regulatory processes with the harmonized environmental assessment process.
The APG was formed to enable Aboriginal peoples of the Mackenzie Valley to participate in the Mackenzie Valley pipeline as 30 percent owners. In late 2002, the Mackenzie Gas Project Producers completed their Preliminary Information Package in anticipation of the completion of financial arrangements with the APG. Negotiations to finalize these financial arrangements were ongoing in 2002-2003. It is expected that the Preliminary Information Package will be filed with the regulatory authorities in the summer of 2003.
The Plan for Public Involvement, which outlines the opportunities for public involvement at various stages of the review, will be released as part of the response of the Chairs' Committee to the tabling of the Preliminary Information Package. The Chairs' Committee is establishing the Northern Gas Project Secretariat to serve the four bodies responsible for holding public hearings in the NWT: the Joint Review Panel (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, MVEIRB and EIRB), NEB, MVLWB and NWT Water Board.
Government and industry also worked together on various initiatives to fill gaps in baseline knowledge needed to determine potential impacts and cumulative effects. In addition, Imperial Oil has been conducting community consultations and workshops to determine any preliminary issues in preparation for the environmental statements it must file.
Imperial Oil began its geotechnical and other research work in the GSA. Some of this work requires access to private settlement land owned by the Gwich'in and administered by the GTC. The GTC issued detailed authorizations for the first two winter seasons of research work and entered into a Comprehensive Co-operation and Benefits Agreement with Imperial Oil. This agreement contains provisions for priority contracting and employment that are tied to a newly formed business policy that identifies Gwich'in businesses. It also provides for donations to community funds and a committee to oversee implementation of the agreement. The land access authorization contains stringent provisions restricting scope of access and providing for insurance, bonds, environmental protection, environmental monitors, land access fees, enforcement, and remediation and compensation for any damage that may occur.
Priority concerns, as the pipeline proposal unfolds, are the lack of information on the socio-economic impact of the pipeline development and the urgent need for capacity building to take advantage of the employment and contract positions associated with this development.
3.4 Land Use Planning
The Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement created a legal requirement for a land use plan to promote conservation and sustainable development in the GSA. The Gwich'in Land Use Plan, Nành' Geenjit Gwitr'it T'igwaa'in, Working for the Land, was completed in 1999. The GLUPB produced and distributed 200 copies of the Plan to Gwich'in communities and regional organizations, industry and government. The Land Use Plan was approved by both the GTC and the GNWT in 1999.
The federal government is the final signatory to the Land Use Plan and has been unable to approve it. The government, as represented by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, has expressed concern because of the incompatibility between the provisions of the Land Use Plan and the CMRs. In November 2001, representatives of the GLUPB and GTC met with the Minister to discuss solutions which would allow federal approval of the Plan. An agreement was reached and outlined in a subsequent letter from the Minister to the GLUPB. In accordance with the process described in this letter, the following activities took place in 2002-2003 toward the approval of the Land Use Plan.
- In August 2002, the GLUPB submitted an application to Land Administration, INAC for a five-year withdrawal of subsurface resources in the proposed Conservation Zones and Heritage Conservation Zones of the Plan. An order-in-council for the interim land withdrawal is being drafted and translated by INAC. The order-in-council will be an interim solution for the conflict between the CMRs and these zones.
- The long-term solution to the conflict is to amend the CMRs. The Mineral Resources Directorate, INAC, circulated the first draft of proposed amendments to the CMRs in January 2003. The GLUPB determined that the proposed wording was inadequate and submitted alternate wording. The Mineral Resources Directorate indicated that a second draft of proposed amendments will be prepared and circulated after March 31, 2003.
- The GLUPB presented the revised Plan to the communities in late November and early December. The revised Plan was then brought to the GTC board meetings in December and February where the Plan and its revisions were discussed. The Plan is on the April 2003 GTC board meeting agenda as an approval item. Subsequent approvals by the GNWT and INAC are scheduled for the spring and summer of 2003 respectively.
- The C.S. Lord Geoscience Centre in Yellowknife was given direction and funding from INAC to begin a non-renewable resource assessment of the Gwich'in Conservation Zones under the Plan. Phase 1 included acquiring and compiling existing data and identifying related information gaps. This mineral and energy resource assessment work is expected to be completed by 2005.
3.5 Renewal of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan
During 2002-2003, negotiators representing the parties to the Agreement continued their discussions on the renewal of the Implementation Plan for the next 10-year implementation period. At the December Implementation Committee meeting, the negotiators provided a status update on the progress of the renewal discussions. They identified areas of agreement among the three parties and outlined several issues which remained outstanding. Progress was achieved on funding levels for the IPGs and the GNWT, and on amendments to many activity sheets. The outstanding issues presented to the Implementation Committee were related to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, the Yukon Devolution Transfer Agreement, the dispute resolution mechanism envisioned in the Agreement, economic measures, the Wildlife Studies Fund and a question regarding the nature of the Government of Canada's funding obligation to the GTC under the Agreement. Due to these outstanding issues, the negotiators were unable to recommend that the parties sign a renewed Implementation Plan at the December meeting.
As a result, the Committee drafted two records of decision to guide the parties until agreement was reached on the renewed Implementation Plan. In its first record of decision, Committee members agreed to recommend to their respective parties to:
- continue with the current Implementation Plan until March 31, 2003;
- fund the implementing bodies identified in Annex C of the Implementation Plan at status quo levels until March 31, 2003;
- fund the implementing bodies identified in Annex C of the Implementation Plan at the updated levels determined by negotiators beginning on April 1, 2003; and
- resolve the six outstanding issues through arbitration.
In the second record of decision, the members directed the negotiators, by March 15, 2003, to:
- continue negotiating and report back to the Committee with respect to planning assumptions, costed worksheets, the roles and responsibilities of the Committee and the annual adjustment factor;
- present options, where possible, to resolve the six outstanding issues; and
- present options, where possible, regarding alternative sources of funding in support of education, heritage and economic development funds identified by the GTC.
The Committee is scheduled to meet on April 2-3, 2003 in Yellowknife to discuss the renewal of the Implementation Plan and the progress made by the negotiators since the December 2002 meeting.
3.6 Core Funding for the Gwich'in Tribal Council
The GTC's position is that the Government of Canada is not adequately fmancing the GTC's implementation obligations under the Agreement. The issue of funding for the GTC and the Renewable Resources Councils (RRCs) was addressed in the Five Year General Review of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan. In that report, the GTC expressed concern about adequacy of funding and that original budgets were based on several assumptions, which due to circumstances beyond the control of the negotiators, are now incorrect. However, at that time, the Government of Canada was not prepared to seek additional resources based on the submissions provided by the implementing bodies. Canada agreed to undertake an `internal review" of the submissions to better position itself to respond to annual budget requests, and to prepare for the required eight to ten year review of the Implementation Plan. It was later agreed that there would not be an eight to ten year review, but that the parties would go straight into renewal discussions.
The GTC is not aware if this internal review occurred and, over the following years, the GTC continued to receive approximately $200,000 from the federal government as funding for implementation. The GTC believes this amount does not cover the GTC's staffing and support costs to meet its various obligations under the land claim. This situation has left the GTC with no choice but to spend approximately $2,200,000 per year of settlement funds on implementation. The GTC believes these funds should not be spent on implementation of the land claim; rather, they are intended as compensation payments and should instead be invested for the benefit of future generations.
The Government of Canada is of the position that it is under no obligation under the Agreement to fund the GTC. During discussions on the renewal of the Implementation Plan, the GTC was offered $486,000 per year to assist it in fulfilling its implementation activities as identified in the Implementation Plan. The GTC has accepted this offer on a without prejudice basis.
The Implementation Committee has recommended that the parties involved take this issue to arbitration. The parties are considering this recommendation.
The GTC also provides supplemental core funding to the RRCs. The four RRCs receive about $186,000 per year from the Government of Canada, which is about $46,500 per community. The GTC has provided an additional $100,000 per year or $25,000 per community so each Council could hire a full-time RRC coordinator and hold monthly RRC meetings. In addition, the GTC has funded a regional RRC co-ordinator to provide technical support to the local RRCs.
The RRCs play a very important role in the implementation of the Agreement. They are responsible for encouraging and promoting local involvement in conservation, harvesting studies, research and wildlife management in the communities. They also provide community input on land use applications. The number of land use applications has risen significantly, making it increasingly difficult for the RRCs to fulfill their mandates at their current funding levels, according to the GTC.
The Five Year Review contained the following recommendation: "Consistent with the Terms of Reference (review adequacy of funding), the Implementation Committee recommends that Canada review and consider the RRC funding request." The Government of Canada did review and consider the request, but was unable to provide additional funding to the RRCs. Instead, it recommended that this issue be addressed during the renewal of the Implementation Plan. During this process, the four RRCs were offered $264,000 per year or about $66,000 per community. The GTC accepted this offer on behalf of the RRCs.
3.7 Wildlife Studies Fund
The GTC and the GNWT argue that there is an ongoing need for government funding for wildlife studies that would provide the information necessary for the establishment of needs levels as required by the Agreement. The federal government provided a lump sum amount to be managed by the GRRB. The Government of Canada's position is that the lump sum payment completely discharged its obligation with respect to providing funds for the Wildlife Studies Fund and that no further funding will be provided. The GTC and the GNWT maintain that the lump sum funding was for the initial 10-year implementation period only, and that ongoing funding is required to fulfill wildlife studies obligations. As the negotiators were unable to resolve this matter, during the discussions on the renewal of the Implementation Plan, the Committee recommended the parties take this issue to arbitration. The parties are considering this recommendation.
3.8 Dispute Resolution Process
Chapter 28 of the Agreement addresses the Implementation Plan and the Implementation Committee. It provides for arbitration in the event that consensus cannot be reached on an unresolved implementation dispute. The federal government contends that based on Chapter 6 of the Agreement, the parties must agree before a matter can be submitted to arbitration. The GTC takes the position that a party can unilaterally submit a matter to arbitration. Otherwise, a party that withholds agreement would have the power to stall the resolution of a matter indefinitely. This issue remains unresolved and the Implementation Committee has recommended to the parties that they submit the question for arbitration. The parties are considering this recommendation.
3.9 Devolution in Yukon
The GTC was very dissatisfied with the federal government's handling of Gwich'in land claim rights in the context of devolution in Yukon. The process of devolution is one in which the federal government devolves regulatory and administrative powers to the Yukon government. The GTC is concerned that the Yukon government could use these powers in a way that may affect Gwich'in rights and ownership of land and resources in Yukon under the Yukon Transboundary Agreement (Appendix C). The GTC has argued that it was not provided with an adequate opportunity to consult on this devolution of powers and that the federal government did not defend the right of the GTC to be consulted or the rights of the GTC under Appendix C (Yukon Transboundary Agreement) of the Agreement. The concern of the GTC is that the Yukon government is not a signatory to the Yukon Transboundary Agreement. The perception within the GTC is that the federal government may, by the process of devolution, discharge itself of responsibilities to Gwich'in that are either not, or not completely, picked up by the territorial government. This perception was heightened by the fact that the Gwich'in believe there was not adequate consultation on this matter. The position of the Government of Canada is that it is under no obligation under the Agreement to consult with the GTC on the issue of devolution in Yukon. It did, nonetheless, meet with the GTC on several occasions to provide the GTC with copies of drafts of the Devolution Transfer Agreement (DTA) [Note 1] for its review and comment. It is the position of the Government of Canada that the views of the GTC were given full and fair consideration on this matter.
Although the DTA is now in effect, the enactment of legislation as a result of devolution is ongoing and it remains to be seen the full extent to which Gwich'in rights may be affected. There is a new government in Yukon, and it has met with the GTC on two occasions since coming into office. The Premier and his Cabinet have expressed an intention to work much more cooperatively with the GTC than the past government.
The GTC is hopeful this means there will be an opportunity to work out any impacts devolution may have had on Gwich'in rights. Work with the new Yukon government will be ongoing throughout the next reporting period.
4. Implementation Committee
The Implementation Committee is composed of senior officials representing each of the parties.
Committee members are Fred Carmichael, President, GTC, who was represented by Alex Benitah, Implementation Co-ordinator at the April and August meetings and by Deb Bisson, Land Claim Implementation Advisor, at the December meeting; Mark Warren, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, NWT; and Pierre Laporte, Acting Director, Implementation Management Directorate, INAC.
Pursuant to section 28.2 of the Agreement, the Committee is responsible for:
- overseeing and providing direction to guide the implementation of the Agreement;
- monitoring the status of the Implementation Plan;
- revising the schedule of activities, reallocating resources and amending the Implementation Plan, when necessary;
- addressing disputes between the parties;
- preparing an annual report on the implementation of the Agreement for the general public; and
- making recommendations for the implementation of the Agreement following the initial 10-year implementation period.
During the year, the Committee met three times: in Yellowknife on April 26, 2002, Inuvik on August 27 to 28, 2002 and Ottawa on December 3 to 5, 2002.
4.1 Communications Package
The Committee approved a terms of reference, developed by MediaWorks Communications and Genesis Group Ltd., for the production of a CD-ROM to communicate the Agreement to school-aged children in the Gwich'in communities. The contract, administered by the GTC, will encompass the entire production of the CD-ROM, from content development to product delivery and implementation. The Committee reallocated $30,000 from the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel to the GTC for this project. The CD-ROM is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2003-2004.
4.2 Appointments to the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel
At its April 2002 meeting, the Implementation Committee agreed that the process for nominating members to the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel would be changed to mirror the process used by the parties to the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. Under the Sahtu process, the members to its Arbitration Panel are chosen by the consensus of all three parties. The Implementation Committee agreed that the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel would be more useful and effective if its members were chosen by the three parties rather than representing the party that nominated them. The Committee also agreed to retain the affiliation of each position on the Panel with a nominating party in case consensus among the three parties could not be reached.
In further discussions about the actual appointment of nominees, the parties agreed that the Agreement seemed to allow for a joint process to take place. Essentially, the Agreement appears to provide each party with the ability to appoint members to the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel. In subsequent correspondence, the parties agreed to a standard joint appointment process for the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel. Once a nominee is selected by consensus, one appointment letter would be sent to the individual, signed by the designated authority of the GTC President and Board of Directors, the Minister of Justice for the NWT and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
4.3 Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board
The Committee agreed to allow the Government of Canada to address significant additional funding requests from the MVEIRB without first having to obtain permission from the Committee. The Committee defined a significant additional funding request as one which cannot be addressed through reallocations from Annex C of the Implementation Plan. The Government of Canada agreed to the following process when dealing with a significant additional funding request from the MVEIRB: a copy of the funding request will be provided to the members of the Committee; it would analyze the request and would convene a conference call with the members of the Committee to discuss their comments; and it would inform the parties of the outcome of its analysis. The Committee would then amend Annex C of the Implementation Plan to reflect the provision of any additional funding to the MVEIRB from the Government of Canada.
4.4 Other Activities
The Committee was active in other areas, including:
- approving the reallocation of implementation funding;
- overseeing the production of its annual report for 2001-2002;
- inviting members from the IPGs to make presentations at the August 2002 meeting on issues facing them; and
- overseeing the nominations and appointment process for boards established under the Agreement.
5. Implementing Bodies
The Agreement provides for the establishment of implementing bodies responsible for managing wildlife resources, conducting environmental impact assessments and reviews of development proposals, planning and regulating land and water use, resolving issues relating to surface entry and compensation, settling disputes related to the interpretation of the Agreement and determining eligibility for participation as beneficiaries of the Agreement. The Implementation Plan sets out the membership, functions and time frames for the establishment of each implementing body.
The Gwich'in Arbitration Panel, GLWB, GLUPB, GRRB, RRCs and MVEIRB are operational. Current membership on these implementing bodies, excluding the RRCs, is listed in Appendix 1.
Chapter 26 of the Agreement calls for the establishment of the Surface Rights Board through separate legislation. This quasi-judicial body will have the jurisdiction to resolve disputes between landowners and holders of surface or subsurface commercial interests over entry to the lands and compensation for their use. The Board will consist of members residing in the NWT and, when dealing with Gwich'in lands, shall act through a panel of its members at least one of whom is a resident of the GSA. Since the Surface Rights Board has yet to be created by legislation, relevant surface rights disputes in the GSA may be referred to the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel.
5.1 Gwich'in Arbitration Panel
Chapter 6 of the Agreement provides for the establishment of the Gwich'in Arbitration Panel to resolve disputes that arise during the implementation of the Agreement.
The Arbitration Panel has not been called upon to arbitrate any disputes since its inception. Panel members did not meet in 2002-2003.
5.2 Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board
The GLUPB is responsible for developing, reviewing and proposing approvals, exceptions and amendments in respect of a land use plan for the GSA. The Gwich'in Land Use Plan will provide for the conservation, development and utilization of land, resources and waters for the benefit of all Canadians, with special attention devoted to the needs of the Gwich'in. The Board will ensure that the Land Use Plan is adapted to address the social and/or environmental changes over time, by facilitating a comprehensive review once every five years after its approval. Between the reviews, the Board may chose to make exceptions or amendments to the Land Use Plan.
In 2002-2003, the Board devoted most of its resources to the approval process for the Land Use Plan (see Section 3 of this report). The balance of the Board's efforts has focused on the following activities:
- participation in discussions regarding the land use planning process for the Peel River Watershed in Yukon (as per Appendix C of the Agreement);
- communication with government and industry about the upcoming approval of the Land Use Plan;
- participation in meetings concerning the Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Framework for the NWT;
- standard review of applications for land use permits and water licences as per the GLWB referral process; and
- communication with the Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site Steering Committee as they finalize the designation for this area.
5.3 Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board
The GRRB, created pursuant to section 12.8 of the Agreement, has a mandate to ensure that wildlife, fish and forests are used in a sustainable manner so they are available today and for future generations. As a regional public board responsible for renewable resource management in the GSA, the Board has worked in partnership with other IPGs, Gwich'in communities and government agencies. Over the past nine years of operation, the GRRB has focussed its activities on research, management and education.
Research, Management and Education Projects
To gather current information on renewable resources in the GSA from which to make informed management decisions, the Board allocated $207,000 to fund 21 research and management projects, including:
- the SAHS;
- six wildlife projects on the Bluenose caribou herd (habitat use), Dall's sheep (health and management) and waterfowl (habitat and population);
- four fisheries projects on the Rat River, Arctic Red River, Peel River and Travaillant Lake(to gather information on the fish population and movement);
- four forestry research and management projects; and
- six education and culture projects encompassing educational events, educational tools, hands-on experience and on-the-land training.
By working closely with the RRCs and government agencies, the Board worked toward long-term sustainable use and conservation of wildlife, fish and forestry resources. The Board ensured that community members were involved in approving research and management programs and in field research. Community field assistants made a valuable contribution to research projects. The GRRB worked with the RRCs on several community-based research projects which address local resource management concerns and build capacity in resource research and management among community members.
Renewable Resource Management
Planning for sustainable use of wildlife, fish and forests today and in the future has been a major focus of the Board and staff. Renewable resource management planning gives communities, the Board and agencies the opportunity to determine how resources will be used and managed so they will be available today and for future generations and has taken a lead role in completing the Grizzly Bear Management Plan for the GSA, and will continue to work on resource management plans to identify resource use priorities, concerns and management needs. The Board continued to work with communities to establish resident and guided sport hunting in the GSA. It was also involved in the development of both a Dall's sheep management plan and a forest management plan.
Settlement Area Harvest Study
The SAHS protects Gwich'in hunting, fishing and trapping by setting the Gwich'in Minimum Needs Level, and provides information for renewable resource management. The SAHS relies on the participation of Gwich'in living in the GSA. To provide an incentive for participants, the SAHS includes a contest with monthly prizes awarded in each community. Harvest information is displayed in RRC offices so community members can see the results as they become available.
The SAHS was a five-year study and was scheduled to end in June 2001. The GRRB and communities felt it was important to continue the SAHS, as it would provide valuable information during the current period of oil and gas exploration. The GRRB gathered funding for the SAHS through its research funds and other sources, including reallocations from the Implementation Committee during 2002-2003. It requested additional support during the renewal of the Implementation Plan. The negotiators recognized the need to continue the SAHS for a further two years from April 2003 to March 2005, and identified funding for the SAHS.
Education and Training
Education and training of Gwich'in beneficiaries in renewable resource research and management has been a major component of the GRRB's operations. The Board continued to offer several opportunities including the following.
- On-the-job training positions (fisheries technician trainee).
- Training of community interviewers for the SAHS and Gwich'in Environmental Knowledge Project. During the past nine years, over 37 individuals have been trained and employed as community interviewers.
- Summer Student Program. Each summer, the GRRB office hires two or three students in renewable resource research and management projects. Students obtain first-hand work experience and learn about co-management of renewable resources.
- Youth Work Experience Program. To encourage students to pursue a career in renewable resource management, the GRRB continued to offer a hi school student work experience program where students assist researchers and monitors with various projects.
- Four Jim Edwards Sittichinli Scholarships of $1,000 were awarded this year to college or university students pursuing studies in renewable resources or a related field.
- Staff training to address professional enhancement took place.
- Actively participated in community career days, nature days, and science camps and fairs to encourage youth to pursue careers in renewable resource management. The Board also organized and funded Youth Trek where youth from throughout the GSA participated in a hike, youth and elders' camp and canoe trek to learn more about the land and traditional use of the area. This year, the Trek travelled on the Arctic Red River.
- Disseminated information on the Board's activities and programs through its Web site.
Working Together to Take Care of the Land
As an IPG which includes representation from Gwich'in and government agencies, the GRRB has established good working relationships with other IPGs in the GSA and other land claim areas. The GRRB also worked with the RRCs and GTC to advance renewable resource management in the GSA.
Community knowledge is the foundation of renewable resource management in the GSA. The GRRB meets two times per year in the GSA, and GRRB staff visit the communities regularly to meet with the RRCs and other community members to discuss local renewable resource management issues. During the year, the GRRB worked closely with the RRCs to ensure their involvement in renewable resource research and the decision-making process. The Board looks forward to continued work with communities on sustainable renewable resource management.
5.4 Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board
The MVEIRB is the main instrument mandated by the MVRMA to conduct environmental assessment and review of development projects in the Mackenzie Valley. The Board's jurisdiction applies to all lands in the NWT,. excluding the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Wood Buffalo National Park. The MVRMA replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) in the Mackenzie Valley except under specific circumstances.
The Deh Cho First Nations Interim Measures Agreement, which was signed on May 23, 2001 between the Deh Cho First Nations and the federal government calls for further appointments from the Deh Cho to the MVEIRB. These appointments did not take place in 2002-2003.
Staffing and Location
The Board's office in Yellowknife houses a staff of eight, including an executive director, three environmental assessment officers, a finance and administrative officer, traditional knowledge co-ordinator, communications officer and board secretary.
In 2002-2003, the Board received 151 notifications of preliminary screenings, a decrease of 31 percent (220 screenings) from 2001-2002 and 19 percent (186 screenings) from 2000-2001.
The Board considered three environmental assessments and one request by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development for reconsideration in this fiscal year. A fourth environmental assessment was put on hold, pending completion of a test survey by the company. Each active environmental assessment is continuing past the fiscal year end.
Assessments in progress during 2002-2003 included the following.
- The DeBeers Canada Mining Ltd. Snap Lake underground diamond mine development assessment was referred to the Board in May 2001, and is targeted for completion in June 2003. The Board held a technical session from November 25 to December 6, 2002.
- The WesternGeco Ltd. Mackenzie and Liard rivers seismic survey assessment, referred jointly in June 2002 by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the NEB, was put on hold pending completion of the company's test program. It was reinstated in December 2002 at the request of the company.
- The Sahtu Land and Water Board referred the Northrock Resources Ltd. Summit Creek exploratory oil and gas well to environmental assessment in March 2003. This referral is the first out of the SSA for the MVEIRB.
Other environmental assessments active during the year included the following.
- The Canadian Zinc Corporation decline and metallurgical plant assessment was referred to the Board in April 2001 and completed in January 2002. The Review Board's report of environmental assessment was returned to the Board by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development for reconsideration in September 2002. The Review Board resubmitted its reconsideration to the Minister on April 4, 2003.
- The assessment of the Northern Rivers Survey Ltd. aquatic seismic survey of the Liard and South Nahanni rivers was put on hold at the request of the company in October 2002 pending the completion of a test survey by the company. Northern Rivers Survey Ltd. has the option of reactivating the environmental assessment once this test survey is completed.
- The MVLWB referred the water licence renewal for North American Tungsten's CanTung mine for environmental assessment. However, the company appealed this decision through the courts and the decision to refer was reversed.
Board members participated in 10 board meetings and 12 teleconferences during the year to discuss the full schedule of environmental assessments. The Board held a regularly scheduled meeting in May 2002 in Port Hardy, British Columbia in conjunction with a site visit to the Island Copper Mine to view abandonment and restoration efforts by BHP Billiton Ltd. at its open pit site. The June meeting was held in Norman Wells and included a community open house.
The Board continued its strategic planning exercise which was initiated the previous fiscal year. It set out its three-year strategic plan during a workshop held in December 2002 and developed an expenditure and work plan which was geared to anticipated activity surrounding the proposed application for a Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline in 2003-2004.
The 2002-2003 budget of $3 million allowed the Board to initiate several projects outlined in its strategic plan. This funding level was an increase from previous years and allowed the Board to ramp up for the anticipated filing of permits for the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. The Chair met with the Implementation Committee in August to discuss the Board's budget and the 10-year review of the implementation of the Agreement.
Part of the $3 million included supplementary funding provided by INAC to all northern boards for participation in the ongoing work of the Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee. This funding allowed the MVEIRB to work on this important issue without a significant impact on its core budget.
Environmental Assessment Guidelines
The Board held several meetings with its stakeholders on the revisions to the Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment in the Mackenzie Valley. A final version will be released in 2003-2004.
The Board initiated work on an information bulletin for the environmental assessment of seismic operations in the Mackenzie Valley. It also continued work on its discussion paper on socio-economic impact assessmentas an initial step to the Board's development of guidelines in this area. The MVEIRB is of the opinion that section 115 (b) of the Agreement gives it the mandate to look at socio-economic issues. The guideline development will be a public process involving different stakeholders.
The Board has a seat on the NWT CEAM Steering Committee which also includes representatives from federal, territorial and Aboriginal governments, industry and environmental non-government organizations. This group has developed the blueprint for implementing the CEAM strategy and framework in the NWT and its regions, which makes recommendations to decision makers for filling gaps, building linkages and integrating current processes related to resource and environmental management in the NWT.
The various documents referenced in this section are available on the Board's Web site.
Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee
The MVEIRB participated in the Chairs' Committee to develop its Cooperation Plan (see Section 3 of this report). In September 2002, the MVEIRB, EIRB and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency released their draft agreement for participation on a joint review panel.
Transboundary Co-operation Agreements
Board staff discussed the development and implementation of co-operation agreements with other regulatory agencies and boards which operate adjacent to the Mackenzie Valley, including the Nunavut Impact Review Board and EIRB. These agreements set out how the respective boards will co-operate in dealing with transboundary environmental assessments. This process is separate from the Cooperation Plan for a proposed Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.
A traditional knowledge workshop in November 2002 was sponsored by the MVEIRB jointly with the MVLWB and INAC. The focus was to bring elders together to provide some advice and direction to the MVEIRB on how traditional knowledge should be handled in the environmental assessment process. A three-day workshop was organized in March to develop terms and phrases in the Aboriginal languages of the Mackenzie Valley for frequently used words in environmental impact assessment. The Board plans to continue this initiative in the coming fiscal year.
Board members and staff attended or made presentations at 13 different workshops, committees, symposiums and conferences during the year.
The Next 12 Months
The Board will continue to conduct environmental assessments as projects are referred to it by the preliminary screeners. Since the referral decisions are made by other agencies, it is difficult to predict how many environmental assessments will be received over the next 12 months. It is expected that the Mackenzie Valley Gas Project Producers will not submit their applications for a Mackenzie Valley pipeline until late in 2003.
Work will continue on the discussion paper concerning socio-economic impact assessment.
5.5 Gwich'in Land and Water Board
The GLWB is the regulatory authority identified under the Agreement and given effect by the MVRMA to regulate land and water use throughout the GSA.
The mandate of the Board is to provide for conservation, development and utilization of land and water resources in the GSA in a manner that will provide the optimum benefit for present and future residents of the GSA, the Mackenzie Valley and all Canadians. The MVRMA authorizes the Board to regulate the use of land and water by issuing, amending, renewing and suspending land use permits and water licences throughout the GSA, including all Crown, Gwich'in and other private lands.
The Board consists of five members. The GTC nominates two members, and two members are nominated by the governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada. The four members then nominate a chair. All members are appointed by the Government of Canada for a three-year term.
Staff of the GLWB include an executive director, geographic information system technician, land and water technician and office manager.
In fiscal year 2002-2003, 16 land use permits and two water licence applications were received and approved by the Board.
Board objectives for the coming year include:
- to maintain an efficient and timely method of processing land use permits and water licences in the GSA;
- to continue to employ and train qualified First Nations people;
- to continue to develop a more effective communication process with the Gwich'in communities; and
- to continue to work with other IPGs in the GSA and elsewhere to provide for an integrated and co-ordinated system of land management in the Mackenzie Valley.
6. Gwich'in Tribal Council
The GTC is the organization mandated by the Agreement to represent Gwich'in beneficiaries on the Implementation Committee and to ensure the protection of Gwich'in rights and interests as outlined in the Agreement. Since its incorporation in 1992, the GTC has made steady progress in establishing an integrated resource management framework in the Mackenzie Valley as required by the Agreement. Some key implementation activities undertaken by the GTC are described below.
6.1 Enrolment Board
The Enrolment Board began operations in March 1993. The GTC became responsible for the Board on December 22, 1997. The Board is responsible for enrolling eligible persons of Gwich'in ancestry as per Chapter 4 of the Agreement. Only those enrolled in the Agreement are entitled to run for office, to vote and to participate in the activities of the GTC, receive money in future payouts, and enjoy the rights granted to beneficiaries under the Agreement.
The enrolment co-ordinator distributes and receives applications for enrolment and presents them to the Board, which meets three times a year. Applications of beneficiaries who qualify are accepted by the Board. New beneficiaries receive a certificate of enrolment and a Gwich'in enrolment card. These documents include a picture identification and the individual's registered enrolment number. Because of the picture identification, the cards provide a collateral benefit to beneficiaries without a driver's licence, as they can be used as photo identification for airline travel and other purposes.
The first Enrolment Registry, published in April 1994, listed 1,245 beneficiaries. This number was up to 2,703 as of March 31, 2003. Keeping the registry up-to-date will remain a major part of the Enrolment Board's work, as beneficiaries move, marry, have children and die.
6.2 Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Framework
Following the environmental assessment of the Diavik Diamonds Project in 1999, the ministers of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the Environment committed to develop a strategy and framework for the co-ordinated assessment and management of cumulative effects in the NWT. This initiative is without prejudice to existing and future land claim and self-government agreements, negotiations and discussions, and is intended to build on and strengthen existing legislation, processes and institutions. The purpose of the CEAM Strategy and Framework is to provide "refusable advice" to decision makers to facilitate ecological protection, the building of sustainable communities, and responsible economic development within a sound environmental management framework. Among other matters, the CEAM initiative considered ways of addressing gaps in baseline environmental data in the NWT and the extent to which proponents are required to assess regional cumulative effects during the environmental assessments of specific projects.
Over the past several years, the GTC participated in the multi-stakeholder CEAM Steering Committee charged with developing this advice. The Committee includes the federal and territorial governments, First Nations (including the GTC), industry, environmental nongovernmental organizations, and the MVEIRB. In April 2003, the Committee will be summarizing its recommendations in the document entitled Blueprint for the Implementation of the CEAM Strategy and Framework in the NWT and Its Regions. The GTC is supportive of CEAM because its objectives are consistent with the implementation of Chapter 24 of the Agreement, which covers land and water management.
The success of CEAM will depend on future funding as well as its uptake by the various federal and territorial regulatory bodies that need to take ownership of, and carry out, the various tasks and responsibilities established in the Blueprint. The GTC is also working with INAC and Environment Canada on the idea of a Beaufort Sea—Mackenzie Delta regional action plan for CEAM. This more focussed approach would allow for the monitoring and management of cumulative effects to address those of most concern to the GSA. Planning for the regional initiative is in the early stages, and funding to proceed has yet to be confirmed.
6.3 Revisions to the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement
Under the Agreement, the Gwich'in surrendered Treaty 11 harvesting rights in the GSA and any other settled land claim area. Under the new Tlicho Agreement, there is only an obligation to "not exercise or assert those rights." The federal government requires that the two agreements be consistent, so discussions are ongoing regarding an amendment to the Gwich'in Agreement.
6.4 Yukon Environmental Assessment Legislation
Current Environmental Assessment Legislative Regime
Environmental assessment in Yukon is conducted pursuant to the CEAA. On April 1, 2003, most environmental assessment responsibilities will devolve to Yukon under the Yukon Environmental Assessment Act (YEAA).
Transition to New Environmental Assessment Legislative Regime
The Yukon and federal governments, and First Nations, have been working on a made in Yukon environmental assessment process known as the Yukon Development Assessment Process (YDAP) as mandated under the Umbrella Final Agreement. The Assessment Process is being implemented by federal legislation called the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). The administrative provisions will be proclaimed in force first, in the spring of 2003, to enable the new administrative bodies to develop policies and procedures. The other provisions are not expected to be proclaimed until the latter half of 2004. Until then, the YEAA will bridge the transition period. The YEAA and a companion communications protocol between the Yukon government and the GTC adequately reflect the requirements of Appendix C of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement.
GTC's Outstanding Concerns Relating to the New YESAA Board Members
The GTC was adequately consulted during the development of the YDAP and is a member of the Implementation Planning Team. The only outstanding concern the GTC has is how well it will be able to participate in the YESAA board nomination process. The legislation provides for First Nations nominees to the board and places the responsibility for selecting those nominees on the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN). Before making its nominations, the CYFN is required to consult with the GTC. The GTC is concerned that because it is not a member of the CYFN, it will not be adequately represented in the CYFN nominee selection process, and the required consultation will not be meaningful. The GTC and CYFN will hold discussions to determine if there is a way to address this concern.
6.5 Communications CD-ROM
The Implementation Plan sets out a communication strategy to provide information to, and educate, Gwich'in beneficiaries, the general public, and government officials about the Agreement. Further to this strategy, the Implementation Committee agreed to develop a CD-ROM that will be distributed to schools in the GSA. The CD-ROM will be used as an educational tool, providing an overview of the Agreement. In 2002-2003, the Implementation Committee reallocated funds to the GTC to undertake this initiative and participated in reviewing the terms of reference for the project. The GTC has hired a contractor to develop the CD-ROM, which is scheduled to be completed in September 2003.
6.6 Beaufort - Delta Self-Government Negotiations
The Gwich'in and Inuvialuit are negotiating a joint self-government agreement with Canada and the NWT In fiscal year 2002-2003; some significant developments and challenges with regard to the negotiations took place.
While the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit Agreement-inPrinciple for the Beaufort—Delta Region was initialled by the three chief negotiators in October 2001, signing of the document by the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit leadership was delayed until 2003. Early in 2002, all three parties had received internal approval to proceed with final agreement negotiations, which began in April 2002. The Agreement-in-Principal was due to be signed soon after in June 2002.
However, in the month leading up to the signing ceremony, the chiefs of the Gwich'in communities raised a number of concerns regarding dissolution of the Indian Act bands and potential effects of the Final Self-Government Agreement on their Treaty 11 rights. In response to these concerns, it was decided to postpone the signing ceremony and establish a working group with the Gwich'in chiefs to examine these issues.
Much of the fiscal year was spent addressing the issues raised by the chiefs. This required extensive formal and informal consultations among the parties for the preparation of a federal response. Other issues brought forward by the Town of Inuvik did not delay the signing of the Agreement-in-Principal, but raised questions regarding support for self-government by residents. The Agreement-in-Principle is expected to be signed by the representatives of the parties on April 16, 2003.
Final Agreement negotiations focused mainly on two areas. The first is that of financing self-government. To date, these negotiations have resulted in no progress for three major reasons.
- There have been challenges for the federal and territorial governments in researching and consolidating relevant data on existing financial resources in the Beaufort—Delta Region.
- Taxation discussions were delayed because of Finance Canada's need to review its policies on a nation-wide level.
- The continuing differences between the federal and territorial governments on the issue of sharing the incremental costs of implementing a self-government agreement for the Beaufort—Delta Region has impaired progress toward the development of an overall framework for the financing of self-government.
The second focus for the Final Agreement negotiations has been the subject matters listed in Chapter 29 of the Agreement-in-Principal (Additional Subjects for Negotiations). These matters include social housing, marriage, roads and traffic, and economic development. The parties continue to seek clarification of their mandates with respect to finalization of the draft text on these and other issues. All parties remain hopeful that outstanding issues will be resolved and the negotiations will result in a final self-government agreement.
6.7 Resource Management
Northwest Territories Wildlife Act and Species at Risk Act Consultations
The NWT is revising its Wildlife Act, and drafting a species at risk act in conformance with the federal Species at Risk Act and regulatory regime. Land claims groups in the NWT are attending "integration meetings" led by RWED to ensure that applicable land claim provisions are adequately incorporated into the new legislation.
Peel River Watershed Planning
Land use planning in Yukon occurs under the authority of the Umbrella Final Agreement, to which non Yukon First Nations are not a party. The Umbrella Final Agreement establishes Land Use Planning Council that guides the initiation of regional land use planning initiatives and their respective Land Use Planning Commissions. One of these regional initiatives under consideration is the Peel River Watershed Land Use Plan, which would cover territory in the Gwich'in Primary Use Area and lands owned by the Gwich'in. This proposed planning initiative was announced early in 2002, and later that year the GTC attended an initial meeting in Whitehorse. The GTC will be participating on the Land Use Planning Commission in the preparation of the plan. Whether it will be able to participate in the final approval of the plan, as is the case with Yukon First Nations, remains an outstanding issue.
Management of the Porcupine Caribou
The GTC has actively participated in some difficult issues with respect to harvesting caribou on the Dempster Highway. In 1998, in response to safety and over-harvesting concerns among some First Nations, the Yukon government implemented regulations governing hunting on the Dempster Highway including the following restrictions:
- a 500 metre "no hunting corridor" on each side of the highway;
- no snowmobile use until appropriate snow conditions; and
- one week closure for the leaders of the herd to cross the highway.
These regulations are very controversial. While some believe they are necessary for safety and to protect the herd, others believe they infringe on their basic land claim harvesting rights. The Porcupine Caribou Summit was held in March 2003 to see if the issues could be resolved, but First Nations participants could not come to a consensus. A follow-up workshop is planned.
Land claims extinguish harvesting rights in other settled areas. This situation can be particularly problematic in adjacent land claim areas, where the beneficiaries of both claims traditionally hunted on both sides of the newly created boundary. Claimant groups must enter into overlap or sharing agreements to re-establish mutual harvesting privileges contractually. Over the past reporting period, the GTC worked to establish agreements with the Sahtu, Inuvialuit, Dogrib and Nacho Nyak Dun. In most cases, draft agreements are nearing finalization.
Chapter 13 of the Agreement establishes the framework for forest use and management in the GSA. Since 1995, the GTC has worked with the GRRB and the GNWT to develop a Forest Management Plan. This plan has been consistently stalled due to differences in opinion regarding jurisdiction over the management of forests on private lands.
6.8 Gwich'in Land Administration
The administration, management and control of Gwich'in lands is the responsibility of the GTC in accordance with section 18.1.6 of the Agreement. Typical activities on Gwich'in lands include gravel pits, rock quarries, oil and gas exploration, pipeline development, scientific research, recreational access, military uses, government road construction and maintenance, helicopter landing pads, communications sites, municipal water sources and timber harvesting. To help in managing a significant increase in these land access activities, the GTC undertook the following activities during the reporting period.
Land Management and Control Rules
The GTC is finalizing Land Management and Control Rules to clarify how it administers the rights of access to private lands. Rules are also being developed for the Gwich'in-owned lands in Yukon.
Pit Management Plans
The GTC has been working with various gravel pit users on Gwich'in lands to implement or update pit management plans.
New Database for Land Registry
The Land Registry is being updated. The new database allows for better retrieval and storage of information concerning authorizations to access Gwich'in lands. Work is ongoing on new database reports and queries to better assist in tracking obligations, commitments, and compliance of authorization holders.
In October 2002, the GTC began an update of its cabin/camp database. Maps were created showing the locations of all cabins/camps in the GSA, whether on Crown or private land. The RRCs were asked to review the maps and note any errors. They were also asked to identify non-beneficiary camps on Gwich'in land. After the database is completed, the GTC will turn its attention to non-beneficiary cabin owners occupying GSA lands without a lease.
Cataloguing of Maps
All maps are being catalogued in a database filing system.
Renewable Resources Councils
The Agreement provides for RRCs to ensure community input into the management of resources and harvesting. These councils also play a very important role in managing the approval of applications to access land, on which they must provide comments to the GLWB and the GTC before those authorities can grant access. Because of low funding and related capacity problems, these councils have not been as effective as they should be in facilitating the required community input and providing their expertise. The GTC is reviewing measures it can take to facilitate better input and is planning to hold training workshops over the next reporting period.
6.9 Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute
The Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI) is the language and cultural arm of the GTC. The Institute is responsible for implementing the GTC's obligations under the heritage resources chapters of the Agreement and the Yukon Transboundary Agreement.
During 2002-2003, the GSCI received $25,000 in implementation funds, which was used to help fund the Gwichya Gwich'in Place Names Project. Since 1992, the GSCI has worked with elders in Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Inuvik and Tsiigehtchic on various place name and oral history projects in the GSA. Approximately 1,000 place names have been collected along with oral history information about many of these names. In 2002, the GSCI began entering the Gwichya Gwich'in place names and oral history information into a computerized database, which will make this information more readily available for literacy and education materials. As well, tapes previously recorded in Gwich'in, were translated into English. This project will reveal gaps in traditional knowledge and indicate what further oral history work will be required.
Additional money supplied by the GTC, and raised by the GSCI from other sources, has supported a wide range of projects including the following.
Gwich'in Language Plan
The five-year Gwich'in Language Plan was completed and implementation is underway with a language immersion camp that ran in the summer of 2002. Further steps included a pilot project based on a mentor/apprenticeship model and plans for language revitalization classes at the Yukon Language Centre.
Gwich'in Clothing Project
Forty seamstresses were involved in replicating five 19th century male Gwich'in caribou skin outfits which were unveiled at a ceremony in Whitehorse on March 28, 2003. No traditional clothing has survived in the NWT, and this was the first time in recent history such clothing has been seen. The outfits will be on display at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife and in each of the four Gwich'in communities.
Gwich'in Elders' Biographies Research Project
In June 2002, the GSCI published the 2003 Gwich'in Elders' Calendar with Gwich'in and English summaries of the life histories of 13 Gwich'in elders. The calendar is for sale in several bookstores in the NWT Longer versions of the biographies of 24 elders have been collected on audio tape and transcribed. Finalization and publishing of the biographies is planned for 2005.
The GSCI worked with the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre on the development of a language curriculum for schools in the Beaufort Delta Region. The curriculum will cover the Inuvialuit and Gwich'in languages from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Digitizing Audio and Video Tapes
The GSCI is working with the NWT Archives to begin digitization of traditional knowledge information. This project involves new computers, specialized software, a borrowed mobile digitization unit, and the services of a master's student in archival research studies.
Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site Project
The GSCI assisted in the finalization and celebration ceremonies for the Nagwichoonjik (Mackenzie River) historical site. The site received final approval in the spring of 2002 and ceremonies are scheduled for the summer of 2003. The site is 175 kilometres in length and includes a five kilometre buffer along both sides of the river. A plaque to commemorate the designation of the site will be erected in Tsiigehtchic.
Teetl'it Gwich'in National Historic Site Project
In the fall of 2002, the GSCI began working in partnership with the community of Fort McPherson to identify a national historic site within the Teetl'it Gwich'in traditional land use area. The site was selected and an application and submission report will be submitted to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Traditional Knowledge Policy
The GTC approved, in principle, the Gwich'in Traditional Knowledge Policy. The development of the Policy, and its guidelines and implementation strategy were underway during the year. Once finalized, the Policy will apply to all traditional knowledge work conducted in the GSA.
Dictionary of the Gwichya Gwich'in and Teetl'it Gwich'in Dialects
The fourth edition of the Dictionary of the Gwichya Gwich'in and Teetl'it Gwich'in Dialects, containing over 3,000 terms, was printed. This edition includes corrections for inconsistencies, the addition of sewing terms, animal names and new terms, and a grammar component.
Birds of the Mackenzie Delta Handbook
When the GSCI held language workshops with elders, an effort was made to collect the Gwich'in names of birds of the Mackenzie Delta. This information was provided to the Aurora Research Institute for its publication on birds of the region. The Field Guide to the Birds of the Mackenzie Delta (Aurora Research Institute, 2002) is now available for sale.
Fort McPherson Archaeological Excavation and Survey
In August 2002, the GSCI, in partnership with the Teetl'it Gwich'in Council, and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, initiated a community-based archaeology project. It involved a two-week excavation by an archaeologist and seven local youth who, through this training and employment opportunity, learned about archaeology and their history. The area of excavation was a late 19th-early 20th century camp used by Teetl'it Gwich'in when coming to trade with the Hudson's Bay Company.
Canada's Western Arctic Including the Dempster Highway
In December 2002, Canada's Western Arctic Including the Dempster Highway: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Western Arctic was published by the Western Arctic Handbook Committee. Staff of the GSCI wrote the section "Gwich'in History and Culture" and provided information for several other chapters.
Geographic Information System Mapping
The GSCI reviews all applications to access land or do research in the GSA so as to provide advice on the potential impacts on heritage resources. To assist in this activity, the GSCI worked with GTC Lands and Resources staff to develop a heritage layer for system mapping.
7. Government of the Northwest Territories
The GNWT performed various implementation activities pursuant to the Gwich'in Agreement, Implementation Plan and related funding agreements.
7.1 Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
Throughout 2002-2003, the Ministry worked closely with the GTC, and federal and territorial government officials, and the various implementing bodies established pursuant to the Agreement. The Ministry co-ordinated the implementation activities of all NWT departments, prepared regular status reports for the Implementation Committee and prepared the NWT government component of this annual report.
A Ministry official actively participated as the NWT representative on the Implementation Committee dealing with such issues as:
- economic measures (see Section 3 of this report);
- board funding requests and the reallocation of implementation resources; and
- the renewal of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan.
The Ministry worked with INAC, the GTC and the Genesis Group to finalize a terms of reference for a CD-ROM communications project to assist youth living in the GSA to better understand the Agreement. The CD-ROM will provide a historical perspective leading up to the signing of the Agreement and an overview of the chapters of the Agreement.
In accordance with Chapter 5 and Appendix B of the Agreement, the Ministry participated in the Beaufort—Delta self-government negotiations process. Signing of an Agreement- in-Principal is anticipated in April 2003.
The Ministry participated in the Implementation Plan renewal discussions during the reporting period. The parties completed a technical review of the current Implementation Plan, amending activity sheets to reflect current status of implementation activities and obligations. The negotiators agreed to ongoing implementation budgets for the various boards, the GNWT and the GTC. On March 13, 2003, negotiators agreed to recommend to the Implementation Committee that the revised Implementation Plan be approved acknowledging that the GTC may pursue other means to secure additional implementation funding from the Government of Canada. The Implementation Committee is scheduled to meet in April 2003.
7.2 Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs and the GTC continued discussions on a leasing agreement for ongoing access to the Deep Water Lake freshwater intake facility.
The Department paid quarterly resource royalties to the GTC and assisted in identifying beneficiaries eligible for the Homeowner's Property Tax Rebate.
7.3 Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
The Department continued to meet its obligations through ongoing consultation with the GTC, designated Gwich'in organizations and RRCs. The Department also worked closely with the GRRB, GLUPB, GLWB, GSCI and Gwich'in Development Corporation (GDC), promoting, assisting and advising these bodies on wildlife and forest management, resource development and economic development issues.
Education, Training and Career Development
Education, training and career development continued to be departmental priorities. In support of these priorities, RWED provided assistance to various Gwich'in organizations for numerous initiatives including youth land-based conservation programs and attendance at various business development and oil and gas workshops, conferences and symposiums. The Department also provided $50,000 toward capacity development in the GDC and $160,000 for capacity building in the GTC with respect to increased resource development activity in the region.
The Department continued to work closely with the GTC and the Gwich'in communities to support and encourage beneficiary involvement in business development and employment opportunities leading to economic self-sufficiency. The Department provided business advice, counselling and support, and assisted Gwich'in businesses and individuals to gain access to financial support from various sources.
NWT Wildlife Act
The Department worked very closely with the appropriate Gwich'in organizations on drafting changes to the Wildlife Act that are consistent with the Agreement and new species at risk legislation.
Park Master Plan
The Gwich'in Territorial Park Master Plan continued to be implemented. The GDC was awarded contracts valued at $306,000 to develop park infrastructure. A $25,500 general maintenance contract was sole sourced to Chid Construction Ltd.
The Department continued to have a Gwich'in beneficiary in the position of seasonal parks officer.
The seventh year of the caribou satellite tracking program was completed. Maps showing the location and movement of the satellite-collared caribou were provided to the 12 user communities and wildlife IPGs. Movements of the Cape Bathurst and Bluenose-West caribou herds in relation to the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline were documented. Seismic companies working in the Richards Island and lower Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula area provided partial funding for this project.
Working co-operatively with Parks Canada, a productivity survey was conducted to estimate the number of cows on the Cape Bathurst and Bluenose-West calving grounds and to determine the number of calves produced by these herds.
The Department worked co-operatively with the GRRB on the following wildlife studies.
Barren-ground Caribou: Animations displaying the movements of animals in the Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West, Central Arctic, Porcupine, Bluenose-East, Bathurst, and Dolphin and Union herds were completed. These animations were incorporated into a Web-based program that was made available to the public on the RWED Web site and on CD-ROM. This work was completed in co-operation with biologists in Alaska, Yukon, the NWT and Nunavut.
Woodland Caribou: The GRRB and RWED initiated a study to obtain baseline information on the distribution and numbers of boreal woodland caribou in the GSA. This project was co-funded by the Environment Canada Habitat Stewardship Fund, RWED Species at Risk Fund, GRRB, Western Biophysical Study, and RWED, Inuvik Region. Two adult female caribou were equipped with global positioning system satellite collars. About 850 locations were obtained to assess seasonal patterns of habitat use. The vegetation at 125 known use sites was described. Tissue samples were collected from captured and harvested animals to determine genetic relationships with other woodland and barren-ground caribou herds in the NWT and Yukon. A report summarizing the results obtained during the first year of this project was prepared and distributed.
Dall's Sheep: Biologists from the RWED and the GRRB continued their work to assess the prevalence of parasites in Dall's sheep in the Richardson Mountains. This work was done in co-operation with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. A survey was conducted in late August 2002 to determine the number of sheep and lamb/ nursery sheep ratios in several mountain blocks. Fecal samples were collected to determine the prevalence and intensity of lungworm infections. These results suggest sheep numbers have continued to decline in some areas of the Richardson Mountains.
The Department worked in co-operation with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine to assess the potential for transmission of muskox lungworm to Dall's sheep. This work was completed and a manuscript was prepared for publication.
Grizzly Bear Harvest: The Department maintained the grizzly bear harvest and problem bear occurrence/ kill database for the Inuvik Region. Quotas and harvest information were reviewed for each community hunting area and RWED presented the results in the annual Summary of Harvest Data for Species Under Quota in the Gwich'in Settlement Area report prepared for the GRRB.
Information Gaps Workshop: The Western Biophysical Study and RWED hosted a workshop to identify gaps in information required to manage wildlife species or habitats under NWT jurisdiction. Biologists from RWED and the GRRB delivered the workshop. Representatives from the hunters and trappers committees, RRCs, IPGs and co-management bodies in the Inuvik Region participated. A summary of the recommendations of the workshop was prepared and distributed.
7.4 Department of Education, Culture and Employment
The Department was responsible for the planning, delivery and management of a broad range of employment, social, educational and cultural programs and services in the GSA.
- The Training on the Job Program provided wage subsidies for employers in Aklavik, Inuvik and Fort McPherson, to ensure that employees obtained necessary skills to access and retain meaningful work or promotion within their organizations.
- All communities in the GSA participated in the Youth Employment Initiative Program, which provided a wage subsidy to employers to offset the cost of hiring students and youth with limited skills.
- The Healthy Children's Initiative and early childhood programs provided training and support to Gwich'in in Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Inuvik and Tsiigehtchic.
- The Oral Traditions and Cultural Enhancement Programs supported the Ingamo Hall Friendship Centre's Summer Day Camps in Inuvik.
- Community literacy projects in Fort McPherson and Inuvik and work place literacy projects were funded through EC&E in Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik.
- Community employment officer positions were subsidized in Aklavik, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic.
- Community Skills for Work Projects in Aklavik, Fort McPherson and Inuvik assisted income support recipients to achieve self-sufficiency through work experience and support services.
- Assistance was provided to northern businesses to employ and train Gwich'in beneficiaries to become certified journeymen/women.
- Community income support delivery contracts were negotiated with the communities of Aklavik and Fort McPherson.
- Labour Market Development Agreement funding provided support to a number of initiatives in the GSA. Funding was provided to the GTC to assist with hiring an employment liaison officer and to the Western Arctic Business Development Centre to deliver the Self-Employment Option Program to residents of Beaufort—Delta communities.
- The Maximizing Northern Employment Initiative provided a variety of regional skill-based and training on the job programs, including class 1 driver training and the Portage Trail Project in Fort McPherson, wildlife monitoring and skill-for-work program in Aklavik and introduction to welding and oilfield boiler courses in Inuvik. Many Gwich'in beneficiaries participated in these initiatives.
- The GTC received a contribution of $20,000 to provide support for the development of human resources within its organization.
The Culture, Heritage and Languages Division provided funding and professional support to the GSCI to assist them with repatriating and reclaiming the knowledge and skills of making traditional animal skin clothing. Garments based on traditional designs were completed in each Gwich'in community. A NWT unveiling ceremony was held at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in March 2003. Individual ceremonies will be held in each of the Gwich'in communities in 2003-2004.
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre reviewed land use permits to identify possible threats to heritage resources, provided advice on the preservation of heritage resources to a variety of agencies, and maintained and provided access to a database of traditional Aboriginal place names in the GSA.
7.5 Department of Justice
The Legal Division continued to support the implementation of the Agreement through legal advice on several issues including access to Gwich'in lands, contracting in the GSA, resource royalty provisions in the Agreement and consistency of the revised Wildlife Act with the Agreement. In addition, the Legal Division considered amendments related to the implementation of the Tlicho Agreement.
7.6 Department of Public Works and Services
In support of the economic measures provisions in Chapter 10 of the Agreement, and consistent with the GNWT preferential contracting policies and procedures intended to maximize local, regional and northern employment and business opportunities, the following sole source contracts were awarded:
- $65,000 to GDC Civil Construction Ltd. for hauling peat to the Gwich'in Territorial Park in Inuvik;
- $16,845 to GSA Construction for upgrades to the Gwich'in Territorial Park in Inuvik;
- $16,725 to GSA Construction for playground equipment in Inuvik;
- $12,800 to GSA Construction for upgrades to the Nihtak Park in Inuvik;
- $6,012 to McDonald Bros. Electric for a switch gear at the Tsiigehtchic Pump House; and
- $5,015 to Bob's Sheet Metal for work on an air conditioner at the Fort McPherson Nursing Station.
The following additional contracts were awarded to Gwich'in owned businesses:
- $567,222 to GDC Civil Construction Ltd for a foundation pad at the Aurora College Inuvik Campus;
- $333,603 to GDC Civil Construction Ltd. for raw water hauling services in Fort McPherson;
- $200,000 to Nihjaa Properties Ltd. for housing improvements at the Aurora College Inuvik Campus; and
- $5,100 to McDonald Bros. Electric for a generator at Deep Water Lake.
Public Works and Services continued to maintain the following leases:
- a 10-year $206,500 per annum lease with Fort McPherson Incorporated Band Ltd. for the John A. Tetlichi Building in Fort McPherson;
- a 10-year $202,300 per annum lease with Gwich'in Properties Ltd. for the Semmler Building in Inuvik;
- a 10-year $183,250 per annum lease with Gwich'in Properties Ltd. for the Mack Travel Building in Inuvik; and
- a $63,000 per annum lease with Gwich'in Properties Ltd. for the Semmler Building in Inuvik.
In the GSA, the Department maintained seven leases with a total value of $1,192,987 per annum. Four of these leases with a total value of $655,050 per annum (55 percent of the total leases) were with businesses owned by Gwich'in beneficiaries.
7.7 Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation forwarded a draft Frog Creek pit development plan to the GTC for review and comment. Comments were received from the GTC, and a revised plan will be forwarded to the GTC in 2003-2004.
8. Government of Canada
8.1 Economic Activity and Employment
Human Resources Development Canada
Government economic activities in the GSA are structured to ensure the traditional economy is maintained and strengthened, and to work toward the economic self-sufficiency of the Gwich'in. The GTC is a signatory to the AHRDA. This Agreement, signed in April 1999 and extending to 2004, provides funding for labour market training for Aboriginal residents in the GSA. The Agreement also provides funding for child-care initiatives to increase the supply of quality child-care services for children with working or training parents who reside in the GSA.
The AHRDA enables the Gwich'in to design and deliver a full service menu of options by integrating several Aboriginal programs including labour market programming and services, capacity building, an urban Aboriginal component, youth programming, child-care programs and programs for persons with disabilities. Funding in 2002-2003 was $965,817.
Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) has an obligation to support the Gwich'in Agreement and Gwich'in self-government aspirations through its existing programs and the AHRDA, and to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Gwich'in with respect to operations or activities under the AHRDA. Departmental officials in the NWT communicate with Gwich'in AHRDA officials frequently to discuss operational issues, clarify and define various clauses of the AHRDA and provide advice on implementing aspects of the funding agreement. A Human Resources Centre of Canada is located in Inuvik which provides employers and job seekers with information on available programs and services provided by HRDC and the Human Resources Centre.
Industry Canada continued to deliver its Aboriginal Business Canada program in the GSA through the Metis Dene Development Fund. This program is available to all persons of Aboriginal descent. The program's strategic priorities are youth, tourism, innovation, trade and market expansion. Further information about the program can be obtained from the Metis Dene Development Fund or the Western Arctic Business Development Centre in Norman Wells.
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) continued to provide opportunities to bid on government contracts by advertising procurement opportunities on the government electronic tendering system and by notifying all claimant groups of procurement of goods, services and construction destined for the GSA. Whenever PWGSC has a procurement opportunity which impacts one or more of the comprehensive land claim agreements, notification is forwarded to the claimant groups.
Assistance and information on the procurement process was provided as requested during the year, as was information on contracts. Whenever it was practical and consistent with sound procurement principles, PWGSC recommended that bid evaluation criteria be included in bid solicitations to maximize socio-economic benefits to the claimant groups.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The following resources were provided to Gwich'in bands and organizations in 2002-2003 to support the traditional economy and encourage employment.
Tetlit Gwich'in Band
- $80,262 from the Community Economic Development Program (community-based, community-driven support for economic development).
- $4,700 from the Resource Partnership Program to complete a business plan related to the Tl'oondih Lodge.
Gwichya Gwich'in Band
- $34,358 from the Community Economic Development Program.
- $36,890 from the Community Economic Development Program.
- $4,700 from the Regional Opportunities Program for business plan development related to an air charter business.
Inuvik Native Band
- $27,905 from the Community Economic Development Program.
- $6,760 from the Regional Opportunities Program to attend the Arctic Gas Symposium.
- $30,000 from the Resource Partnership Program for business plan development related to an oil and gas opportunity.
- $25,250 from the Resource Partnership Program and $35,000 from Resource Access Negotiations to assist with costs of professional expertise to determine hydrocarbon potential for GSA lands.
- $10,000 from the Economic Development Advocacy Program to participate in the Inuvik Petroleum Show.
The GTC received $663,256 in tribal council funding for band governance, financial management and economic development, and $35,000 to assisting in staffing the position of Gwich'in regional contaminants co-ordinator to address general contaminant issues in the GSA.
8.2 Environmental Assessment and Wildlife Management
A range of wildlife, fisheries and forestry research and monitoring projects were completed, and progress and final reports were prepared. Gwich'in beneficiaries continued to be an integral element of GRRB operations with several training positions being funded throughout the year The GRRB participated in a number of departmental workshops and conferences including two sponsored by Environment Canada.
The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) was involved in a number of activities related to the management of wildlife, including representation on the SAHS. This group provides harvesting information to the GRRB. One outcome of the SAHS will be the establishment of a total allowable harvest of migratory birds in the GSA.
The CWS, through its seat on the GRRB, has provided the following services.
Harvest of Migratory Game Birds
- The GRRB is aware that migratory birds are managed according to a well-defined set of regulations, and is advised by the CWS of any changes, which may impact the Gwich'in. The Gwich'in have been regularly consulted over changes to the regulations, such as the use of non-toxic bird shot and the proposed spring hunting season.
- Annual migratory bird harvest statistics are compiled by the CWS and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Setting a total allowable harvest for migratory birds has not been discussed by the GRRB. However, it is expected that the SAHS will provide information from which the GRRB could determine a total allowable harvest.
Management of Migratory Wildlife Species
- The CWS communicates with the GRRB on relevant issues discussed by the Arctic Goose Working Group of the Arctic Goose Joint Venture (AGJV). The AGJV is a co-operative Canada—United States body that co-ordinates goose management and research in both countries. This Group deals with the overpopulation of snow geese in the Arctic, especially in the Central Arctic. The Gwich'in harvest snow geese from the Western Arctic population where the problem does not appear to be as severe.
- The CWS, through its seats on the various Flyway Committees, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and other international initiatives, is involved closely in the management of migratory bird species that cross international boundaries. The GRRB was routinely apprised of issues arising from these international initiatives that may affect the Gwich'in.
- Through its seat on the GRRB, the CWS participated in the preparation of management plans for the Bluenose caribou herd and the barren-ground grizzly bears, both of which move in and out of the GSA. The CWS is also represented on the Porcupine Caribou Management Board whose activities are directed to the Porcupine caribou, which move between Canada and the United States and are harvested by both NWT and Yukon Gwich'in.
- The CWS assisted in the third year of field investigations of a GRRB research project to examine the reproductive ecology of lesser scaup and scoter species, which included assistance to the research student during thesis prep-aration.The CWS also participated in a study of the impacts of hydrocarbon exploration and development on tundra swans undertaken by a graduate research student. Some of this work is conducted in the GSA.
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 died on the parliamentary order table with the dissolution of the last Parliament. Environment Canada developed new species at risk legislation, which received royal assent in October 2002 and should be enacted by mid-2003. During the year, the GRRB was consulted on the role of the IPGs in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act by means of Environment Canada-sponsored workshops in Edmonton and Whitehorse.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
The Department provided input on fisheries management issues through attendance at GRRB meetings and consultation on legislation and policies. It contributed funding for a GRRB fisheries technician and for an SAHS conservation/education calendar.
The Department continued to issue commercial fisheries licences; however, a new commercial fishing licensing regime is being considered for the GSA. The RRCs were consulted and involved in fisheries research projects required by the Agreement. Four community workers were hired and four meetings were attended by DFO representatives. The RRCs agreed to support DFO's enforcement of wastage/unattended nets.
From a fisheries perspective, the highlight of the fiscal year was the co-operative nature in which DFO and the GRRB worked together on the Rat River charr monitoring and assessment initiative.
The Canadian Coast Guard provided marine communications and traffic services on Great Slave Lake, Mackenzie River and the Western Arctic waters in the GSA from May to October 2002. Services promote the safety of life at sea, the protection of the environment, and the safe and expeditious movement of marine transportation, by providing a maritime mobile safety radio communications service that covers Canada's Arctic waters and the Mackenzie—Athabasca Waterway system.
With respect to land administration activities of the Coast Guard, a number of sites have been reserved for more than 10 years. Applications to renew these reserves (land sites) in the GSA were pending at year end.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency continued to work with INAC to clarify the relationship between the MVRMA and the CEAA.
The Agency continued to work with other federal government departments and First Nations to develop frameworks for environmental assessment and regulatory processes for potential project developments in the NWT. In particular, the Agency actively pursued the development of agreements to harmonize the three environmental assessment processes and co-ordinate regulatory processes in preparation for the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline. A draft agreement in October 2002 with the MVEIRB and the Inuvialuit (as represented by the Inuvialuit Game Council) provides for the establishment of a single review panel process under the CEAA and MVRMA for a gas development project. This process will occur after the MVEIRB completes its screening and environmental assessment process. In addition, a draft agreement was negotiated between the regulators to co-ordinate the regulatory processes with the harmonized environmental assessment process.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The NWT Regional Office continued to co-ordinate INAC's technical input to environmental assessments undertaken by the MVEIRB. The Department also co-ordinated, on an ongoing basis, the input of applicable federal departments in responding to MVEIRB determinations on environmental assessments.
National Energy Board
The NEB has a specific responsibility under Chapter 23 of the Agreement for the expropriation of settlement lands required for pipeline facilities and electrical transmission rights-of-way that are judged to be in the public convenience and of necessity. The NEB has not been required to deal with any activities under this chapter to date.
Board staff participated in the discussions to develop the Cooperation Plan for Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project as part of the preparatory work for the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline development.
8.3 Heritage Sites and Resources
Parks Canada Agency
The Agreement provides for the active involvement of the Gwich'in in the conservation and management of Gwich'in heritage resources, as traditional culture and history are priorities to the Gwich'in.
The GSCI and Parks Canada Agency held workshops in the fall of 2002 and February 2003 to complete a final draft of the commemorative integrity statement for the Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site of Canada. The plaque ceremony for the site was also discussed, and the Gwichya Gwich'in Council was offered the opportunity to construct the plaque's base. The GSCI, Gwichya Gwich'in Council and Parks Canada Agency began plans for a ceremony to unveil the plaque in Tsiigehtchic in July 2003.
A community consultation meeting was held in November 2002 to begin discussion on the proposed Tetlit Gwich'in National Historic Site. A follow-up meeting was held in February 2003 to discuss the specifics of the proposed site and to gather sufficient information for an application and submission report to the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Parks Canada Agency worked with the GTC, local bands and the GSCI on heritage projects, including consultation on policy and legislation that would affect Gwich'in interests.
Parks Canada Agency funding for Gwich'in goods and services was $56,431 in 2002-2003. In addition, $1,000 was contributed to the GRRB to assist with their Arctic Red River Youth on the Land Trek.
8.4 Land and Water Management
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Sand and Gravel Resources
The NWT regional office provided quarterly reports on the quarry royalties collected in the Mackenzie Valley which totalled $50,590.50.
Land and Water Use Process
The North Mackenzie district office continued to work with the GLWB in recommending terms and conditions on applications for land use permits and water licences, and provided, on an ongoing basis, inspection services to the GLWB to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions attached to these authorities.
Resource Royalty Regime
A regulatory review of the CMRs, which involves consultation with the GTC, was begun.
Cumulative Impacts Monitoring Program
The NWT regional office of INAC has the lead on the design of the CIMP and co-ordinates the CIMP Working Group.
Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada completed all surveying activities as per its obligations under the Agreement. Plans have been recorded in the Canada Land Surveys Records and Land Titles Office where appropriate. One plan remains at the final review stage for ratification and registration. All parcels of land are fully surveyed.
All parcels are fully surveyed, including the boundaries of any exclusions. There were 11 rural blocks and 12 site-specific parcels surveyed, and all plans are recorded.
All parcels are surveyed: 24 municipal lands, 31 site specific parcels and 35 exclusions. Also surveyed are portions of boundaries and intersections of boundaries with water courses.
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency's responsibilities under the Agreement include the provision of general information on the taxation implications for the settlement corporations, and the preparation of an information document on this topic. The draft of this information document dealing with settlement corporations and related tax aspects was previously completed and forwarded to the GTC in 2000. Comments have yet to be received.
During the year, the Agency received some inquiries relating to the Gwich'in, Sahtu and Inuvialuit land claim agreements, mainly dealing with the operation of settlement corporations.
8.6 Federal Co-ordination of Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The Implementation Branch (IB) co-ordinates the fulfilment of federal government responsibilities and obligations pursuant to the Agreement. In 2002-2003, the Branch continued to participate in the Implementation Committee and to consult with the GNWT and GTC regarding the implementation of the Government of Canada's obligations under the Agreement. The Branch continued to serve as the secretariat to the Implementation Committee and co-ordinated its three meetings in April, August and December 2002.
The IB maintains regular contact with all federal government departments and agencies with respect to their implementation activities, intervening as necessary, and maintaining a comprehensive implementation status report of these activities on its automated Land Claims Obligations System.
In addition to consulting the IPGs, GTC and GNWT to assess their funding requirements to year-end, the Branch managed flexible transfer payment funding agreements with these bodies during 2002-2003.
The IB also assisted in processing ministerial appointments of individuals to various IPGs created pursuant to the Agreement. During the fiscal year, appointments were made to the Arbitration Panel, GLUPB, MVEIRB and GLWB.
The Branch had the lead in hiring a contractor as part of the framework development for the evaluation of government economic development programs as they relate to the economic measures objectives in the Sahtu and Gwich'in final agreements (see Section 3 of this report).
On May 17, 2002, the Government of Canada, the GTC and SSI reached an out-of-court settlement with respect to the definition of royalties under the Gwich'in and Sahtu agreements. As part of the settlement, a compensation payment was made to the GTC and SSI on June 14, 2002 and the parties agreed to amend the definition of royalty in both agreements. The amendments received Governor in Council approval on February 6, 2003.
The lB represented the Government of Canada during discussions concerning renewal of the Gwich'in Implementation Plan. Several meetings were held in 20022003 between the parties to the Implementation Plan.
The Branch coordinated the preparation of the annual report for 2001-2002.
8.7 Other Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Protected Area Strategy
The NWT Protected Area Strategy Implementation Advisory Committee met twice during the year, in Fort Smith in June 2002 and in Inuvik in October 2002. The Committee consists of representatives from each regional Aboriginal organization including the GTC, industry, environmental non-government organizations and the federal and territorial governments. The GTC continued to participate in the Committee, while stating that they will not move forward with advancement of areas through the strategy until the Gwich'in Land Use Plan is approved. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada continued to support the Protected Area Strategy secretariat in partnership with RWED.
The NWT regional office met with each of the four Gwich'in bands and made the following annual treaty payments: Gwichya Gwich'in Band in Tsiigehtchic on April 16, 2002; Tetlit Gwich'in Band in Fort McPherson on April 16, 2002; Aldavik Band on April 15, 2002; and Inuvik Native Band on April 17, 2002.
Section 5.1.12 of the Agreement requires government to provide the GTC with the opportunity "to participate in any constitutional conference or similar process for reform of the constitution of the NWT" Devolution of federal land and resource management responsibilities to the NWT will entail an amendment to the NWT Act.
On May 22, 2001, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Premier of the NWT and representatives of the NWT Aboriginal organizations (known collectively as the Aboriginal Summit which includes the GTC) endorsed a memorandum of intent in which they agreed to work toward establishing a formal process to negotiate the devolution of federal responsibilities over land and water resources in the NWT.
Discussions on a framework agreement began in the fall of 2002 following the announcement of the appointment of chief negotiators for the Aboriginal Summit, and the territorial and federal governments. The GTC participated in discussions with other members of the Aboriginal Summit. Funding for the participation of the Aboriginal Summit members was provided by the GNWT and INAC.
Membership of Implementing Bodies (as of March 31, 2003)
Richard M. Hill
Katherine Peterson, QC
Robert Charlie - Chair
Robert Alexie, Sr
Chief James Firth
Bob Simpson - Chair
Karen LeGresley Hamre
John S. Nagy
Willard Hagen - Chair
George E. John
Todd Burlingame - Chair
Map of Gwich'in Settlement Area
Map: Gwich'in Settlement Area (Northwest Territories)
The image illustrates the Gwich'in Settlement Area. More specifically, it portrays the Gwich'in Settlement Region including the Gwich'in Settlement Area, the Primary Use Area, and the Secondary Use Area. It also portrays Gwich'in Lands, including lands with Surface Rights, Subsurface Rights and both Surface and Subsurface Rights. The image also illustrates territorial borders, regional boundaries, the Dempster Highway, water features, community boundaries, special harvest areas and the Gwich'in Territorial Park.
Note: An electronic version of the map of the GSA.
Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments 1992-2002
The Government of Canada makes a capital transfer payment to the GTC on each anniversary of the date of the Agreement, in accordance with the schedule of payments set forth in Schedule 1 to Chapter 8. The GTC will receive its final capital transfer payment on the 15th anniversary date of the Agreement.
Date Capital Transfers to the GTC* $
|Date||Capital Transfer to the GTC* $|
|April 22, 1992
|December 23, 1992||7,426,766|
|April 22, 1993||4,180,680|
|April 22, 1994||6,271,020|
|April 22, 1995||7,455,068|
|April 22, 1996||9,318,835|
|April 22, 1997||9,318,835|
|April 22, 1998||9,318,835|
|April 22, 1999||9,318,835|
|April 22, 2000||9,318,835|
|April 22, 2001||9,318,835|
|April 22, 2002||9,318,835|
* Net of negotiation loan repayments.
Implementation Payments 1992-1993 to 2002-2003
The annual implementation funding amounts provided to the GTC, the GNWT and the IPGs created pursuant to the Agreement represent the Government of Canadas total contribution to each body for the purpose of assisting each body to fulfill its obligations pursuant to the Agreement, Implementation Plan and related Act(s) of Parliament. The annual funding levels for the GTC, GNWT and IPGs are identified in the Implementation Plan.
|Fiscal Year||Implementation Payments $|
|Wildlife Studies Fund||2,030,000|
* The 2001-2002 implementation payment was inaccurately reported in the 2001-2002 annual report of the Agreement. This amount has been corrected in the table above.
* * This amount includes $788,000 of oil and gas capacity funding provided to the MVEIRB by INAC in 2002-2003.
Resource Royalties, 1992 to 2002
Payments with respect to resource royalties received by the Government of Canada are made to the GTC on a quarterly basis, pursuant to Chapter 9 of the Agreement.
|Fiscal Year||Resource Royalties Paid to GTC $|
* These resource royalties were inaccurately reported in the 2001-2002 annual report of the Agreement. These amounts have been corrected in the table above.
Gwich'in Property Taxes Reimbursed to the GNWT, 1994 to 2002
Pursuant to Chapter 22 of the Agreement, the Government of Canada agrees to pay the GNWT any real property taxes levied for 15 years from December 22, 1992 with respect to Gwich'in municipal lands. Specific information on these municipal lands is contained within Chapter 22.
|Fiscal Year||Amount $|
Web Site Addresses
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (link to all sectors and regions)
GNWT (links to all departments)
- Section B, Appendix D of the DTA provides a list of areas which would become a responsibility of the Yukon Government after devolution. With the exception of provision 8.3.1, which is no longer relevant due to the passing of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, all of these responsibilities are in areas which are noted in the Yukon Transboundary Agreement, Appendix C, as the responsibility of a government or Minister. The `government" is defined as "the Government of Canada or the Government of Yukon, or both, depending upon which government or governments have responsibility, from time to time, for the matter in question" and "Minister" is defined as "the Minister or Ministers of government charged by legislation with the responsibility, from time to time, for the exercise of powers in relation to the matter in question" and "Minister" is defined as "the Minister or Ministers of government charged by legislation with the responsibility, from time to time, for the exercise of powers in relation to the matter in question". (return to source paragraph)
Thank you for your feedback