The Qikiqtani Inuit Association and the Government of Canada, as represented by Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, and Transport Canada, have signed a seven year, $54.8 M Inuit and Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for the establishment of Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA). This agreement would cover the requirements for any protected areas established within Canada’s High Arctic Basin (also known as Tuvaijuittuq).

Under the Nunavut Agreement, IIBAs outline the terms and conditions related to a project’s impacts and benefits to Inuit. They are required to be negotiated before the establishment of any new protected area in Nunavut. Unless otherwise agreed to by the Government of Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, a successor IIBA will be negotiated every seven years.

The IIBA formalises the boundary of Tallurutiup Imanga, which encompasses an area of approximately 108,000 km2 and is directly adjacent to the communities of Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet, and in close proximity to Grise Fiord and Clyde River.

One of the primary focuses of the IIBA is supporting Inuit stewardship activities that benefit the communities and that also promote the ecological sustainability of Tallurutiup Imanga.

Specifically, the IIBA for Tallurutiup Imanga NMCA will:

  • Establish a joint Inuit-Government cooperative management board, known as the Aulattiqatigiit Board. This consensus-based board will have equal representation from government and Inuit, including a representative from Imaq, an Inuit advisory board created by QIA to gain the perspectives and support of local Inuit in the management of the NMCA and implementation of the IIBA.
  • Create an Inuit Stewardship program managed by the QIA in each of the five associated communities (Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet and Clyde River). The Inuit Stewardship program, which builds on the Arctic Bay Pilot Guardian initiative, will support stewardship activities of Inuit within Tallurutiup Imanga, and will make valuable contributions to the management and operations of the NMCA. These include monitoring ecological health, maintaining cultural sites, and promoting intergenerational sharing of Indigenous knowledge. The Inuit Stewardship program will also promote Inuit culture and well-being, as well as provide economic and social benefits.
  • Support opportunities for training and employment.

The full IIBA is available upon request and will be posted online in English, French and Inuktitut in the near future.