Working closely with the North Baffin communities and all our stakeholders, Baffinland is committed to carrying out the operation of the Mary River development in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Protecting the natural environment and operating safely and transparently is critical to what we do.
We are focused on avoiding and minimizing the environmental effects of our operation. We deploy expansive environmental monitoring and management programs to safeguard the environment, based on a combination of scientific and traditional Inuit knowledge also known as Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ).
Community Engagement and the Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement
Community engagement in the North Baffin communities is at the centre of all our sustainability efforts. Through our many annual community tours (i.e. Inuit Education and Training, Recruitment and Procurement tours) information sessions, presence in the communities, frequent community visits to Site and our Inuit employees, we continue to gain valuable feedback that we incorporate into our operating practices. Through the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement that Baffinland has signed with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), we are ensuring that benefits from our operation flow to nearby communities in the Qikiqtani Region.
Article 26 of the Nunavut Agreement requires an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) be finalized before a major development project may commence. This agreement is necessary in order to ensure that any project that may have a detrimental impact on Inuit or that could reasonably provide benefits to Inuit residents of Nunavut, 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.
Baffinland and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) entered into an IIBA in 2013, and an amended and restated Agreement, as of October 22, 2018.
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) represents the interests of Inuit in 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 later registered as a society in 1997. The QIA is one of the three Inuit organizations affiliated with the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI). The QIA works closely with the federal and territorial government, as well as other partners, to ensure that Inuit are being adequately served by these governments.
The Qikiqtani Region is an administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. Mary River is located in the North Baffin area of the Qikiqtani region.
The Nunavut Agreement (NA) is the largest Aboriginal land claim settlement in Canadian history. When the Agreement was signed, legislation was passed which led to the creation of Nunavut on April 1, 1999.
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) ensures that promises made under the Nunavut Agreement (NA) are carried out. Inuit exchanged Aboriginal title to all of their traditional land in the Nunavut Settlement Area for the rights and benefits set out in the NA. NTI coordinates and manages Inuit responsibilities set out in the NA and ensures that the federal and territorial governments fulfill their obligations.
The Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) is responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of land use plans that direct the use of resources and development in the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA). The NPC currently implements and monitors the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan and the Keewatin Regional Land Use Plan.
The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) is an institution of public government created by the Nunavut Agreement (NA) to assess the potential impacts of proposed development in the Nunavut Settlement Area prior to approval of the required project authorizations. Using both traditional knowledge and recognized scientific methods, the NIRB assesses the potential biophysical and socio-economic impact of proposals and will make recommendations and decisions about which projects may proceed. The Board may also establish monitoring programs for projects that have been assessed and approved to proceed.
The Nunavut Water Board (NWB) has responsibilities and powers over the regulation, use and management of water in the Nunavut Settlement Area. The NWB seeks to protect, manage and regulate freshwaters in Nunavut by incorporating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and scientific knowledge in decision-making. They are based in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.