Nunavut Claims Agreement

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Published on: December 13, 2020

Some of the most difficult debates took place within DIAND between the Landclaims negotiating team and the Northern Program. Northern Program was responsible for the country`s land and resource management activities in the NWT. She was also responsible for the political development process in the territories. Inuit proposals to transfer much of the northern program`s authority and land and resource management to Nunavut-based co-management councils with guaranteed Inuit membership were seen as creating regulatory complexity and undermining the federal government`s ability to manage northern resources. On numerous occasions, Northern Program has proposed postponing negotiations on these issues until a decision on the creation of Nunavut – the assumption was that there was no need to negotiate with nunavut co-management councils, as Inuit could take control of the lands and resources in eventual decentralization to a nunavut government. In 1982, negotiations slowed down markedly. The Inuit undertook an internal reorganization and entrusted the negotiations of the ITC, the national Inuit organization, to the Tungavuk Federation of Nunavut (TFN), a regional organization specially created to represent Inuit in Nunavut. On the federal side, Tom Molloy has been appointed as the new chief negotiator of the Confederation. The cloud of the unresolved agreement on wild animals hovering over the parties, it took a long time to restore trusting and productive working relationships at the negotiating table.

Nunavut`s claim was signed on April 30, 1990 in Iglulik. For the first time, the Nunavut claim agreement and Nunavut gained a significant political profile in the federal system, with Minister Thomas Siddon and Inuit leaders forging a working relationship to advance the agenda. During the 1980s, the land claims team oversaw new progress that no longer occurred on the political development front, but maintained a complete separation between the initiatives. In accordance with the new comprehensive requirement policy, Nunavut`s federal claim negotiation team had to strive for a ministerial mandate for a package of land claims before returning to the negotiating table. Discussions with TFN in mid-1987 resulted in consensus on the remaining list of issues ready to be negotiated. The federal team then sought cabinet approval on the sub-agreements already negotiated and a mandate to deal with all outstanding issues. The mandate was adopted in November 1987. In light of changes to claims policy, it has authorized federal negotiators to look at offshore rights, royalty sharing and the decision-making powers of agricultural and water management boards.

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