SUMMARY OF IMPACT AND BENEFIT PLAN FOR THE EXPANSION OF TUKTUT NOGAIT NATIONAL PARK OF CANADA INTO THE SAHTU SETTLEMENT AREA
The Sahtu Lands Corporation requested in October 2000 that the federal government open negotiations to establish a national park within their Settlement Area. In March 2001, Canada announced that it would negotiate with the Sahtu Dene and Métis. Negotiations for an Impact and Benefit Plan, which is required under the Land Claim Agreement, concluded in July 2005.
With this plan, Parks Canada and the Deline Land Corporation have agreed to add 1,850 square kilometres of land to the existing 16,340 square kilometres of Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada, and to:
preserve for future generations a representative natural area in the Tundra Hills Natural Region of Canada's national park system, and to encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this area;
provide for the rights of participants under the Sahtu Final Agreement to use this area for harvesting wildlife and plants;
protect the Bluenose caribou herd and its calving and post-calving habitat;
enhance cooperation between the Sahtu Dene and Métis and Parks Canada in planning, operating and managing the addition;
enhance and support local employment and businesses, and to strengthen local and regional economies; and
encourage greater understanding of and respect for Sahtu heritage resources and the natural environment in which they evolved.
Park Management Board
The Deline Land Corporation is entitled to appoint one person to the Park Management Board which was established in 1996 to manage the existing national park.
Canada will consult the Deline Land Corporation on any initiatives which are proposed for heritage resources and Sahtu heritage resources within the addition. The board may advise the Minister on policy and legislation affecting archaeological research in the addition, research permits, and on the use of traditional ecological knowledge.
Parks Canada will encourage the use of participants under the land claim as guides.
Public Sector Positions
The Deline Land Corporation will be informed when Parks Canada is undertaking external recruitment to staff positions in the existing park or addition. Preference will be given to candidates who are land claim participants and meet the qualifications in any external competition for jobs related to the operation of the Sahtu addition.
Priority for Contracts and Business Licenses
Parks Canada will take measures to provide opportunities for qualified participants' businesses to compete for and obtain government contracts related to the addition. It will implement the Aboriginal Business Procurement Policy and Incentives to maximize opportunities for participant businesses to be awarded Parks Canada contracts related to the addition.
The Deline Land Corporation will have the right of first refusal to any new licenses for commercial and economic activities related to wildlife and tourism in a manner that is consistent with the land claim agreement. Such activities include any commercial naturalist activity or commercial guiding and outfitting activities in respect of sport fishing in the addition.
Participants under the Sahtu Final Agreement may exercise their wildlife harvesting rights in the addition. The park management plan will recognize the continued use of participants' camps, cabins and traditional travel routes for the exercise of the harvesting rights of the participants in the addition. Participants may also gather plant material for food, medicine, cultural and other personal purposes, and for the exercise of wildlife harvesting rights.
When advising the Minister on the park management plan, the Park Management Board is to consider accommodation that is in keeping with the wilderness nature of the addition and the park, and activities appropriate to a national park.
The Deline Land Corporation plans to build a visitor centre, which will contain information on national historic sites within the Deline District, and information on the addition and the park. Parks Canada has agreed to work with the Deline Land Corporation in support of the visitor centre and to provide interpretive materials.
Both parties have agreed to review the Impact and Benefit Plan once every 10 years to ensure that the addition is meeting the purposes set out in the plan.