Article 26 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement required 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 detrimental impact on Inuit or that could reasonably confer a benefit of 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 Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA) to other Inuit and to Canadians in general.
The Mary River Project is located in the Qikiqtani Region (Inuktitut: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ) or Baffin region of Nunavut and therefore an IIBA is required between Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA). The QIA is aimed at representing the interest of the Inuit of the Baffin Region.
On September 6, 2013, Baffinland and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) signed an IIBA for the Mary River Project. The IIBA applies in particular to the Inuit community of Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Hall Beach, Igloolik, and Pond Inlet (collectively referred to as North Baffin) as well as all other Baffin Inuit that are represented by the QIA and other Nunavut Land Claim Beneficiaries.
The IIBA, which can be found on the QIA website, has a number of articles addressing areas such as:
The IIBA will be managed by a Management and an Executive Committee which will include members from both Baffinland and the QIA.
Both Baffinland and the QIA are required to hire an IIBA Coordinator and Employment & Training Coordinators to support the implementation of the Agreement. These positions play an active role in the Management and Executive Committees.
Take a look at the QIA’s photo gallery here