Frequently Asked Questions about the area and the project.

Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

What and where is Nunavut?

Nunavut Pronounced /no͞oˈnäˌvo͞ot/…is a territory in northern Canada that includes the eastern part of the original Northwest Territories and most of the islands of the Arctic Archipelago. The territory of Nunavut (which means “our land”) stretches some 1.9 million square kilometres and is nearly one-fifth the size of Canada. It is the homeland of the Inuit people.

What is Canada’s relationship to Baffin Island?

Baffin Island is in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, which is the largest member of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world.

What is the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement?

The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is the largest Aboriginal land claim settlement in Canadian history. When the Agreement was signed, legislation was also passed leading to the creation of a new territory called Nunavut on April 1, 1999. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement gives title to Inuit-owned lands measuring about 350,000 square kilometres (of the total area of Nunavut of 1.9 million square kilometres), of which about 35,000 square kilometres include mineral rights.

What is the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (“NTI”)?

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) ensures that promises made under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) are carried out. Inuit exchanged Aboriginal title to all their traditional land in the Nunavut Settlement Area for the rights and benefits set out in the NLCA. The management of land, water and wildlife is very important to Inuit. NTI coordinates and manages Inuit responsibilities set out in the NLCA and ensures that the federal and territorial governments fulfill their obligations. http://www.tunngavik.com

What is the Nunavut Planning Commission? (NPC)

The Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) is responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of land use plans that guide and direct resource use and development in the Nunavut Settlement Area. Currently, the NPC implements and monitors the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan and the Keewatin Regional Land Use Plan. http://www.nunavut.ca/

What is an IIBA (Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement)?

Article 26 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement requires that an Inuit impact and benefit agreement (IIBA) be finalized before a Major Development Project may commence, in order to ensure any project that could have a detrimental impact on Inuit or that could reasonably confer a benefit on Inuit, is taken into account. The IIBA must be negotiated and agreed upon between Inuit and the developer, and must be approved by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. While the benefits shall be proportional to the nature, scale, impact of the project, they shall contribute to achieving an equal standard of living and working in the NSA to other Inuit and to Canadians in general.

What is the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA)?

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) is aimed at representing the interests of the Inuit of the Baffin Region, High Arctic and Belcher Islands in a fair and democratic way. QIA was formed as a non-profit land claim and community organization in 1996 and registered as a society in 1997. Its predecessor, Baffin Regional Inuit Association (BRIA), was formed in 1975 and registered as a society in 1977.

QIA is one of the three Inuit organizations affiliated with the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI). The Board of Directors of NTI is drawn from three Regional Inuit Associations accountable to Inuit Beneficiaries. QIA does not take the roles of the federal or territorial government, but works with them and other partners to ensure that Inuit are being adequately served by these governments.

What and where is the Qikiqtani Region?

The Qikiqtani Region (Inuktitut: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ) or Baffin Region is an administrative region of Nunavut, Canada.. Mary River is located in the Qikiqtani Region of Nunavut. One can also say May River is located in the North Baffin Region.

What is an Environmental Impact assessment?

An environmental impact assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the natural, social and economic aspects. It is a scientific process which, in Canada, is legislated. In the case of the Mary River Project, the Nunavut Impact Review Board issued guidelines for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) as required under Article 12 of the NLCA (Nunavut Land Claims Agreement).

What is the floe edge?

The floe edge is where the open sea meets the frozen sea. It is an important ecosystem in the north and a source of food and excitement for the Inuit.  From April through July in Nunavut, arctic wildlife gathers in abundance along the floe edge — including walruses, seals, polar bears, narwhals, bowhead and beluga whales, plus an astonishing variety of birds. It is a time of great celebration for the Inuit people including the communities of Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Igloolik and Pond Inlet.

What is the Inuit Heritage Trust?

The Inuit Heritage Trust is dedicated to the preservation, enrichment and protection of Inuit cultural heritage and identity embodied in Nunavut’s archaeology sites, ethnographic resources and traditional place names. The Trust’s activities are based on the principle of respect for the traditional knowledge and wisdom of our Elders. http://www.ihti.ca/