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  • Inuit Views Presented at the Economist's Canada Summit

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: News

    Duane Smith of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) was invited by The Economist to present the views of Inuit at its premier Canadian event held here today, called The Canada Summit: Confronting the Big Questions.

    The event’s main panellists and speakers included Alberta’s Premier Jim Prentice and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen F. Poloz, as well as many bankers, economists, and chief executives who addressed issues such as global banking, energy, and investing in ideas.

    Mr. Smith was joined on a panel called “Canada and the Arctic Council” by former Toronto mayor and current CEO of WWF Canada, David Miller, and Tony Guthrie, Chief executive of De Beers Canada.

    Speaking as both ICC Canada President, and Vice Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Mr. Smith shared Inuit insights based on questions posed by moderator and Canada correspondent for The Economist, Madelaine Drohan. In contrast to Mr. Guthrie’s position that the Arctic was the “last global frontier”, Mr. Smith suggested that the Arctic was better described as a vibrant place full of life and, most notably, “a place where Inuit live in an area covering 40% of Canada’s land mass”.

    Both Mr. Smith and David Miller said that De Beers now exemplified many characteristics of a good corporate citizen in the Arctic but “they had to learn the hard way”, added the ICC Canada president.

    In response to a call for tougher rules for Arctic development by the WWF Canada head, and a call for fewer rules by the De Beers CEO, Duane Smith emphasized the importance of strictly following existing rules and constitutional arrangements that already exist. “We need to make sure the rules are not watered down, as some resource companies are asking for, but more importantly we need to make sure the existing arrangements, such as co-management are maintained and strengthened”, he added.

    David Miller praised Canada for having the foresight in 1996, when the Arctic Council was founded, to agree to having international indigenous peoples organizations play a direct and meaningful role alongside states in the Arctic Council, of which ICC is one of six.

    In response to a question on Arctic sovereignty, the ICC Canada President reminded the audience that sovereignty for Inuit included dimensions well beyond the buying of icebreakers, such as food security and social well-being.

    Mr. Smith said he saw the need back in 2011 for Inuit leaders from Greenland, Alaska, Russia, and Canada to forge a collective path on these matters and organized an Inuit Leaders’ Summit on resource development. He concluded by inviting those who want to understand “our own Inuit rules regarding development” to consult the ensuing 2011 A Circumpolar Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat, where “it is clear we want development partnerships, but on our terms and at the right pace”.

    Source: Inuit Circumpolar Council


    uploaded date: 04-12-2014

  • Baffinland aims for year-round shipping from Milne Inlet

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: News

    A proposal by Baffinland Iron Mines to ship iron ore through Milne Inlet 10 months of the year is drawing surprise and anger in Nunavut.

    “People are shocked,” Pond Inlet hunter Caleb Sanguya told the CBC in Inuktitut. “I know the majority will reject the proposal.”

    Ryan Barry, the executive director of the Nunavut Impact Review Board, says he was taken aback.

    “Our boards were not expecting it when they did the last assessment with the early revenue phase, so I would fully understand if there is public concern about this proposal, or the way it is being proposed or treated."

    Baffinland, which began operations at its Mary River site on north Baffin Island this summer, had originally planned to move iron ore using a railway to Steensby Inlet on the island’s south coast, then by ship through the Foxe Basin and Hudson Strait.

    Days after receiving approval for the controversial project, the company changed its tune, opting for a “phased” approach that would see smaller amounts of ore being moved by road northeast to Milne Inlet for shipment to Europe through the summer months only.

    In its new proposal, the company says it wants to take advantage of its existing infrastructure, by tripling the amount of ore currently being shipped through Milne Inlet, from 4.2 million tonnes to about 12 million tonnes per year.

    That would mean ships moving through the area from June until March, breaking up the sea ice to keep waters open in Eclipse Sound near Pond Inlet and into Baffin Bay. It would also mean more traffic on the current tote road from the mine site to the port, and a new dock.

    Baffinland opted for the phased approach when it was unable to find the $5 billion in capital required for its approved project.

    The company hopes to being shipping ore in the winter months starting in 2017.

    But the Nunavut Impact Review Board says it will take the time it needs to assess the new proposal.

    uploaded date: 04-11-2014

  • Story Contest Entry Form

    uploaded by: Jonathan Frantz

    channel: Haida Film Project

     To submit an entry for the Haida Film Project story contest or writing team please complete and email the following form with your completed 3-page story.  Thanks and good luck!


    uploaded date: 09-10-2014

  • Mary River stockpiles its first load of Nunavut iron ore at Milne Inlet

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: News

    "We are now truly a mining company"


    Workers at Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s Mary River iron project transported the mine’s first load of iron ore to its port site at Milne Inlet Sept. 8, the company said Sept. 22.

    Baffinland says the iron mine project continues on schedule, with plans to ship its first batch of stockpiled product out of a newly-constructed port at Milne Inlet in mid-2015.

    “I am extremely pleased to say that we are now truly a mining company; we have drilled, blasted, crushed and transported final iron ore product to the port at Milne,” said Tom Paddon, Baffinland’s president and CEO.

    “And we have done this with a record of no ‘lost time injuries’ over a three-year period, a significant achievement particularly when you consider that we are operating in the High Arctic.

    “This is an important moment in the North.”

    The original Mary River project proposal, which would have seen a railway built from the mine to Steensby Inlet and for year-round shipping of an estimated 18 million tonnes of ore annually, earned its own project certificate from the Nunavut Impact Review Board in December 2012.

    But a month later, Baffinland slashed the scope of the project, opting instead for a scaled-down “early revenue phase” that would, in the mine’s early years, focus on shipping smaller amounts of ore each year out of Milne Inlet instead, and only during open water season.

    Earlier this year, the NIRB gave the go-ahead to Baffinland’s early revenue phase proposal, which could see up to 4.2 million tonnes of iron ore per year mined, stockpiled and shipped from Milne Inlet to markets in Europe.

    Baffinland then got to work on a 100-kilometre tote road to Milne Inlet, the construction of a fixed dock, a large ore stockpile and laydown area, 3,500 tonnes-per-hour ship loaders, a camp expansion to accommodate 60 workers and the extension and relocation of the airstrip to the west of the stockpile.

    The iron ore grade at Mary River is estimated at about 67 per cent, one of the highest in the world.

    And due to the quality of the ore, no processing is required before shipping it to market, Baffinland has said, reducing overall impact on the environment and keeping production costs low.

    “After more than 50 years of talk about developing Mary River, Baffinland has succeeded in this accomplishment,” Paddon said in the release.

    “While we still have important work to do that will ensure the efficient transport of product to market, we can rightfully take pride in what our Baffinland team has safely undertaken thus far.”

    The Mary River mine is located 160 km southwest of Pond Inlet.

    uploaded date: 30-09-2014

  • ICC inspired by strong global support at high level UN indigenous peoples conference; disappointed with dissenting voice from Canadian government

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: News

    The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) expressed its excitement today over an Outcome Document emanating from the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, a high level United Nations event that ended yesterday in New York. 

    ICC Canada President, Duane Ningaqsiq Smith, said he is very pleased that after several months of talks and difficult negotiations, world leaders and indigenous peoples came to a consensus at the UN General Assembly on how best to “make the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples work at national levels, how to practically implement it”. 

    Mr. Smith, however, muted his enthusiasm when asked about the Canadian government’s isolated take on the Outcome Document. “Yes, quite disappointing”, he said. “I’m not sure what our government is trying to achieve by standing up immediately in the UN General Assembly after a moment that should be celebrated by all sides, and do what they did”. The only other concern, on a very different issue, came from the Holy See. 

    What Canadian government officials did was object to the intent and details of the Outcome Document, noting in their statement that some of what was in it “cannot be reconciled with Canadian law”. Canada stood alone in noting it had particular reservations with the agreed-upon language of free, prior and informed consent, which according to ICC international Chair, Okalik Eegeesiak, “the government interprets as some sort of veto, that by all international legal standards has no basis in fact. They seem to be picking at this and that in the UN Declaration in order to justify its ongoing fence-sitting on this historic declaration that strongly supports, and supported by, Inuit and other indigenous peoples”. 

    The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples itself took 24 years to negotiate, most often with the backing of Canada until it came to its adoption in 2007, when it suddenly reversed its previous strong support. ICC Greenland President, Hjalmar Dahl, who was there in the early years of negotiations said, “informed consent is so crucial to the survival of indigenous peoples and this is one area in which we just cannot compromise any further”.

    While deeply disappointed in Canada’s position, Mr. Smith agreed with Ms. Eegeesiak who said, “today we celebrate our achievements on the world stage and are content that the world has moved greatly forward the provisions of the UN Declaration . Inuit, as always, are committed to working with all respective governments, including Canada, in the implementation of the Declaration for the betterment of Inuit.”

    Source: Inuit Circumpolar Council - Canada Office

    Photo: Shane Brown, GCG Media Team

    uploaded date: 29-09-2014