Archived - Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement - 2002/2003 Annual Report of the Implementation Committee - April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003
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Table of Contents
- Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations
- 1 Features of the Agreement
- 2 Highlights
- 3 Specific Issues
- 4 Implementation Committee
- 5 Implementing Bodies
- 6 The Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated
- 6.1 Board of Directors
- 6.2 Head Office, Staff and General Operations
- 6.3 Sahtu Trust
- 6.4 Community Renewable Resources Councils
- 6.5 Land Ownership
- 6.6 Amendments to the NWT Wildlife Act Regulations
- 6.7 Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement
- 6.8 Aboriginal Summit
- 6.9 Self-Government Negotiations
- 7 Government of the Northwest Territories
- 8 Government of Canada
- Appendix A1: Membership of Implementing Bodies
- Appendix A2: Web Site Addresses
- Appendix A3: Map of Sahtu Settlement Area
- Appendix A4: Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments, 1994 to 2002
- Appendix A5: Implementation Payments, 1994 - 1995 to 2002 - 2003
- Appendix A6: Payments under Section 10.1 with Respect to Resource Royalties Paid to Government, 1993 to 2002
- Appendix A7: Property Taxes Reimbursed to GNWT 1994 to 2002
The Implementation Committee is pleased to provide its ninth annual report on the implementation of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. The report covers the fiscal year from April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003.
The Implementation Committee consists of a senior official from each of the parties: the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated (SSI), the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the Government of Canada. It functions by consensus and serves as a forum where parties can raise issues and voice their concerns.
The role of the Implementation Committee is to oversee, direct and monitor implementation of the Agreement. This annual report describes achievements and developments during the year. Information is contributed by various federal and territorial departments, the SSI and other bodies established under the Agreement.
We are committed to strengthening the partnerships that are key to the successful implementation of the Agreement. Our achievements to date are the product of partners working together to recognize Aboriginal rights in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and the commitment of the parties to fulfill obligations pursuant to this 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 Resources Development 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|
|CIMP AWG||Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group|
|CWS||Canadian Wildlife Service|
|DFO||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|EIRB||Environmental Impact Review Board (Inuvialuit Settlement Region)|
|GIS||Geographic Information System|
|GNWT||Government of the Northwest Territories|
|GSA||Gwich'in Settlement Area|
|GTC||Gwich'in Tribal Council|
|HRDC||Human Resources Development Canada|
|INAC||Indian and Northern Affairs Canada|
|lPG||Institutions of Public Government|
|ISR||Inuvialuit Settlement Region|
|LMDA||Labour Market Development Agreement|
|MOU||Memorandum of Understanding|
|MVEIRB||Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board|
|MVLWB||Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board|
|MVRMA||Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act|
|NEB||National Energy Board|
|PAS||Protected Area Strategy|
|PIP||Preliminary Information Package|
|PWGSC||Public Works and Government Services Canada|
|RRC||Renewable Resources Council|
|RRRC||Regional Renewable Resources Committee|
|RWED||Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development|
|SAHS||Settlement Area Harvest Study|
|SARA||Species at Risk Act|
|SLUPB||Sahtu Land Use Planning Board|
|SLWB||Sahtu Land and Water Board|
|SRB||Surface Rights Board|
|SRRB||Sahtu Renewable Resources Board|
|SSA||Sahtu Settlement Area|
|SSI||Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated|
1. Features of the Agreement
In July 1993, the Sahtu Dene and Metis voted to approve the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (the Agreement). After being approved by the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories, the Agreement was signed on September 6, 1993, in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman). The Sahtu Dene and Metis Land Claim Settlement Act came into effect on June 23, 1994.
Under the Agreement, the Sahtu Dene and Metis:
- received title to 41,437 square kilometres of land in the Northwest Territories (NWT), an area slightly larger than Vancouver Island. Subsurface rights are included on 1,813 square kilometres of this land;
- will receive financial payments totalling $75 million (in 1990 dollars) over a 15-year period, as well as a share of the resource royalties paid to governments each year by operators in the Mackenzie Valley;
- have their right to hunt and fish throughout the Sahtu Settlement Area (SSA) confirmed and their exclusive right to trap in the SSA established; and
- are guaranteed participation in institutions of public government (IPGs) regarding renewable resource management, land use planning, and land and water use within the SSA, and environmental impact assessment and review within the Mackenzie Valley.
The Agreement also provides for the negotiation of self-government agreements that will be brought into effect through federal and/or territorial legislation.
- On the ninth anniversary of the Agreement, the SSI received a capital transfer payment of $8,300,094 after negotiation loans were deducted, and was paid $675,172 in resource royalties for the year.
- An implementation framework was completed, which complemented the five-year strategic plan for the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) and audit. Work progressed on the development of draft terms of reference and the 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 economic development programs in the SSA and Gwich'in Settlement Area (GSA) as they relate to the economic measures in the Sahtu and Gwich'in final 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 will deal with an application to build a Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.
- The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB), the Environmental Impact Review Board (EIRB) for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency released their draft agreement for participation on a joint review panel for the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline.
- As of December 31, 2002, 2,806 beneficiaries were registered.
- In October 2002, the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board (SRRB) and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (RWED) co-hosted a renewable resources research and monitoring workshop to determine regionally identified research priorities and monitoring activities.
- Ten research projects, totalling over $200,000 were funded by the SRRB, focussing on Woodland caribou, Barrenground caribou and fish.
- The fifth and final year of the data collection for the Sahtu Settlement Area Harvest Study (SAHS) was completed in Colville Lake, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells and Tulita, with interviews to be completed in Deline.
- The Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB) accepted the Draft Agreement for Land Use Permits Inside Municipal Boundaries (Norman Wells) which involves three parties: the SLWB, GNWT and the Local government referred to in section 53 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA).
- A transboundary policy between the SLWB and the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) was signed, which details the steps and procedures for evaluating applications for Land use permits and water Licences associated with developments that affect more than one settlement area.
- The Sahtu Land Use Planning Board (SLUPB) released its preliminary draft Land use plan in January 2003 and distributed it widely to stakeholder groups.
- RWED initiated a major review of the draft NWT Wildlife Act with Sahtu organizations to ensure consistency with 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 SRRB was consulted on the role of IPGs in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by means of Environment Canada sponsored workshops in Edmonton and Whitehorse.
- As of March 31, 2003, Natural Resources Canada had surveyed 249 of the 262 parcels of Sahtu Lands.
- The Sahyoue/Edacho Working Group with membership from the Deline Land Corporation, Deline Renewable Resources Council (RRC), Parks Canada, RWED and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) completed the second year of cultural, non-renewable and ecological resource assessments for the candidate protected area of Sahyoue/Edacho.
- On May 17, 2002, the Government of Canada and the SSI reached an out-of-court settlement with respect to the definition of royalties under the Agreement. As part of the out-ofcourt settlement, a compensation payment was made to the SSI on June 14, 2002, and the parties agreed to amend the definition of royalty in the Agreement. Governor in Council approval of the amendments was received on February 6, 2003.
- Implementation funding to the SSI, RRCs and Sahtu IPGs totalled approximately $2.6 million in 2002-2003.
3. Specific Issues
3.1 Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program
Section 25.1.4 of the Agreement provides 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 which shall be made public. This obligation has been incorporated into 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 Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and Audit Working Group (CIMP WG) was established in early 1999 to design the CIMP and consists of representatives of governments of the NWT and Canada, and all Aboriginal groups of the NWT. The CIMP WG conducted 11 meetings in 2002-2003 to further design the program so 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 CIMP WG's invitation to join the Working Group as an observer.INAC met with the North Slave Metis Alliance Northwest Territory Metis Nation, Gwich'in, Tlicho (Dogrib) and Inuvialuit leadership to discuss the CIMP and audit, and conducted community consultations on the program's design in the North Slave Metis, Gwich'in, Inuvialuit and Tlicho (Dogrib) regions. Sahtu representatives did not participate in any CIMP WG meetings, but the SSI continued to receive copies of all materials. INAC's attempts 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 CIMP WG were:
- implementation framework (June 2002);
- continuing revisions to the draft five-year strategic plan for the CIMP and audit (first draft of the five-year work plan was completed September 2002);
- development of a draft Treasury Board submission;
- continuing revisions to the draft state-of knowledge report of priority valued components (VCs) including a plain language version (July 2002) and formation of a marine life VC advisory team;
- draft terms of reference and process for the first NWT-wide environmental audit, as required under section 148 of the MVRMA;
- discussions on the NWT environmental audit draft terms of reference at community and regional meetings in the GSA;
- development of a Web site Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 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 CIMP and audit brochure and presentation materials; and
- funding to regional and community monitoring and capacity-building projects, including three in the SSA and three in the GSA.
Work plans for 2003-2004 were developed during the year, but await confirmation of funding.
3.2 Economic Measures
Chapter 12 of the Agreement requires the GNWT and Government of Canada to meet with the SSI at least once every three years to review the effectiveness of government economic development programs relating to the objectives of Chapter 12 of the Agreement.
At the November 2001 joint Gwich'in/Sahtu Economic Measures Review meeting, it was evident there was a need for Sahtu-Gwich'in data collection so the effectiveness of programs could be better measured within the SSA and GSA. Subsequently, the implementation committees met in April 2002 to discuss the development of measurement strategies and determine options 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 enrollment, a review of existing evaluation tools for appropriateness, the establishment of a working group, and the development of an evaluation framework to assist government departments to better assess whether the programs are effective in achieving the objectives of the economic measures chapters.
Follow-up discussions were held regarding the framework. In conjunction with the other parties, INAC developed a 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 Sahtu, Gwich'in, GNWT and federal government personnel. A joint meeting was scheduled for early April 2003 for the Sahtu, Gwich'in, GNWT and INAC to work on defining or coming to a common understanding of words and phrases in the economic measures chapters. This 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 the activities related to resource development in the SSA.
Mackenzie Valley Pipeline: A consortium of four gas producers (Conoco, ExonMobil, Imperial Oil and Shell) with gas holdings in the Mackenzie Delta teamed up with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG) to study 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 Mackenzie Valley Gas Project Producers and the APG planned to file a preliminary information package (PIP) in January 2003; however, the filing was delayed as the APG completed negotiations on the $80 million in financing the group is 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). ARC 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.
ARC spent most of the year obtaining Aboriginal support for the project and lobbying specific communities to sign land access deals with ARC for the pipeline right of way. ARC was not successful in obtaining land access agreements, prompting a shift in focus to lobbying the American government to support the over the top route.
The Alaska Highway route is a third proposed route through Alaska and Yukon and, as such, has little effect on the resource activity in either the SSA or GSA.
As of March 31, 2003, no project had been formally proposed. Both the Sahtu and Gwich'in believe it is important to undertake a co-ordinated planning effort to ensure maximum benefit and participation in the proposed resource development activities.
The potential development of Mackenzie Delta gas reserves and the construction of a pipeline to connect them, 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 a public hearing prepared for their potential involvement in these developments, recognizing changes in the regulatory regime in recent years. Even though no application had been submitted, the agencies worked to co-ordinate planning in advance 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 is independent with a legislative mandate to assess the proposed pipeline development and to make recommendations and take decisions. The Plan in no way prejudges or pre-approves any potential project that may be proposed, nor does the approach prejudge the decisions to be made by any authority or bind any authority to a certain course of action.
In designing the process, the organizations were guided by the following principles:
- desire for the organizations to co-operate;
- the need for a "made in the north" process;
- 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 taken.
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 , including the development of agreements, preparation of consolidated information requirements and plans for shared technical resources, has been effectively completed.
In the SSA, IPGs and community RRCs are responsible for managing wildlife, forestry and fisheries, and must be involved as technical and traditional advisors to the SSI in the decision making process. Activities of IPGs regarding pipeline preparedness include the following.
- The SLWB participated in the work of the Chairs' Committee Working Group to develop the Co-operation Plan for Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project and the Regulators' Agreement for Co-ordination of the Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Development and Pipeline Project.
- The SLUBP and SRRB continued to conduct consultation and educational activities with representatives of various oil and gas companies, and pipeline groups.
- 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.
Current StatusIn Late 2002, the Mackenzie Valley Gas Project Producers completed their PIP in anticipation of the completion of financial arrangements of their partner, the APG. It is expected the PIPwill 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 PIP. 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), the National Energy Board (NEB), the MVLWB and NWT Water Board.
4. Implementation Committee
The Implementation Committee consists of three senior officials representing each of the parties involved in the Agreement. In 2002-2003, John Tutcho represented the SSI, Mark Warren, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs represented the GNWT, and Pierre Laporte, Acting Director, Implementation Management Directorate, INAC represented the Government of Canada.
As provided for in section 29.2 of the Agreement, the responsibilities of the Implementing Committee are to:
- oversee, direct and monitor the implementation of the Agreement and the Implementation Plan;
- adjust the schedule for carrying out implementation activities, reallocating implementation resources and amending the Implementation Plan as required;
- address disputes between the parties; and
- prepare a public annual report on the implementation of the Agreement.
The Committee met twice during 2002-2003: in April at Yellowknife and in December at Ottawa. Its activities included:
- producing the 2001-2002 Sahtu Annual Report;
- reallocating funds among the implementing bodies and revising Annex 8 of the Implementation Plan as required;
- continuing its work on producing a plain language document;
- beginning discussions on the renewal of the Sahtu Implementation Plan;
- reaching agreement on the wording to various amendments of the Agreement, such as chapters 11 and 19; and
- addressing implementation issues.
5. Implementing Bodies
The Agreement includes provisions to establish implementing bodies responsible for determining eligibility for enrolment as a beneficiary of the Agreement, managing wildlife resources, planning and regulating land and water use, settling disputes related to the interpretation of the Agreement, and conducting both environmental impact assessments and reviews of development proposals. The membership, functions, time frame and method for the establishment of each of these bodies are specified in the Agreement and related implementation plan.
Progress in establishing implementing bodies is outlined below.
- The Arbitration Panel, SLWB, SLUPB, MVEIRB, SRRB and RRCs are operational. Cur rent membership of these implementing bodies, excluding the RRCs, is listed in Appendix Al.
- Chapter 27 of the Agreement mandates the establishment of a surface rights board (SRB) after separate federal legislation is passed. This quasi-judicial body will resolve disputes between landowners and holders of surface or subsurface commercial interests over entry to the lands and compensation for their use. The board will consist of members residing in the NWT and, when dealing with Sahtu lands, shall act through a panel of its members at least one of whom will be a resident of the SSA. Since the SRB has yet to be created, relevant surface rights disputes in the SSA may be referred to the Arbitration Panel.
The SSI took over the responsibility for the Agreement's enrolment function on June 18, 1999. As of December 31, 2002, 2,806 beneficiaries were enrolled under the Agreement. The Enrolment Registry is distributed to all land claim corporations in the SSA.
As required by section 4.4.2(j) of the Agreement, a certificate and a photo identification card are provided to each beneficiary as proof of enrolment.
5.2 Arbitration Panel
In 2002-2003, the Arbitration Panel was not called upon to convene an arbitration proceeding.
In accordance with policy, the Panel intends to meet every second year in the SSA. The Panel visited Tulita from September 4 to 8, 2002. Information meetings were held with the Tulita band, Tulita municipal officers, elders, Tulita land and financial corporations, renewable resources officers, the SLWB, the SSI and others. One objective of this interactive process was to increase awareness of the arbitration process and its mandate with the various parties to the Agreement, should an arbitration need arise in the future. In addition, these meetings provide Panel members with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the land, its people and the issues of the day so they are better prepared if an arbitration hearing is requested. To date, the Panel has visited Norman Wells, Deline, Fort Good Hope and Tulita. It is anticipated that Colville Lake, the only community which the Panel has yet to visit, will be the site of its meeting in 2004-2005.
Other activities included the investigation of options for a Web page to serve as a marketing tool to promote the Panel's existence and mandate under the Agreement.
The Panel has had a vacant position for about two years, pending an announcement of an appointment.
5.3 Sahtu Renewable Resources Board
The SRRB was established as the main instrument of wildlife management in the SSA. It is the responsibility of the SRRB and all other affected parties to unite to protect, conserve and manage, in a co-operative spirit, all renewable resources within the SSA in a sustainable manner to meet or exceed the needs of the public today and 1n the future. The SRRB is a regional public board, thereby representing beneficiary as well as non-beneficiary and non-Aboriginal populations of the SSA.
The seven-member Board has three members and three alternates nominated by the SSI, three members and three alternates nominated by the federal and territorial governments, and a chairperson nominated by the members. All appointments are made jointly by the Governor in Council and GNWT Executive Council. In April2002, two SSI-nominated members were appointed to the Board for a five-year term. As of March 31, 2003 the chairperson position, one member position and three alternate positions were vacant.The SRRB continued to implement its objectives and goals as laid out in 1995. The Board and staff continued to develop and expand their close co-operative working relationship with the RRCs, other IPGs, government and private agencies. Throughout the year, the SRRB staff met with the RRCs to discuss community research concerns. In October 2002, the SRRB and RWED, Sahtu Region co-hosted a renewable resources research and monitoring workshop to determine regionally identified research priorities and monitoring activities. Subsequent to this workshop in March 2003, SRRB and RWED staff travelled throughout the region to present current wildlife management, research and monitoring projects in the SSA. Also in 2002, the SRRB and RWEDinitiated a summer student program to provide an opportunity for a Sahtu beneficiary to participate in wildlife biology research projects. The student was involved in a variety of projects including Dall's sheep surveys in the Mackenzie Mountains, peregrine falcon surveys in Tuktut Nogait National Park, and necropsies in the Sahtu regional laboratory.
Regional Renewable Resources Committee (RRRC), representatives from the five community-based RRCs, continued to assist with wildlife management issues common to the five communities. The RRRC met in July 2002 to address concerns regarding grizzly bear tags and the Fur Institute of Canada's trapper training school pilot project. In addition, the RRCs were involved with research projects in their own communities.
The Great Bear Lake Advisory Group was established to report and provide advice to the SRRB regarding Great Bear Lake. Members of the group include the Deline RRC, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), RWED, sport-fishing lodge owners and the SRRB. In October 2002 the Great Bear Lake Working Group was form d to establish a special management regime for the lake and its watershed, which included members from the Advisory Group. The Working Group convened in Deline during March 2003 to discuss a management framework dealing with the roles and responsibilities of different bodies in managing the lake, and the principles by which it will be managed. Future activities for his Working Group include the design and 1mplementation of a management plan.
Consultation work continued between the SRRB and government agencies on matters dealing w1th the development of new territorial and federal wildlife acts, species at risk legislation, the NWT Biodiversity Action Plan and the proposed NWT Forest Management Plan.
The SRRB supported two separate initiatives through the Protected Area Strategy (PAS):
Sahyoue/Edacho interim land withdrawal and the initial planning for the Ramparts Wetlands Area. The SRRB is involved with the Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for species at risk. As of December 2002, this Program's Northern Working Group distributed nearly $300,000 to projects that implement stewardship actions.With increased exploration and development of hydrocarbons in the SSA, including the proposed pipeline route along the Mackenzie Valley, consultations with oil and gas groups, and environmental consultants continued throughout the year. Increased research activities are closely reviewed by the Board to prevent replication of past research and to ensure local resources are used and the information gathered is returned to the communities. The Board is a member of the Mackenzie Valley Biophysical Information and Research Gaps Study Advisory Team, which is dedicated to determining what information and research are needed to fill any gaps related to the preparation, regulation and management of increased hydrocarbon exploration in the Mackenzie Valley, and to develop an action plan prioritizing the identified gaps. Consultation for this project was conducted throughout the SSA by an SRRB-supervised regional liaison and during a March 2003 regional workshop. In response to a proposed 2D Mackenzie River seismic program for the summer of 2002, the SRRB, along with other proponents, recommended the project undergo an environmental assessment.
Renewable resource research continues to be the main activity of the SRRB. Major areas of involvement are as follows.
Ten research projects, totalling over $200,000 in funding, were carried out in 2002-2003. The majority of projects for which funds were provided were to outside agencies (RWED, DFO and the National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada). Studies included research on Woodland caribou, Barrenground caribou and fish. These studies focussed on population size, distribution and migration patterns, reproduction and survival rates, wildlife health, cumulative impacts and contaminants. Research studies for the Mackenzie Mountain Woodland Caribou project, initiated by the SRRB with outside human resources, continued under the supervision of the resident biologist. Throughout the year, the Board used the satellite information received to produce maps showing caribou movements, which are posted monthly on the SRRB Web site Sahtu Renewable Resources Board. In July 2002, the biologist and summer student recovered two collars from predated caribou and in March 2003, RWED staff dispersed another two collars to increase the sample size back to 10.
The resident biologist left the Board in December 2002. In February 2003, the Board decided not to fill the biologist position; rather, it made plans to hire a renewable resource communication officer. This position will be responsible for providing communications support and assistance between the RRCs and the SRRB. RWED and Sahtu Region agreed to take over current and future SRRB wildlife research, including the Mackenzie Mountain Woodland Caribou project.
Sahtu Settlement Area Harvest Study
The SAHS is a five-year initiative designed to record all wildlife harvesting activity by Sahtu beneficiaries and to protect Sahtu Dene and Metis harvesting traditions. It will also provide the background data to help establish a minimum needs level for each species.
The study continued to focus on community based interviewing and compiling harvesters' data from April 1998 onward into a database. As of March 31, 2003, the five-year data collection in Colville Lake, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells and Tulita was completed. Interviews will continue in Deline until December 2003. Database software designed to capture nonconfidential information from the harvester interviews will assist in the final analysis of data. In July 2002, the 1998 and 1999 data report was completed and distributed.
Geographic Information System
The Sahtu geographic information system (GIS) project, which the SRRB co-funds, was widely used by the SRRB, other IPGs, and public and private agencies, such as oil and gas companies. It has proven to be a beneficial investment, particularly as a tool to educate both beneficiaries and the public. Work continued on the Sahtu Atlas Project, which will be a hard covered book displaying information collected and maps produced by the GIS technician.
Wildlife Studies Fund
Investments were made from the Wildlife Studies Fund to increase the fund to a point where the SRRB can use the interest from the fund each year to support wildlife studies within the SSA. The fund was valued at about $3.22 million at year end. The fund has increased at a slower rate than expected and therefore, the Board plans to continue with its slightly more aggressive investment portfolio. The Board continued to withdraw funds to finance its research activities.
5.4 Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board
The MVEIRB is the board mandated by the Sahtu and Gwich'in agreements and the MVRMA to conduct environmental assessment and review of development projects in the Mackenzie Valley. The Board's jurisdiction applies to all lands in the NWT, excluding the ISR and Wood Buffalo National Park. The MVRMA replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) in the Mackenzie Valley, except under specific circumstances.
As of March 31, 2003, the MVEIRB consists of seven members, including the chair. It is anticipated that two additional members will be appointed in the near future, as nominated by the GNWT and Deh Cho First Nation.
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, a traditional knowledge co-ordinator, a communications officer and a 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.
Environmental AssessmentsThe 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.
- DeBeers Canada Mining Ltd. Snap Lake underground diamond mine development: This assessment was referred in May 2001, and is targeted for completion in June 2003. The Board held a technical session from November 25 to December 6, 2002.
- WesternGeco Ltd. Mackenzie and Liard rivers seismic survey referred jointly in June 2002 by DFO and the NEB: The assessment was initially put on hold pending completion of the company's test program. It was reinstated in December 2002 at the request of the company.
- The SLWB referred the North rock Resources Ltd. Summit Creek exploratory oil and gas well to environmental assessment in March 2003. This is the first referral out of the SSA for the MVEIRB.
Other environmental assessments which were active during the year included the following.
- Canadian Zinc Corporation Decline and Metallurgical Plant: This assessment was referred 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 April4, 2003.
- The Northern Rivers Survey Ltd. aquatic seismic survey of the Liard and South Nahanni rivers: This assessment 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 re-activating 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 ActivitiesBoard 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 pipeline in 2003-2004.
The 2002-2003 budget of $2.9 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 natural gas pipeline.
INAC provided supplementary funding to all northern regulatory boards for participation in the ongoing work of the Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee. This 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 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 assessment as an initial step to the Board's development of guidelines in this area. Section 115 (b) of the MVRMA gives the MVEIRB the mandate to protect the social, cultural and economic well-being of residents in the Mackenzie Valley.
The Board has a seat on the NWT Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management (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 here are available on the Board's Web site at Mackenzie Valley Review Board.
Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee
The MVEIRB participated in the Chairs' Committee to develop its Co-operation Plan for Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline Project (see Section 3). In September 2002, the MVEIRB, EIRB and the 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 the EIRB. These agreements set out how the respective boards will co-operate with each other in dealing with transboundary environmental assessments. This process is separate from the plan for a proposed Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.
A traditional knowledge workshop in November 2002 was sponsored by the MVEIRB jointly with INAC and the MVLWB. The focus of the workshop 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 translator's workshop was organized in March to develop terms and phrases in the Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal languages for words frequently used 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 workshops, committees, symposiums and conferences during the year.
5.5 Sahtu Land and Water Board
The SLWB regulates land and water use throughout the SSA. In its fourth full year of operation, the SLWB received and processed five land use permit applications (Type A) and five applications for water licences (Type B). There were eight applications where permits were not required. No applications were received for small fuel caches. Four final plans were received concerning land use permits and two letters of clearance were issued by the Board.
SLWB staff consists of eight positions: executive director, office administrator, financial controller, land/resource geographer, hydrologist, permit/Licence clerk, land technician and water technician.
The Board held 15 meetings during 2002-2003, six by teleconference and the remaining in Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Colville Lake and Yellowknife.
The Board continued to participate in the Northern Pipeline Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Chairs' Committee and advised on regulatory matters related to permits and licences (see Section 3).
In July 2002, the Board accepted and approved the Aquatic Effects Monitoring Plan submitted by Imperial Oil under the terms and conditions of its water licence. The Plan commits Imperial Oil to undertake specific studies and research about aquatic effects on the Mackenzie River over the next several years. The Board also accepted in July the Draft Agreement for Land Use Permits Inside Municipal Boundaries (Norman Wells). This Agreement involves three parties: the SLWB, GNWT and Local government as referred to in section 53 of the MVRMA.
During the summer months, Board staff made visits to all Local governments in the SSA to become familiar with water Licence infrastructure, including surveillance network stations. Time was also spent with municipal personnel to better inform them about compliance and reporting requirements related to their water licences.
A transboundary policy with the MVLWB was accepted and signed in December 2002, which details the steps and procedures for evaluating applications for land use permits and water licences associated with developments that affect more than one settlement area. The policy was drafted and reviewed jointly by staff from both land and water boards.
The ongoing SLWB Public Information Program sponsored the fifth annual technical training session for 13 representatives from land corporations, local governments and RRCs, which are affected by permits and licences throughout the SSA.
The SLWB was not involved in cumulative impact monitoring during the year, as this task is assigned to INAC under Project 25-9 in the Implementation Plan.
5.6 Sahtu Land Use Planning Board
Under the MVRMA and the Agreement, the SLUPB is tasked with developing and implementing a land use plan for all lands outside municipal boundaries in the SSA.
The SLUPB has been working toward the fulfillment of the following goals:
- preparing a draft Sahtu land use plan;
- facilitating people's understanding of land use planning;
- ;ensuring that the interests of all parties are taken into consideration; and
- building strong, effective partnerships.
The Board identified a number of program milestones in the 2002-2003 work plan that contributed to the attainment of these purposes. Specifically, it focussed on work related to capacity building, awareness creation, strengthening partnerships, land use plan production and management activities.
The organization operated in an efficient and effective manner with a reduced number of Board members for much of the year. The Elder's Advisory Council continued to assist the Board with community relations and support of the preliminary draft Sahtu land use plan. Elders from each Sahtu community learned about this plan and offered their advice and suggestions to the Board during an elders workshop in January 2003. This prepared the Council to accompany the Board and staff on the Sahtu community tour to present the preliminary draft land use plan.
The Board employed a number of staff to assist in fulfilling its mandate. The senior planner and office manager were supported by a part-time fieldworker in various ongoing projects. Two summer interns were employed for about six weeks to work on several mapping projects using the Sahtu Land Use Planning Board Interim Atlas and the GIS. As well, an extensive campaign to launch a land use planner trainee program was started. Two candidates began their preparatory training at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
All the planner trainees, interns and fieldworkers are residents and beneficiaries of the Sahtu. The planner trainee position is designed to give a Sahtu beneficiary the opportunity to learn about land use planning and then take on the role of plan implementation.
Board members and staff also attended a variety of conferences, workshops and community presentations on issues related to land use planning including cumulative environmental effects, traditional knowledge, mining, oil, gas and pipeline development.
Working with youth has been a priority of the Board. While on tour in the Sahtu communities, Board and staff members were present in the schools to show the SLUPB documentary video on land use planning and to play the SLUPB educational game with students.
The Board also awarded five scholarships to Sahtu residents who were in pursuit of post secondary education related to land use planning at approved institutions.
The mission of the SLUPB was publicized both within and outside the SSA through radio shows (in both English and Slavey), an educational video, newsletters, a colour poster and map, a trade show booth and the scholarship program. The Web site continued to grow with maps and reports, and features the preliminary draft Sahtu land use plan. The SLUPB also held a series of community meetings across the SSA to discuss the draft land use plan.
The SLUPB's priority is to work closely with other boards and agencies. The Board participated in the Sahtu GIS project with the SRRB, SLWB and RWED.
Rising interest in the hydrocarbon resources in the SSA has resulted in increased requests for information about the land, resources and people of the area. The Board met with representatives of oil and gas companies, and pipeline groups through public forums and small group discussions to listen to their concerns and issues, and provide information. The Interim Atlas, reports, other publications, library and GIS were extensively used by the pipeline groups as they explored the proposed pipeline development.
A number of land use permit and water licence applications referred by the SLWB were reviewed.
Government partners continued to be updated on a continuing basis.
Land Use Plan Production
The preliminary draft Sahtu land use plan was released in January 2003, and distributed to the various stakeholder groups. Six months were allocated for review by stakeholders, with comments on the draft plan solicited in writing. Community members were given the opportunity to provide comments and feedback in person as the Board and staff toured the various communities in the Sahtu.
The Board held four meetings in 2002-2003 (May, July, September and March) in various Sahtu communities.
Numerous reports required of a public agency were completed, such as budgets, work plans, annual and interim reports, financial audits and employment reports.
Over the next year, the SLUPB will focus on incorporating the first round of comments into the preliminary draft Sahtu land use plan to refine the document into a final draft plan ready for submission to government partners. While the Board has accomplished many of its objectives en route to securing an approved land use plan for the SSA, this momentum must be maintained. Progress will continue along the goal of conserving, utilizing and developing Sahtu lands in a way that protects and promotes the present and future well-being of Sahtu beneficiaries, local residents and all Canadians.
6. The Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated
The SSI was formed by the seven Sahtu land corporations (four Dene land corporations and three Metis land corporations) on June 23, 1994, with the enactment of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Land Claims Settlement Act.
The SSI is mandated to:
- assist all members to negotiate and enter into arrangements with the federal and territorial governments concerning the implementation of the Agreement;
- undertake any other activities related directly or indirectly to the interests and concerns of its members with specific reference to the implementation of the Agreement;
- engage in any studies, education activities or other activities related to the environmental impact on the lands, air, waters and health of the residents of the SSA;
- undertake discussions with industries and government whose activities or decisions affect the environment in a manner which adversely affects the interests of the residents of the SSA; and
- assist and enable its members to intervene and participate in any hearings, environmental impact assessments, policy or legislative reviews, or other decision-making or review processes, which relate to the environ mental or economic interests and concerns of its members.
The SSI also participates in the implementation of the Agreement through the nomination of board members to the implementing bodies and management of the capital payment through the Sahtu Trust. The SSI has a co-ordinating role in activities involving other designated Sahtu organizations and ensures that the government, industry and public are aware of the functions of the various implementing bodies, such as Land access. It has a seat on the tripartite Implementation Committee tasked with overseeing implementation of the Agreement.
The SSI is the only joint Sahtu Dene and Metis regional Aboriginal organization. It is the point of contact for government agencies and departments on issues including education, health, environment, highways, wildlife, political development, economic development and implementation of the Agreement.
6.1 Board of Directors
The SSI Board of Directors has the following members:
Edwin Erutse, Chair
John Tutcho, Vice-Chair
Eddy McPherson, Jr.
6.2 Head Office, Staff and General Operations
The SSI's head office is located in the Chief George Kodikin building in the community of Deline. The building also houses the Sahtu Dene Council. The SSI and Sahtu Dene Council staff include:
The Board held one meeting during the year, the SSI annual general meeting which took place in Tulita September 25 to 27, 2002.
The following is a brief list of some of the activities and processes the SSI participated in:
- trustee, Sahtu Trust and Sahtu Master Land Agreement;
- land claim implementation;
- Enrolment Board;
- PAS Report;
- Aboriginal Summit/Intergovernmental Forum (IGF); and
- Sahtu resource management boards.
The SSI and Government of Canada agreed on an $8,738,354 (interest included) out-of-court settlement for the SSI's claim against the Government of Canada. The money was paid to the Sahtu Master Agreement Trust and subsequently distributed to three Sahtu district corporations on a per capita basis during 2002.
6.3 Sahtu Trust
The Sahtu Trust was created by the seven financial corporations eligible for settlement moneys and royalties under the terms of the Agreement. On September 6 of each year, the federal government makes a payment as per Chapter 8 of the Agreement to the SSI, which is deposited into the Sahtu Trust. Under the direction of the SSI, the trust is managed by two fund managers. Twice each year, the income and interest earned by the trust is paid, less fees, on a per capita basis to the seven financial corporations. As of December 31, 2002, the balance in the trust was $77 million, and the net income generated by the trust for the year was $3,141,736.
6.4 Community Renewable Resources Councils
Pursuant to section 13.9 of the Agreement, five RRCs were created to advise the SRRB, and to encourage and promote local community involvement in conservation, research and wildlife management, and harvesting studies.
Under the Agreement, designated community organizations (land corporations) appoint RRCs for each community. The following RRCs were active in the SSA:
- Colville Lake RRC;
- Deline RRC;
- Fort Good Hope RRC;
- Tulita RRC; and
- Norman Wells RRC.
6.5 Land Ownership
The SSI does not own land. Title to all settlement lands outside of municipalities is vested to the district land corporations in the three districts of Deline, Tulita and K'asho Got'ine. As such, the responsibility for the ownership and management of these lands rests with the three district land corporations.
- The Deline Land Corporation owns all the land in the Deline district.
- In the Tulita district, the settlement lands are owned by the Tulita District Land Corporation, which consists of the Tulita Land Corporation, the Fort Norman Metis Land Corporation and the Ernie McDonald Land Corporation.
- In the Fort Good Hope district, the settlement Lands are owned by the K'asho Got'ine District Land Corporation which consists of the Yamoga Land Corporation, Fort Good Hope Metis No. 54 Land Corporation and the Ayoni Keh Land Corporation of Colville Lake.
6.6 Amendments to the NWT Wildlife Ad Regulations
During the year, the SSI participated in a consultation with the GNWT on revising the NWT Wildlife Act and a new SARA. Input into the wildlife legislation was received by the GNWT from various sources through wildlife advisory groups and associated consultation processes. More specific consultation with the territorial claims organizations is required to integrate the rights and interests of Sahtu claim participants in the new NWT Wildlife Act and SARA. The SSI made a significant contribution to the consultative process by preparing and consolidating supporting materials, such as task time-line documents and associated issue summaries. The SSI also consolidated wildlife management and harvesting goals, objectives and principles related to the Sahtu, Gwich'in, Inuvialuit and Tlicho claims agreements into a single, useful format to facilitate the consultation process.
6.7 Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement
For the period ending March 31, 2003, the SSI was signatory to the Sahtu Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement (AHRDA). Effective April1, 2003 program delivery of the AHRDA will be transferred to the Sahtu Dene Council.
This Agreement provides financial assistance for labour market training activities for Aboriginal residents of the SSA. It also provides funding under the First Nations Child Care Initiative Program to increase the supply of quality child care services for children with working or studying parents who reside in the SSA.
6.8 Aboriginal SummitAt the May 2001 Intergovernmental Forum meeting, the federal, territorial and five Aboriginal governments endorsed the Memorandum of Intent on Devolution and Resource Revenue Sharing. It set out the principles and objectives for negotiations on devolution and resource revenue sharing.
A subsequent Intergovernmental Forum meeting is planned for April 2003. The intention with respect to the devolution negotiations is to develop a framework agreement that would describe the subject matters and process for negotiations, including an agreement-in principle stage. It is anticipated that the framework agreement will be initialed by the negotiators in May/June 2003.
It is now necessary for the parties to the negotiations to give their negotiators sufficient instructions - a mandate - to conclude an agreement-in-principle and a final devolution agreement.
The current negotiations are guided by the principles set out in the memorandum of intent and will be further guided by the process set out in the proposed framework agreement.; One objective set out in the memorandum is that devolution discussions should lead to a resource management regime in the NWT that manages and regulates resources and development in an effective, efficient and co-ordinated manner.
Current active members of the Aboriginal Summit are the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, GTC, Sahtu Dene Council/SSI, Akaitcho Territory Government, Dogrib Treaty 11 Council (Tlicho Government), Northwest Territories Metis Nation and North Slave Metis Alliance.
6.9 Self-Government Negotiations
The Agreement provides for the negotiation of self-government agreements to be effected through federal and GNWT legislation. Provisions relevant to self-government are contained in Chapter 5 and Appendix B. The decision to enter into self-government agreements rests with each Sahtu community.
7. Government of the Northwest Territories
The GNWT agreed to perform various implementation activities pursuant to the Implementation Plan and related funding agreements as described below.
7.1 Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs co-ordinated GNWT implementation activities, including liaising with the SSI and IPGs established by the Agreement, and federal and GNWT officials, preparing status reports for the Implementation Committee, and preparing the GNWT component of this annual report. A Ministry official actively participated as the GNWT representative on the Implementation Committee dealing with issues such as:
- economic measures (see Section 3);
- board appointments;
- renegotiation of the Sahtu Implementation Plan;
- development of a land exchange amendment; and
- the re-allocation of implementation funds.
The Ministry worked with the SSI to finalize a draft plain language version of the Agreement, which will be circulated to Sahtu beneficiaries in the SSA.
In preparation for the Sahtu Implementation Plan renewal discussions, the Ministry initiated an internal review of departmental obligations and associated funding requirements.
In accordance with Chapter 5 and Appendix B of the Agreement, the Ministry participated in the Deline self-government negotiations. An agreement-in-principle is expected to be signed in the summer of 2003.
7.2 Municipal and Community Affairs
The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs paid quarterly resource royalty payments to the SSI and assisted in identifying beneficiaries eligible for the Homeowner's Property Tax Rebate.
7.3 Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
RWED continued to meet its obligations through ongoing consultation with the Sahtu-designated organizations. The Department works closely with these organizations along with the SRRB, SLUPB and SLWB. RWED promotes, assists and advises these bodies on wildlife and forest management, and resource and economic development.
RWED worked in close co-operation and consultation with Sahtu organizations to support and encourage involvement in business development, training and employment opportunities leading to economic self-sufficiency. RWED provided business advice, counseling and support. Assistance was provided to Sahtu businesses and individuals to access financial support from various sources.
The lands for Canol Historic Park have been reserved by INAC. The Park Committee, with members from the Tulita Land Corporation, Fort Norman Metis Land Corporation and Ernie McDonald Land Corporation, have completed the draft park plan. Consultations on the draft plan were conducted in all Sahtu communities. The Park Committee anticipates submitting the draft plan to the Minister of RWED in August 2003. Once established, the park will be co-managed by Sahtu beneficiaries.
RWED supports the economic viability of sustainable resources within the SSA. RWED continued its work in the areas of forest fire prevention, detection, monitoring and fire suppression action through various training opportunities. All forest fire crews were contracted to community organizations.
The Department initiated a major review of the draft NWT Wildlife Act with Sahtu organizations to ensure consistency with the Agreement.
RWED worked closely with the SRRB and SLUPB on several joint research and management projects, including the ongoing Sahtu Atlas Project and the GIS mapping project. Funding was provided to the SSI to support its ancestral documentation project.
7.4 Education, Culture and Employment
The Department of Education, Culture and Employment is responsible for the planning, delivery and management of a broad range of employment, social, educational and cultural programs and services in the SSA, including the following.
- Wage subsidies available through the Training on the Job Program assisted employers in Deline, Tulita, Fort Good Hope and Norman Wells to ensure that employees obtained necessary skills to access and retain meaningful work or promotion through their organization.
- The Youth Employment Initiative Program provides a wage subsidy to employers to offset the cost of hiring students/youth with limited skills. All communities in the SSA participated.
- The Healthy Children's Initiative and the Early Childhood Programs provided training and support in Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, Colville Lake, Deline and Tulita.
- The Oral Traditions/Cultural Enhancement programs supported a fish scale art workshop and research workshop in Deline.
- Community literacy projects in Norman Wells and work place literacy projects in Tulita and Deline received support.
- Subsidies were given for community employment officer positions in Fort Good Hope, Deline and Tulita.
- Assistance was provided to northern businesses to employ and train Sahtu beneficiaries to become certified journeymen and women.
- An income support delivery contract was negotiated with the community of Tulita.
- Financial support under the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) Employment Assistance Services helped the Sahtu Dene Council deliver career planning services throughout the region. Funding was also provided to the Sahtu Business Development Centre for the delivery of the LMDA self employment option program.
- The Maximizing Northern Employment Initiative provided a variety of regional skill-based and training-on-the-job programs, including rig service training in Norman Wells and employment and training opportunities in the SSA.
- A $20,000 contribution to the Sahtu Dene Council provided support for the development of human resources within the organization.
The Culture, Heritage and Languages Division continued work related to acquiring, preserving and providing public access to the Bern Will Brown photo and film collection, an extensive collection, which documents the history of the SSA. Digital copies of the images were produced and catalogued. Preliminary work was completed for the preparation of a Web exhibit of the photographs to be available 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 SSA.
Plans of survey have been registered in the Land Titles Office for all municipal parcels, and certificates of title have been issued for 123 of 128 municipal parcels. One hundred and nineteen plans of survey have been registered for the portions of the boundaries of the settlement land parcels and, pursuant to requests, 96 certificates of title have been issued for settlement land parcels out of a total of 221 parcels.
Legal Division continued to provide legal assistance in implementing the Agreement as required by departments. This involved:
- advice on general implementation issues and more specific matters affecting Sahtu-owned lands, such as access, the removal of specified substances and the construction, operation and maintenance of winter roads;
- review of the proposed resource royalty amendment;
- advice on the consistency of the new NWT Wildlife Act with the Agreement; and
- consideration of amendments to the Agreement related to the implementation of the Tlicho Agreement.
7.6 Public Works and Services
In support of the economic measure provisions of the Agreement, and consistent with the GNWT preferential contracting policies and procedures intended to maximize local, regional and northern employment and business opportunities, Public Works and Services awarded the following contracts to Sahtu beneficiaries:
- $23,000 to Red Dog Mountain Contracting for upgrades to the water access road in Tulita; and
- $22,800 to Red Dog Mountain Contracting for earthwork at the Chief Albert Wright School in Tulita.
Twelve other contracts totalling $798,400 were awarded in the SSA. It was not possible to determine conclusively if these were awarded to Sahtu Dene or Metis businesses as a comprehensive list of businesses owned by beneficiaries was not available.
Public Works and Services continued to maintain the following leases:
- a 10-year, $120,500 per annum lease in Deline with the Fort Franklin Dene Development Corporation;
- a 10-year, $112,000 per annum lease in Tulita with Tulita Developments Ltd;
- a five-year, $117,000 per annum lease in Norman Wells with the NWT Metis Development Corporation; and
- a five-year, $15,000 per annum lease in Fort Good Hope with the Fort Good Hope RRC.
In the SSA, the Department maintained eight leases with a combined value of $410,300 per year. Four of these leases with a combined value of $365,000 (89 percent of the total leases) were awarded to businesses owned by Sahtu beneficiaries.
7.7 TransportationAs provided under section 19.1.5 of the Agreement, a land exchange was concluded with the Tulita District Land Corporation to construct the bridge at Canyon Creek. To clarify both the exchange process and status of exchanged lands, the parties agreed to develop an amendment to the Agreement. To date, the GNWT has been unsuccessful in its attempts to finalize wording on this amendment with the Government of Canada. The GNWT will continue to pursue a clarifying amendment. As land exchanges provide the most certainty for land management and are provided for under the Agreement, the Department of Transportation will continue to exchange lands for future bridge construction.
8. Government of Canada
8.1 Economic Activity and Employment
Human Resources Development Canada
Pursuant to Chapter 12 of the Agreement, specifically section 12.1.2 (c) and (d) dealing with training and employment opportunities for beneficiaries, Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) has an obligation to support the Land Claim Agreement and Sahtu self government aspirations through its existing programs and the AHRDA, and to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Sahtu with respect to their operations or activities under the AHRDA. HRDC officials in the NWT communicate with Sahtu officials frequently to discuss operational issues, clarify and define various clauses of the AHRDA and provide advice on implementing aspects of this 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.
The SSI is a signatory to the AHRDA. This fiveyear contribution agreement, signed in April 1999 and extending to 2004, provides funding for labour market training for Aboriginal residents of the SSA. 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 SSA.
The AHRDA enables the Sahtu to design and deliver numerous services 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 $891,261.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
INAC provides resources to Sahtu bands and the SSI to support the traditional economy and encourage employment. In 2002-2003, the following allocations were issued.
Behdzi Adha First Nation
- $15,000 for Community Economic Development (community-based, community-driven support for economic development).
- $63,191 for Community Economic Development.
Tulita Deline Band
- $36,727 for Community Economic Development.
Fort Good Hope Band
- $53,716 for Community Economic Development.
Sahtu Dene Council
- $577,851 in tribal council funding for band governance, financial management and economic development.
- $50,000 through the Resource Partnership Program to develop an operational regional economic institution that will identify, prioritize and pursue economic opportunities.
Industry Canada continued to deliver its Aboriginal Business Canada program in the SSA through the Metis Dene Development Fund. This program is available to all persons of Aboriginal descent. 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 SSA. The Agreement requires that whenever PWGSC has a procurement opportunity which affects 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 well as information on contracts. Whenever it was practical and consistent with sound procurement principles, PWGSCrecommended that bid evaluation criteria be included in bid solicitations to maximize socio-economic benefits to the claimant groups.
8.2 Environmental and Wildlife Management
Canadian Wildlife Service
In terms of renewable resource management, including the operation of the SRRB, 2002-2003 was another successful year. A range of wildlife/fisheries/forestry research and monitoring projects were completed and progress or final reports prepared. Sahtu beneficiaries continued to be an integral element of SRRB operations with several trainee positions funded either through the year or in the summer months. The SRRB participated in a number of workshops and conferences, including two sponsored by Environment Canada.
Settlement Area Harvest Study
The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) has a seat on the Harvest Study Working Group, and has contributed to the design and ongoing implementation of the SAHS.
Harvest of Migratory Game Birds
Through its seat on the SRRB, the CWS advises the Board of all changes to migratory bird regulations that might have an impact on the Sahtu Dene and Metis. The Sahtu have been regularly consulted over changes to the Migratory Bird Regulations, such as the use of non-toxic bird shot and the proposed spring hunting season.
The CWS also provides the SRRB with annual migratory bird harvest statistics as 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 SRRB. However, it is expected the SAHS will provide information from which the SRRB could determine a total allowable harvest.
Management of Migratory Wildlife Species
The CWS, through its seat on the SRRB, has been involved in the preparation of management plans for the Bluenose caribou herd and Barrenground grizzly bears, both of which move in and out of the SSA.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 SRRBis routinely apprised of issues arising from these international initiatives that may affect the Sahtu Dene and Metis.
The CWS sits on the Arctic Goose Working Group of the Arctic Goose Joint Venture (AGJV). This group deals with the overpopulation of snow geese in the arctic, especially the central arctic. Sahtu Dene and Metis harvest snow geese from the western arctic population where the problem does not appear to be as severe. The SRRB was kept informed about this issue. The AGJV is a co-operative Canada - United States body that co-ordinates goose management and research in both countries.
The CWS co-operated with Ducks Unlimited Canada in wetland bird surveys, with an emphasis on shore birds.
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 SRRB was consulted on the role of IPGs in the implementation of the SARA by means of Environment Canada-sponsored workshops in Edmonton and Whitehorse.
Fisheries and Oceans
DFO continued to support the work of the SRRB in its mandate of wildlife management in the SSA and its work in implementing the fifth year of the SAHS. DFO sponsored the following projects in the SSA:
- Great Bear Lake - Keith Arm, community consultation;
- a barbless hook campaign; and
- an inspection tour by DFO Habitat/Enforcement.
From a fisheries perspective, the highlights for 2002-2003 were SRRB support to the Great Bear Lake fisheries assessment in Deline and the index netting at Fort Good Hope. Total DFO implementation funding was $75,800.The Canadian Coast Guard provided marine communications and traffic services on Great Slave Lake and Mackenzie River, and in western arctic waters in the SSAfrom 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.
Local bands were employed to remove brush at 22 sites between Hay River and Norman Wells. This brushing is necessary to keep the navigation aids visible from the river.
With respect to land administration activities of the Coast Guard, applications for reserves at a number of sites have been submitted to the Sahtu Dene Council and were pending at year end.
National Energy Board
The NEB has a specific responsibility under Chapter 24 of the Agreement for the expropriation of settlement lands required for pipeline facilities and electrical transmission rights-of-way that are judged to be in the public convenience and necessity. The NEB has not been required to deal with any activities under this chapter to date.
NEB staff participated in the board-to-board 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 (see Section 3).
Parks Canada Agency
Chapter 17 of the Agreement specifies the production of public information material with respect to protected areas and heritage resources, facilities and projects that give appropriate recognition to the culture and history of the Sahtu Dene and Metis.
Cultural information was compiled about the Sahyoue/Edacho National Historic Site and presented during a community consultation workshop in 2001-2002. Further research and analysis of cultural information (based on community input) was presented to the community of Deline in February 2003. It is expected that the final report will be completed in 2003-2004.
Oral history tapes recorded in 1996 were transcribed into North Slavey and English.
In respect of the Agreement's provisions on preferential hiring of Sahtu beneficiaries, research and consultation requirements and opportunities were provided to the Sahtu Dene and Metis during the year.
8.4 Land and Water Management
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The NWT Regional Office continued to co-ordinate INAC's technical input to environmental assessments undertaken by the MVEIRB. INAC also co-ordinated, on an ongoing basis, the input of all responsible federal departments in responding to MVEIRB determinations on environmental assessments.
INAC provided $1,600 to the Sahtu Dene Council to look into the presence of dichloro-diphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in Colville Lake from historical sources (i.e., the 1960s). No significant levels of DDT were found in the water and sediments.
The Regional Office continued to spearhead the development of the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program and led the co-ordination of the CIMP WG.
The Canada - Deline Uranium Table completed its third year of work outlined in its action plan. A total of $1,367,150 was provided to the Deline Dene Band to deal with the uranium issue. The following activities were completed during the year: physical health and mental health assessment on target groups in the community, collection and sampling of traditional foods for contaminants and completion of the oral history project.
Sand and Gravel Resources
The North and South Mackenzie districts provided quarterly reports on the quarry royalties collected in the Mackenzie Valley for a total of $50,590.50.
Land Use Planning
The NWT Regional Office continued to provide technical expertise and assistance to the staff of the SLUPB in their activities, including a formal review of the preliminary draft Sahtu land use plan.
Land and Water Use
The North Mackenzie District Office continued to work with the SLWB in a number of areas, including the recommendation of terms and conditions on applications for land use permits and water licences, and the provision of inspection services for the Board to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions. On an ongoing basis, INAC Land Administration compiled and submitted monthly reports to the SLWB on any activity in the SSA that was recorded in the Land Information Management System.
Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada is responsible for surveying the Sahtu lands (as per project 19.5 of the Implementation Plan) and for the preparation of plans and delivery of such to the Register of Land Titles. The following surveys were completed between 1994 and March 31, 2003:
- Schedule I: Sahtu lands, excluding minerals 161 of 173 parcels (93 percent complete);
- Schedule II: Sahtu lands, excluding minerals nine of nine parcels (100% complete);
- Schedule III: Sahtu lands, including minerals 38 of 39 parcels (97 percent complete);
- Schedule IV: Specific sites 41 of 41 parcels (100 percent complete); and
- Schedule XVI: Unsurveyed Sahtu municipal lands (five communities) (100 percent complete).
In the proposed 2003-2004 Sahtu Boundary Survey Program, all remaining unsurveyed lands are targeted for surveys.
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency continued to work with INAC to clarify the relationship between the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canadian Environmental Act.The Agency also worked with other 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 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 EIRB provides for a single review panel process under the CEAA and the MVRMA for a gas development project. This process will occur after the MVEIRBcompletes 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.
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 completed and forwarded to the SSI in 2000. Comments have yet to be received.
During the year, the Agency received some inquiries relating to the Sahtu Agreement, mainly dealing with the operation of settlement corporations.
8.6 Other Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Protected Area Strategy
The NWT PAS Implementation Advisory Committee met twice during the year, in June 2002 at Fort Smith and in October 2002 in Inuvik. The Committee consists of representatives from regional Aboriginal organizations, industry, environmental non Aboriginal organizations, and federal and territorial governments. The SSI representative resigned in July 2001 and an official representative has not been appointed to date. However, an SSI representative attended the October 2002 meeting. INAC continued to support the PAS secretariat in partnership with RWED.The Sahyoue/Edacho Working Group with membership from the Deline Land Corporation, Deline RRC, Parks Canada, RWED and INACcompleted the second year of cultural, non renewable and ecological resource assessments for the candidate protected area of Sahyoue/Edacho. The results of this assessment were shared with the community of Deline in February 2003 and through ongoing communication by the Sahyoue/Edacho community co-ordinator.
The Fort Good Hope RRC submitted a proposal to the PAS Secretariat to work on advancing the Ramparts River and Wetlands as an area of interest through the PAS . A community co-ordinator was hired, a community workshop took place in June 2002, and information was gathered in an effort to refine the boundaries of the area of interest.
The NWT Regional Office held annual treaty payment meetings in Fort Good Hope on May 29, 2002, Colville Lake (Behdzi Ahda" First Nation) and Deline on May 30, 2002, and Tulita on May 31, 2002.
Section 5.1.12 of the Agreement requires government to provide the Sahtu Tribal Council with the opportunity "to participate in any constitutional conference or similar process for reform of the constitution of the NWT" [emphasis added]. Devolution of land and resource management responsibilities to the NWT will entail an amendment to the NWT Act.
On May 22, 2001, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Premier of the NWT and leaders of the NWT regional organizations (known collectively as the Aboriginal Summit and including the SSI) 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, GNWT and federal government. The SSI participated in discussions with other members of the Aboriginal Summit. Funding for the participation of the Aboriginal Summit members is provided by GNWT and INAC.
8.7 Federal Co-ordination of Implementation Activities
Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaUnder the Agreement, the Government of Canada appoints a member to the Implementation Committee. The role of the Committee is to discuss and attempt to resolve implementation issues with the GNWT and SSI. Canada's member to the Committee, who participated at the two Committee meetings held during the year, is from INAC's Implementation Branch.
The Implementation Branch monitors the federal obligations as outlined in the Agreement and is responsible for funding the various implementing bodies under the Agreement, which includes the management of seven flexible transfer payment agreements through which funds flow to these bodies.
In partnership with the NWT Regional Office, the Implementation Branch oversees ministerial and order-in-council appointments. During the year, three appointments were made to the SLWB: re appointment of the chair and one member, and appointment of one new member. A chair was appointed to the SLUPB and two members were appointed to the SRRB. Two members were re appointed and one new member was appointed to the MVEIRB.
Working with the NWT Regional Office, the GNWT, GTC and the SSI, the Implementation Branch hired a contractor as part of the evaluation of government economic development programs s they relate to the economic measures objectives m the Sahtu and Gwich'in final agreements. Through a terms of reference, the contractor will be developing a framework and template that could be used by federal and territorial departments as a guide to measuring the effectiveness of economic measures (see Section 3).
Through the Implementation Committee, the Implementation Branch attempted to engage the SSI in discussions concerning renewal of the implementation funding for the next 10 years, but was not successful.
On May 17, 2002, the Government of Canada, the SSI and GTC reached an out-of-court settlement with respect to the definition of royalties under the Sahtu and Gwich'in comprehensive land claim agreements. As part of the settlement, a compensation payment was made to the SSI and GTC on June 14, 2002 and the parties agreed to amend the definition of royalty in both agreements. The Implementation Branch was successful in receiving Governor in Council approval of the amendments on February 6, 2003.
|Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated
|Government of the Northwest Territories||281,023|
|Sahtu Renewable Resources Board
|Sahtu Land Use Planning Board||324,955|
|Sahtu Land and Water Board||765,500|
|Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board||2,232,700|
Membership of Implementing Bodies (as of March 31, 2003)
Larry Chartrand - Chair
Deborah Hanly - Vice-Chair
James H. Davis
Robert A. Kasting
Larry Wallace - Chair
Paul Latour -Interim Chair
Raymond Taniton - Chair
Todd Burlingame - Chair
Web Site Addresses
Government of the Northwest Territories
Map of Sahtu Settlement Area
Map: Sahtu Settlement Area (Northwest Territories)
The image illustrates the Sahtu Settlement Area. More specifically, it portrays the Sahtu Settlement Area including Sahtu Lands. The image also illustrates territorial borders, regional boundaries, the Mackenzie River, Great Bear Lake, water features, and communities.
Note: A new map of the Gwich'in Settlement Area can be downloaded.
Schedule of Capital Transfer Payments 1994 to 2002
|Date||Schedule of Payments ($)||Loan Repayment ($)||Total Paid to the SSI ($)|
|June 23, 1994||9,000,000||0||9,000,000|
|September 6, 1994||3,853,940||(533,903)||3,320,037|
|September 6, 1995||5,780,911||(800,854)||4,980,057|
|September 6, 1996||7,707,881||(1,067,805)||6,640,076|
|September 6, 1997||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 1998||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 1999||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2000||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2001||9,634,851||(1,334,757)||8,300,094|
|September 6, 2002||9,634,851||( 1,334,757 )||8,300,094|
Implementation Payments 1994-1995 to 2002-2003
|Fiscal Year||Implementation Payments ($)|
Note: These amounts include payments to the SSI, GNWT and the implementing bodies, (including the MVEIRB beginning in 2001-2002).
Payments under Section 10.1 with Respect to Resource Royalties Paid to Government 1993 to 2002
|Fiscal Year||Resource Royalties Paid to SSI ($)|
|1993 - 1994||123,697|
|1994 - 1995||194,819|
|1995 - 1996||204,357|
|1996 - 1997||278,782|
|1997 - 1998||244,261|
|1998 - 1999||211,263|
|1999 - 2000||231,949|
|2000 - 2001||343,224|
|2001 - 2002||499,505|
|2002 - 2003*||664,127|
Note: *As a result of an out-of-court settlement with the SSI on May 17, 2002, an additional $8,738,354 was paid to the SSI.
Property Taxes Reimbursed to GNWT 1994 to 2002
|Fiscal Year||Property Taxes Reimbursed to GNWT ($)|
|1994 - 1995 & 1995 - 1996 (two years paid in one)||8,666|
|1996 - 1997||9,739|
|1997 - 1998||9,544|
|1998 - 1999||9,562|
|1999 - 2000||9,623|
|2000 - 2001||18,945|
|2001 - 2002||16,509|
|2002 - 2003||16,362|
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