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Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement

QIA and Baffinland sign the Inuit Impact and Benifit Agreement for the Mary Rvier mining project in Iqaluit on September 6, 2013.

Camera: Aacharias Kunuk

Editor: Carol Kunnuk

Media on this Channel

New report urges slowdown at Nunavut’s Mary River iron mine by Nunatsiaq News

NEWS 5 MARCH, 2019 – 2:30 PM ESTNew report urges slowdown at Nunavut’s Mary River iron mine"Ramping up production in the short term will result to significant loss of benefits to Inuit in particular and the territory more generally"

Inuit Views Presented at the Economist's Canada Summit

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.

NIRB Requests comments on Baffinland's latest changes to the Mary River Project

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has released a formal letter requesting comments on Baffinland’s latest proposal to implement year-round shipping from the Mary River iron mine. In letter from Chairperson Elizabeth Copland, the NIRM explains:

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

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. 

KIA requests more traditional knowledge for Meliadine gold mine's impact statement

Meliadine gold mine’s environmental impact statement short on traditional knowledge: KIA“Inuit communities of the Kivalliq region have many generations of accumulated observation"NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Public memorial held after assassination of activist resisting Goldcorp/Tahoe Resources mine

Public memorial held in Toronto after assassination of teenage activist resisting Goldcorp/Tahoe Resources mine in Guatemala Written by Rachel Small and Joanne Jefferson on May 3, 2014

Baffinland could start mining Mary River this summer

Baffinland says it will begin stockpiling iron ore at the site this summer or fall, and start shipping it in the open water season of 2015.Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation could begin its first phase of extracting ore from the Mary River mine site this summer.

Impact of Resource Extraction on Inuit Women and Families

The Canadian Women's Foundation has released a report on the impact resource extraction is having on Inuit women and their families in the Qamani'tuaq region of Nunavut.

NIRB recommends Mary River revised plan

Nunavut review board recommends Ottawa say yes to revised Mary River planNIRB limits ore tonnage that can be carried on Milne Inlet tote roadNUNATSIAQ NEWS

DID in the News!

Inuit filmmaker uses multimedia to empower remote communitiesIsolated communities join the political dialogue through Digital Indigenous Democracy initiative CultureBY VULTURE BRANDON BARRETTbrandon@whistlerquestion.com

Live Webcast of NIRB Mary River Hearings

IsumaTV's will provide online radio and TV coverage of the second round of Public Hearings on the Baffinland Iron Mine Mary River Environmental Review from Pond Inlet, Nunavut. The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) is holding new public consultations to assess Baffinland’s revised Early Revenue Phase Proposal. January 27 to 31, 2014 Starting 9 am EST, IsumaTV will stream live Inuktitut and English audio each day from the hearings. Every evening from 8 to 10 pm EST, Zacharias Kunuk will host a live TV talk show to discuss issues raised at the hearings with community members and participants in the hearings. INUKTITUT AUDIO FROM THE HEARINGS:www.isuma.tv/DID/radio/igloolik ENGLISH AUDIO:www.isuma.tv/DID/Live/NIRBMaryRiverHearings/English LIVE SHOW:www.isuma.tv/en/DID/Live/NIRBMaryRiverHearings Both the live audio from the hearings and Kunuk’s evening show will also be broadcast by IsumaTV through local community radio channels and IsumaTV television network in Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Igloolik and Taloyoak. ----           For more information contact:  Zacharias Kunuk, 867-934-8725, zkunuk@isuma.ca  Norman Cohn, 514-576-0707, cohn@isuma.ca 

DID in the News!

Zacharias Kunuk Creates Cultural Internet for the Inuits of Canada By Bernadine Racoma  The Inuit hamlet of Igloolik, the place where celebrated film producer and director Zacharias Kunuk, himself a member of the Inuit tribe, received his education, became the first site for an innovative high-technology cultural Internet broadcasting project two years ago. The Globe and Mail reported on January 22 that the project, called the Digital Indigenous Democracy (DID) will help give birth to a new breed of grassroots filmmaking. It is centered in 10 communities of the Nunavut and is expected to make a big impact, i.e., “It could have a big impact on the use of indigenous languages in digital media and on how isolated Northerners understand — and perhaps alter — the futures being dreamt for them in office towers in Calgary and Toronto.“ Zacharias Kunuk Fifty-six year old Zacharias Kunuk is a Canadian Inuk director and producer. The multi-awarded director is widely known for “Atanarjuat,” the first dramatic feature film in Canada that was filmed entirely in the Inuktitut language. Inuktitut is also called Eastern Canadian Inuit or Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, one of Canada’s principal Inuit languages. Kunuk is the co-founder and president of the Igloolik Isuma Productions, an independent Inuit production company, which is the first in Canada. His partners include Norman Cohn, Paul Apak Angirlirq and Paul Qulitalik. Climate change project He was the grand winner in nine film festivals around the world, including Cannes. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002. With Ian Mauro of the School of Environmental Studies of the University of Victoria, he co-founded the Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change Project. The project aims to collect information on the impact of climate change on the Inuit environment and culture from the Inuit elders’ perspective. The project will be turned into a film later and they have already submitted a project video to the United Nations in 2009. Big plans for the Inuit community While his cultural Internet project was started two years ago, Kunuk is more inspired than ever because of the technological advances in communication. The changes that have happened in the past two years provided Kunuk with the experience and the means to protect and possibly strengthen the language and lifestyle of his people. He and his partners want to save languages that have survived for 4,000 years. Kunuk wanted to build an Internet that is capable of working audio-visually so that his people will be able to use the Inuit language. Their project was started with an initial $1 million grant from the experimental stream of Canada Media Fund. They were hampered by the low-bandwidth at that time, forcing the Northerners to use text in English to communicate. They are in the process of installing cheap DID media player to stream programs locally from the Isuma catalog. The locals in the 10 communities are learning to create films and some are already into it, putting their work in their own local playlists. Isuma plans to put up a TV station as well. The Digital Indigenous Democracy got its start after Zacharias Kunuk intervened formally during the proposed Baffinland iron mine hearings in 2012. He presented Isuma video interviews and call-in radio shows, arguing that the multimedia conversations clearly indicated the obligation to consult and inform the indigenous people. Isuma later broadcast the Baffinland mine hearings in Pond Inlet and Igloolik live, which prompted the inclusion of multimedia consultations with the indigenous community throughout the mining project.www.daynews.com

DID in the News!

Isuma TV set to broadcast Mary River hearings Nunavut Impact Review Board hearings scheduled for Jan. 27 to Jan. 31 in Pond Inlet BY PETER VARGA Isuma TV will do live coverage of the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s public hearings on Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s scaled-back Mary River project, set to take place Jan. 27 to Jan. 31 in Pond Inlet. NIRB’s hearings will assess the potential impacts of Baffinland’s revised plan to extract and ship iron ore out of a mine some 160 kilometres south of Pond Inlet. Plans drafted in 2012 called for the ore to be transported south by rail to Steensby Port, and out of Steensby Inlet south of the mine. After public hearings by the NIRB, the Baffinland received a project certificate for the first version of their proposal. The corporation changed those plans at the start of 2013. To cut costs and earn sales revenue more quickly, Baffinland proposed instead to transport the material north of the mine and out of Milne Inlet, at the north end of Baffin Island. This plan calls for ore to be shipped out of a facility called Milne Port, near Pond Inlet. As it did in 2012, IsumaTV will broadcast NIRB’s next hearings via online radio and video through its Digital Indigenous Democracy site. “These hearings are likely to be more contentious than the first round in 2012,” IsumaTV stated in a news release announcing its broadcast plan, Jan. 20. “Both the Hamlet of Pond Inlet and the community’s Hunters and Trappers Organization as well as two individuals from the community, have filed formal interventions.” The online broadcaster announced it will stream each day of the NIRB hearings live in Inuktitut and English, starting Jan. 27 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, through Igloolik’s online radio hub. Also, Zacharias Kunuk of IsumaTV will host a live bilingual TV talk show every evening after each day’s hearing “to address issues raised at the hearings with community members and participants,” the broadcaster said in the release. Live video coverage and additional footage will also be available on the site. IsumaTV’s live audio coverage and Kunuk’s daily webcast “will also be broadcast through local community radio channels and IsumaTV’s television network in Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Igloolik, Taloyoak, and Pond Inlet,” the broadcaster said. NIRB’s hearings take place at Pond Inlet’s Community Hall every day, Jan. 27 to 31, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Nunavut Planning Commission has already held public hearings on the project in five communities, Jan. 7 to 10, to verify that the revised transport route for the ore complies with the North Baffin regional land use planwww.nunatsiaqnews.com

Final hearing on Meliadine mine will be in Rankin Inlet

The final hearing on the proposed Meliadine gold mine will be held in Rankin Inlet, likely in August. The Nunavut Impact Review Board decided Rankin Inlet was the best location since the site is only about 24 kilometres from the community. Agnico-Eagle is proposing to mine five gold deposits there, year-round. It's expected to produce about 3 million tonnes of ore each year for 13 years. If approved, Meliadine would be Agnico-Eagle's second gold mine in Nunavut. The Meadowbank mine near Baker Lake opened four years ago and is now Agnico-Eagle's largest gold producer. Before the final hearing, NIRB wants more information from the company on things such as dust mitigation, the impact of marine traffic, and where the workforce will come from. Agnico-Eagle said its final Environment Impact Statement will be ready by mid-April. Then NIRB will set the date for the final hearing.www.cbc.ca

DID in the National News!

Celebrated son of Igloolik creates cultural Internet for his peopleBY ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN The Globe and Mail The current, community-curated Arviat playlist includes videos of last summer’s Rockin’ Walrus Arts Festival in Igloolik; the recent Kunuk documentary Inuit Cree Reconciliation; and Madeline Ivalu’s 2007 film Umiaq, about a group of elders who decide to build a traditional sealskin-covered boat. The playlists change, but the content is overwhelmingly about Northern lifestyle and language – two things that the resource rush stands to change drastically. “We’re experimenting with how you can cross not just a digital divide, but a divide in perception and world view,” Cohn says. “To have the [resource] debate all in the extraction language, rather that in the land language, already makes it a lopsided debate. You have very limited ways in which local opinions can be expressed. [DID] can completely change the rules of the participation game, the way the Berger Inquiry did in the Northwest Territories 40 years ago, when it levelled the playing field between indigenous communities and the Alaska pipeline.” It’s not enough, he says, to write information pamphlets in Inuktitut syllabics, which were invented by missionaries as a way to teach the Bible and aren’t widely understood among people under 60. It can be tricky to set up a DID channel in a small place that you can’t reach by road and that is seldom visited by cable technicians who may be based in Winnipeg. A media player was installed in a public library in an Arctic Bay school last summer, for example, but in October the library abruptly moved to a different location, and there was no one around who could move the service, which will probably stay down until spring. “When it’s minus 40, you may not want one of your guys climbing a pole to attach a cable,” says Stéphane Rituit, a producer at Isuma TV’s Montreal office. In Arviat, the connection was delayed while Isuma worked out the contractual details with cable provider Arctic Co-ops, which balked at the idea of letting local people (“third parties,” in contract language) upload their own content directly to the system. “My biggest frustration was to ask Arviat to slow down,” says Rituit. “You get people totally enthusiastic. They say, ‘Hey, let’s do it, go live on air, play music,’ and then you have to call them and say, ‘I’m sorry, guys, actually we can’t do that,’ ” – because it wasn’t in the cable contract. More recently, uploads in Arviat have been stalled by a technical glitch that Rituit is trying to sort out from Montreal via Skype. Digital Indigenous Democracy got started after Kunuk made a formal intervention at the 2012 hearings into the proposed Baffinland iron mine at Mary River, at which he presented 71 Isuma call-in radio shows and video interviews about the proposal. He argued that this kind of multimedia conversation was key to the legal obligation to inform and consult with indigenous people. Isuma did live audio broadcasts of the hearings in Igloolik and Pond Inlet, allowing anyone to listen to proceedings that are usually restricted to bureaucrats and industry reps. The licence for the Baffinland mine ultimately included conditions mandating multimedia consultation throughout the project. (Isuma will broadcast a second round of Baffinland hearings from Jan. 27 to 31, with evening talk shows about each day’s proceedings hosted by Kunuk.) That summer, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association asked Isuma to set up community channels in Cambridge Bay and Taloyoak, where mining activity is heating up. Julia Ogina, KIA programs co-ordinator, says four or five filmmakers in Cambridge Bay have been trained to make broadcast-ready content with community-owned equipment. “It started with the idea of getting our languages and culture more into the home,” she says, referring both to Inuktitut and to Inuinnaqtun, a dialect spoken around Taloyoak. She knows people are watching, because the moment something goes wrong with the feed, the station’s Facebook page fills up with complaints. The current playlist in Cambridge Bay includes a show about walrus hunting in the Baffinland mine area and Picture of Light, Peter Mettler’s 1994 documentary about the northern lights. Cohn says DID is inexpensive and scalable, and could extend into any number of indigenous communities here and abroad, if money and volunteers are available. One source of future funding could be the resource companies themselves. “One million dollars doesn’t go very far if you’re thinking about 10 communities, or all 26 Nunavut communities, or all the Northern communities that could or should be wired into this network,” he says. “But we’ve been counting out the pennies and wondering if we can meet next week’s payroll, for the last 25 years.” The current, community-curated Arviat playlist includes videos of last summer’s Rockin’ Walrus Arts Festival in Igloolik; the recent Kunuk documentary Inuit Cree Reconciliation; and Madeline Ivalu’s 2007 film Umiaq, about a group of elders who decide to build a traditional sealskin-covered boat. The playlists change, but the content is overwhelmingly about Northern lifestyle and language – two things that the resource rush stands to change drastically. “We’re experimenting with how you can cross not just a digital divide, but a divide in perception and world view,” Cohn says. “To have the [resource] debate all in the extraction language, rather that in the land language, already makes it a lopsided debate. You have very limited ways in which local opinions can be expressed. [DID] can completely change the rules of the participation game, the way the Berger Inquiry did in the Northwest Territories 40 years ago, when it levelled the playing field between indigenous communities and the Alaska pipeline.” It’s not enough, he says, to write information pamphlets in Inuktitut syllabics, which were invented by missionaries as a way to teach the Bible and aren’t widely understood among people under 60. It can be tricky to set up a DID channel in a small place that you can’t reach by road and that is seldom visited by cable technicians who may be based in Winnipeg. A media player was installed in a public library in an Arctic Bay school last summer, for example, but in October the library abruptly moved to a different location, and there was no one around who could move the service, which will probably stay down until spring. “When it’s minus 40, you may not want one of your guys climbing a pole to attach a cable,” says Stéphane Rituit, a producer at Isuma TV’s Montreal office. In Arviat, the connection was delayed while Isuma worked out the contractual details with cable provider Arctic Co-ops, which balked at the idea of letting local people (“third parties,” in contract language) upload their own content directly to the system. “My biggest frustration was to ask Arviat to slow down,” says Rituit. “You get people totally enthusiastic. They say, ‘Hey, let’s do it, go live on air, play music,’ and then you have to call them and say, ‘I’m sorry, guys, actually we can’t do that,’ ” – because it wasn’t in the cable contract. More recently, uploads in Arviat have been stalled by a technical glitch that Rituit is trying to sort out from Montreal via Skype. Digital Indigenous Democracy got started after Kunuk made a formal intervention at the 2012 hearings into the proposed Baffinland iron mine at Mary River, at which he presented 71 Isuma call-in radio shows and video interviews about the proposal. He argued that this kind of multimedia conversation was key to the legal obligation to inform and consult with indigenous people. Isuma did live audio broadcasts of the hearings in Igloolik and Pond Inlet, allowing anyone to listen to proceedings that are usually restricted to bureaucrats and industry reps. The licence for the Baffinland mine ultimately included conditions mandating multimedia consultation throughout the project. (Isuma will broadcast a second round of Baffinland hearings from Jan. 27 to 31, with evening talk shows about each day’s proceedings hosted by Kunuk.) That summer, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association asked Isuma to set up community channels in Cambridge Bay and Taloyoak, where mining activity is heating up. Julia Ogina, KIA programs co-ordinator, says four or five filmmakers in Cambridge Bay have been trained to make broadcast-ready content with community-owned equipment. “It started with the idea of getting our languages and culture more into the home,” she says, referring both to Inuktitut and to Inuinnaqtun, a dialect spoken around Taloyoak. She knows people are watching, because the moment something goes wrong with the feed, the station’s Facebook page fills up with complaints. The current playlist in Cambridge Bay includes a show about walrus hunting in the Baffinland mine area and Picture of Light, Peter Mettler’s 1994 documentary about the northern lights. Cohn says DID is inexpensive and scalable, and could extend into any number of indigenous communities here and abroad, if money and volunteers are available. One source of future funding could be the resource companies themselves. “One million dollars doesn’t go very far if you’re thinking about 10 communities, or all 26 Nunavut communities, or all the Northern communities that could or should be wired into this network,” he says. “But we’ve been counting out the pennies and wondering if we can meet next week’s payroll, for the last 25 years.” www.theglobeandmail.com 

Iqaluit councillors wrestle with public works capacity

Mining projects may lure trained staff away from city, director warns BY PETER VARGAIqaluit’s director of public works says the city should brace itself for the start of the Mary River iron project in north Baffin, because it could draw qualified public works staff away from the city. Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s long-awaited iron mining projectat Mary River in north Baffin awaits final approval this year. Public works director Keith Couture told city council Jan. 10, during discussions on the city’s 2014 budget, that if Baffinland offers better benefits, public works staff, especially heavy equipment operators, could be drained away. City councillors at the meeting said they’re concerned about possible staff shortages in the public works department, and asked Couture if more money should be budgeted for additional staff for road maintenance and repairs. “What we need is not just staff — we need trained staff, which is a different thing. We’re trying to upgrade our operators,” Couture told council. “I’m trying to get a bigger pool of trained people.” The director pointed to other difficulties his department faces, related to shift work and the narrow window of opportunity to in the summer for repair work, which amounts to just two months. “You’ve got to get trained staff. You’ve got to get staff that know the city,” said Couture, who took the job in mid-2012. He came to Iqaluit with more than 30 years’ experience with municipalities in Ontario, mostly in the north of the province. “It’s taken me a year or more to finally know where the roads are, with the numbering system and all that,” said Couture. “And the drivers have to know that too. Its an education, from both perspectives, from management and the fact that we’ve got to get people and offer them the opportunity to advance here with the city.” Mayor John Graham and Coun. Kenny Bell said the department’s priority should be the upkeep and improvement of the city’s roads. “Our roads are in major disrepair, and we need to at least start correcting that. And [added] staff will help with that,” Bell said. Bell described poor staffing of road crews as “a massive failure by this council — and it has been for 40 years.” Couture highlighted that, in addition to a staff training program in the works with the city’s training director, he is drafting a public works plan tailored specifically for Iqaluit, which will give clear guidelines on maintenance of roads, signage, snow removal, and staff hiring. “The plan is my vision of what the city needs, and I’m trying to put it into play,” he said. “If it’s not written down, nobody wants to do it. “I want it so that if I ever leave, here’s the book. Here’s the way it should be done,” Couture said. “It’s going to be cut and dried. We will still have to make decisions, but the majority of what we do will be written as policy.” The director said his goal is to have a complete set of guidelines ready for the city “within a year.” Coun. Simon Nattaq agreed on the importance of guidelines unique to the city, noting that Iqaluit’s roads are built on soils not found in other parts of Nunavut.www.nunatsiaqonline.ca

Public hearings start again this week for scaled down Mary River proposal

Nunavut Planning Commission looking at Baffinland's new transportation corridorBy Lisa Gregoire   The Nunavut Planning Commission will hold public hearings this week in Clyde River, Grise Fiord, Resolute, Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet to allow members of the public to share their views and concerns about Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s scaled-down iron mine proposal in north Baffin.   “Feedback received during the Public Review will be used to assist the NPC to determine whether the [early revenue phase of Mary River] meets the information requirements of Appendices J and K of the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan, and whether to recommend an amendment to the land use plan,” the NPC said on its website.   After years of hearings, technical meetings, public input and thousands of pages of material describing the scope of the Mary River iron mine south of Pond Inlet and its potential impacts on the land, water, animals and people, the proponent, Baffinland, finally got a project certificate to go ahead with the mine in December 2012.   Weeks later, Baffinland announced that because of slumping steel prices, they would be scaling back their proposal to a phased-in approach that would involve temporarily postponing construction of the railway to Steensby Inlet and the year-round port there.   Instead, they would ship only 3.5 million tonnes of ore a year out of Milne Inlet, as opposed to 18 million tonnes, and only between July and October.   This is referred to as Baffinland’s Early Revenue Phase (ERP) and includes, according to NPC documents, “upgrades to the Milne Inlet Tote Road, new permanent project facilities at Milne Inlet and increased truck traffic and shipping traffic transporting iron ore from Mary River Mine Site to markets overseas.”   The potential for greater, or at least different, impacts in those areas, prompted a new round of public consultations. For the NPC’s part, it must examine whether the revised transportation corridor complies with the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan. After that, the NIRB must consider, again, the wider potential impacts on the marine, land and social environment.   The land use hearings this week were supposed to be handled jointly by the NPC and the Nunavut Impact Review Board but instead, these hearings will be chaired by the NPC alone.   In a series of letters between the NIRB and the NPC in late November 2013, the NIRB expressed its intention to pull out of the hearings because the board felt it had not been properly consulted on the format, procedures and rules of the hearings.   For one, the NIRB preferred “information sessions” rather than full blown hearings, and the board also felt there had not been enough public notice of the hearings given to “community organizations in the North Baffin, to the Government of Nunavut, or to the general public.”   While acknowledging these omissions, “may have been the result of inadvertence, it does not change the fact that this complete lack of communication has significantly limited the Board’s ability to participate in a meaningful way in the collaborative conduct of the joint review,” wrote Ryan Barry, the NIRB’s executive director, in a Nov. 22 letter to the NPC. Despite these “regrettable developments,” the NIRB remains committed to a joint review of the transportation corridor application associated with Baffinland’s ERP proposal, the letter concludes, and it will continue soliciting public input and sharing information with the NPC.   When contacted by Nunatsiaq News, Barry downplayed the dispute.   “The NPC and NIRB have different rules of procedure which they must follow when fulfilling their respective responsibilities and this led to the NIRB being unable to participate directly in the NPC’s scheduled hearings,” Barry wrote in an email.   “However in no way do we feel this would hamper the NPC’s success in facilitating these sessions or the timeliness of either the NPC-NIRB joint review of the transportation corridor application or the NIRB assessment of the full early revenue phase proposal.”   In an email to Nunatsiaq News Jan. 7, Sharon Ehaloak, executive director of the NPC, said the NIRB’s absence from the hearings this week will have no bearing on the quality or outcome of the consultation.   “Furthermore,” she wrote, “the NIRB remains a partner to the wider [North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan] public review; they don’t need to be at the hearing for the NPC to access the information the NIRB has gathered in its review process.”   However, she is more pointed in a Nov. 24 letter to Barry. In that letter, Ehaloak defends the NPC’s actions saying it was the commission’s job to take the lead in the process and so it applied its own criteria as a result.   She told Barry public hearings are necessary because the “information sessions” that the NIRB had previously conducted for the railway, “merely informed the public that the NPC and the NIRB were reviewing the amendment application,” and thus didn’t allow Inuit and other members of the public to “meaningfully participate” in the process.   “The NPC is of the view that greater public involvement in the review of the ERP is necessary to satisfy the NPC’s express and implied obligations in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to act in the public interest,” Ehaloak wrote in the letter.   The low-level tiff between the two organizations highlights the continuing convoluted nature of development in Nunavut which requires complex approvals from a variety of boards that have specific jurisdictional responsibilities under the land claim.   For years, the Nunavut Government, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Government of Canada have tried to streamline the process.   In June 2013, the federal Northern Jobs and Growth Act received royal assent and included within it, the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act, which is meant to make the review process “more efficient and predictable.” The problem is, the NIRB and NPC say they don’t have enough money and capacity to achieve the federal government’s goals.   In January 2013, NIRB and NPC representatives told a House of Commons committee that they were already stretched to the breaking point with current responsibilities to take on new tasks involving, among other things, translation and access to information obligations.   Those wishing to attend the public hearings this week in north Baffin can find a schedule of times and places here. While the NPC encouraged participants to give prior notice if they wanted to speak and submit their written comments in advance, time has been set aside on each day’s agenda for oral comments from the public. The NPC’s rules of procedure for the hearings can be found here. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca 

Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline approved by energy board

The benefits of the Northern Gateway pipeline to bring Alberta crude to the West Coast outweigh its shortcomings and it should be allowed to proceed, a federal review panel says.The much-anticipated report was released from National Energy Board headquarters in Calgary Thursday afternoon, 10 years after the $6.5-billion project was proposed and after more than a year of public hearings throughout B.C. and Alberta. The final decision, however, rests with the federal government, which has 180 days to decide. In April, the panel released a list of 199 potential conditions that the proponent, Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., might need to meet should the project be approved — the report contains 209 conditions. Enbridge has scheduled a conference call response at 4:30 p.m. Mountain time Thursday. The 1,170-kilometre project would deliver 525,000 barrels of petroleum a day from the Edmonton area in a 36-inch pipeline through northern B.C. to a tanker terminal in Kitimat, on the West Coast. A 20-inch pipeline would move 193,000 barrels of condensate, a light petroleum liquid, per day east back to its starting point to be used to thin heavy oil for transport. The project is a lightning rod in the debate over global climate change and raised concerns about the possibility of an oil spill on land or off the coast of B.C. The British Columbia government told the panel it did not support the pipeline as it was proposed and more than 130 aboriginal bands signed a declaration against the project. Enbridge has promised double-hulled modern oil tankers and 20 per cent thicker steel than required, on average, on the pipeline. It has agreed to set aside $1 billion to cover potential accidents. The pipeline would allow Canadian oil producers to reach the emerging markets of Asia and free them from their sole major export market in the United States. Northern Gateway's volumes are effectively fully spoken for by Alberta producers under long-term contracts. In a report Thursday morning, Scotiabank commodity expert Patricia Mohr said export oil pipelines are vital to Canada's future economic health. "While probably not in place until 2018, the pipeline would help to narrow recently wide 'light' as well as 'heavy oil' price discounts off WTI (New York-traded West Texas Intermediate), which have been so costly for the Canadian economy," she pointed out. The Kitimat terminal would have two ship berths and storage for three condensate tanks and 11 petroleum tanks. It would also include a radar monitoring station and first response capabilities.www.vancouversun.com  

Nunavut youth in Ottawa give thumbs down to uranium mine

"I feel like our territory is in very good hands” BY LISA GREGOIRE OTTAWA — After a passionate debate last week over whether Nunavut should allow a uranium mine to go forward west of Baker Lake, students at the Ottawa-based Nunavut Sivuniksavut program decided that no, it isn’t worth it. Some emphasized the need for jobs and economic growth while mitigating impacts on the environment. Others argued the marine and terrestrial environment are too vital to the Kivalliq’s future to be threatened by uranium mining. In the end, they seemed to side with people like Nicole Hachey from Baker Lake. “I don’t think the mine should go ahead,” said Hachey, 18, during a conference call from the NS school in downtown Ottawa Dec. 13. “There is already a gold mine operating now and it’s going good and it’s given people jobs and opportunities, but it’s also increased the alcohol and drug rates in the community and it’s hurting families.” She said people are also concerned about caribou migration through the area, and worry that another mine will entice people to drop out of school and work menial jobs at the mine, creating short-sighted dependency on jobs that won’t last. Areva Resources is in the final stages of approval for Nunavut’s first uranium mine, about 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake. The potential mine, estimated to hold about 51,000 tonnes of uranium, would be located at two sites, Kiggavik and Sissons, and it would include a total of four open-pit mines, an underground mine and a processing mill. Proposed infrastructure would consist of a landing strip, worker accommodation, access roads to Baker Lake and between the two sites, and a dock and storage facility at Baker Lake. The NS debate was held as part of the students’ Land Claims I course, which is currently covering the institutions of public government: the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, the Nunavut Water Board, the Nunavut Planning Commission, and the Nunavut Impact Review Board. Acting as members of the NIRB, students had to read through all the background documents and public comments submitted to the NIRB so far as well as the Areva Resources proposal, said NS instructor Dan Guay. “It’s very complicated stuff,” Guay said. “I have the highest regard for our students, but I was amazed that they met this challenge head on and ran with it.” Each student then had to make a speech explaining what side they were on and why. Because of the number of students enrolled in NS, the class is split into two. Guay said a majority of students in both classes were against the mine. Two women who disagreed with the majority, and supported the mine, were Marley Dunkers and Uliipika Irngaut. Dunkers pointed to the huge high school drop-out rate in the territory and the number of Nunavummuit on welfare. She said so long as Inuit require Areva to adhere to strict mitigation plans and then monitor the outcomes, there’s no reason Nunavut can’t benefit from the jobs and prosperity that would come from the mine. “I think it should go ahead with conditions,” said Dunkers, 20. “We’re learning a lot about the land claims here at NS.  We’re learning about what we should do to figure out a plan for the future. If we make a proper safety plan, and talked about it with elders and community members, we can discuss proper mitigation.” Irngaut, 18, agreed. “I believe it’s good because obviously there aren’t a lot of jobs available and that’s always a problem in Nunavut,” she said. “Two weeks on, two weeks off, is perfect. You get to spend time with your kids and your family and then you work for two weeks, make money for your family.” But Dunkers and Irngaut stressed that wildlife and environmental concerns would have to be addressed before they would support the mine. Dunkers said she appreciated the opportunity to speak her mind and be honest without fear of being belittled or criticized. She said too often, youth are told to speak up but then their voices are ignored. “Everyone always says youth are tomorrow,” Irngaut added, to punctuate the thought. “But youth are today. We are here today.” Guay said the big lesson he wanted students to take away was that, sure, these decisions are complex, multi-faceted and filled with emotion but back in the 1970s, Ottawa or Yellowknife would have decided what to do whereas now, it’s up to Inuit to decide their own fate. And if NS students are any indication, the future is bright. “It gave me a lot of hope for the future of Nunavut. Our northern youth are so smart and just seeing these guys in action through our debate just re-emphasized that for me, just how capable our young people are,” he said. “Whatever they decide in the future, whether it’s uranium mining or something else, I feel like our territory is in very good hands.”www.nunatsiaqonline.ca NUNATSIAQ ONLINE COMMENTS: #1. Posted by Bob on December 16, 2013 “She said people are also concerned about caribou migration through the area, and worry that another mine will entice people to drop out of school and work menial jobs at the mine, creating short-sighted dependency on jobs that won’t last.” Instead, they can stay at home, sleep in every day, still not go to school, collect welfare, and still do all the booze and drugs that they want to. It’s sad that when the choice is between work or welfare, that many people are choosing welfare. #2. Posted by Yup on December 16, 2013 These kids are free to express their opinions.  But I hope we aren’t taking economic advice from them. Someone has to pay for the social housing and social assistance. #3. Posted by North Star on December 16, 2013 Good to hear this kind of learning happening now. This is long overdue, Nunavut Gov’t should be teaching our kids political science that affects our children (northern flavor). Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, if we don’t educate our kids what they need to know and learn, Nunavut will keep spending millions on lawyers, consultants, and other profeesionals with regards to the N.L.C.A. #4. Posted by That Guy on December 16, 2013 It’s easier to cast aspersions on an entire race than it is to consider that students (clearly people who are not on welfare, and who aren’t living on social assistance) may not agree with their worldview. Commenters like #1 and #2 find it easier to live in a black and white world where “they” (meaning “we”) are a monolithic, one-dimensional population. It must eat them up inside that Inuit own all this land. Désoleé :( #5. Posted by Realist on December 16, 2013 Don’t be too hard on these kids. Most of them are social promotion victims who are flown to directly Ottawa for an NS program that gives them no real education but lots of propaganda. Forgive them. Fortunately, their leaders at NTI and KIA and the other Inuit organizatinos have a better understanding of Nunavut’s economic needs, which is why the Inuit leaders support the mine. The leaders just know a lot more. This is why older people are leaders and young kids like these are not leaders. #6. Posted by Somebody on December 16, 2013 I don’t know about you guys, but what Nicole said is in fact very true. The risks of uranium contamination to the environment, wildlife and people are not worth an economy boost in the immediate area. Especially if AREVA decides to store the waste on site for hundreds of years. The community will reap the benefits from the uranium currently, how will their future kids and grand kids deal with the contamination that cause cancer and birth defects?  There are many ways to create jobs that create income, don’t depend on the worst possible exploration proposal. What about investing in tourism and Inuit art for example? #7. Posted by Kathryn on December 16, 2013 I am a student here at Nunavut Sivuniksavut, and you guys might think that we are learning nothing but YOU GUYS ARE WRONG. A lot of things we are learning what people in our communities should have taught us about our culture we are learning here, things about our people we are learning here. And just a point of view those minerals that are going to be mined ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE so whats the rush? Aren’t the caribou what inuit depend on for traditional food? what abut wolf or foxes those are what we depend on too and they are going to be affected and if the inuit lose those what are we going to turn to? Just saying as a Nunavut Sivuniksavut student #8. Posted by Bob on December 16, 2013 @4 It’s not “me” that’s casting aspersions on an entire race. I just repeated what the students themselves said and put it into context. The “jobs” are not “forcing” people to drink and get high. They’re doing that anyway.  All the public health indicators in Nunavut support that. How can you know they are clearly not on welfare/social assistance by reading this article? Just by looking at their picture?  I don’t think it matters either way if they were on it or not.  There is the fact that a large number of people in Nunavut are on social assistance. There was an article in NN the other day about it. The fact is that jobs are desperately needed in Nunavut right now to support its growing population, what it has now is not enough. Why would it eat me up that you own the land? Even with the land, you’re still getting billions of dollars from the south. I’d rather see Nunavut self sufficient, which mining could help with. #9. Posted by I'm still here on December 16, 2013 It’s hard to imagine kids anywhere coming out in favour of a uranium mine. This is an unsurprising and predictable outcome. I’m impressed by the two who came out in favour of the mine though, their thoughts seem well balanced to me, and they’ve obviously defended an unpopular position. Good for them. There are a couple parts of this story I found quite bizarre however. First, that the drug and alcohol rate has increased with the operation of a gold mine in Baker Lake is plausible, but is this problem ‘caused’ by the mine, as implied above? Of course not. The mine has increased the wealth of the community, and so the correlation exists, but only by people’s choices. Also, that “another mine will entice people to drop out of school and work menial jobs at the mine, creating short-sighted dependency” seems like poor rationale against job creation. It might be true because of the low value given to education, but what’s the option, welfare? #10. Posted by Inuk on December 16, 2013 You think that NS students aren’t leaders, and that they aren’t learning anything? From my experience, NS people do learn things that you probably don’t know crap about. Why would you have such a cold heart to put down people who are actually trying to make a living for the Inuit’s future?? One day you’ll see one of the NS students running the territory of Nunavut, and you’ll regret what you said. Maybe you guys will even be working for them? Haha. #11. Posted by Leeanne on December 16, 2013 Young kids like us?!? OMG! You’re not not going to live forever, as youth we need to take role. Theres a reason why we are in this school, learning about how to deal with all of this. Dude we’re the future of Nunavut. We want to keep our land and our culture food. If the mine were to open more and more people will be into drugs and alcohol more then ever.  Older people are our leaders but when there gone who’s going to be the leaders? Us (the youth). Thats why we are here so we will be the leader. Read the Land Claims Agreement, Art.5 is the biggest, its about NWMB, in order to have our animals we NEED the land! Commenter #5  “Don’t be too hard on these kids. Most of them are social promotion victims who are flown to directly Ottawa for an NS program that gives them no real education but lots of propaganda. Forgive them” Wow I’m not sure who you think you are, but hack I dare you to go check out the school and see if its not real education. #12. Posted by George Sallerina on December 16, 2013 To post number 5 I am A student of NS and we are getting a great eduaction. Realist don’t comment on something you dont know about. Inuit have great Inuit organizations that work hard for both the land and it’s people. Also our Inuit elders now that made our land claims were in their early 20’s our age. All students in NS are between 17 and 25 learning about the rights that we have as Inuit. #13. Posted by Youth on December 16, 2013 Nunavut Sivuniksavut is very much an educational program, and to say ‘young leaders like these are not leaders’ is a big way to crush youths opportunities to speak up and given a voice in problems that are concerning them… #14. Posted by Somebody on December 16, 2013 I understand that in some communities there is no choice but to live on welfare and that Nunavut is in dire need of an economic boost. I understand that people need income to feed their children and to live comfortably. But in all honesty, why should we be depending on outside sources such as companies like AREVA to provide income? Inuit at one point use to live self sufficiently with nothing but the land and wildlife as their only resources. Inuit were inventive and innovative, they invented some of the worlds best hunting tools such as the buoy and the toggle head sakku. Uranium is dangerous. Uranium tailings and waste rock remain radioactive for thousands of years. It can contaminate the environment, the wildlife and the people. Although science has found solutions to help prevent contamination for this generation, it does not mean the science will remain effective for out grandchildren and their children. Research also shows that there is already approx. 200 million nuclear waste #15. Posted by Somebody on December 16, 2013 Rods that need to be stored in the Canadian Shield in tunnel systems and that uranium will only be used for approx another 40 years as a power source. Why should we invest in something that is only a temporary fix? Why not invest in something that will be around forever such as wind, solar and tidal power? There are other, safer ways to generate income, it just might take being inventive and innovative. #16. Posted by just sayin' on December 16, 2013 Great to hear intelligent young NS students articulating their thoughts on important issues of today and tomorrow—and politely disagreeing when it turns out that they have reached different conclusions. It’s enough to give one a glimmer of hope for the future. #17. Posted by Inukman on December 16, 2013 Look! The inuit leaders were in their mid 20’s that were fighting for our own territory! isn’t that young? there are more people who are actually working at RIOs went to Nunavut Sivuniksavut! youngest MLA went to NS. just around 30s! and Tommy Akulujuk 29 year old, young adult who just got recently elected was in NS. look, young inuit taking part of their believes for nunavut! yes NUNAVUT! there is one inuk person who went to NS is a guard for Parliament Building! I am a student at NS and i think that we should be support more about our ideas because one day, we will be your leaders. our leaders today won’t be leaders for long. #18. Posted by ᐊᐸᕐᖃ on December 16, 2013 As a student attending Nunavut Sivuniksavut, which by the way is a great program, I could not just sit here and bite my tongue about the comments. It’s ironic because people tell us to raise our voices, to chase our dreams and then say disheartening comments like #4. “No real education, but lots of propaganda?” “Social promotion victims?” We have learned a lot, more than we would have if we stayed home. It’s really discouraging to see comments like these. But we are the future, that’s inevitable. We are standing up to our opinions. Some of the students are worked up, we won’t just sit here and be criticized. #19. Posted by Somebody on December 16, 2013 Apaqqa!!!! XD #20. Posted by Bill on December 16, 2013 I hope they teach writing at NS, some of the commentators above could use a course or two if they really want to lead Nunavut into the future. #21. Posted by Bob on December 16, 2013 @15 “Why should we invest in something that is only a temporary fix? Why not invest in something that will be around forever such as wind, solar and tidal power?” Because none of those sources with the exception of tidal is really viable for Nunavut.  A community needs to have “reliable baseload power”. This means a certain amount of power that is available 100% of the time.  The sun goes up, the sun goes down, so that it’s not solar.  Wind turbines oddly enough can’t be used when it’s too windy. Plus, ice is an issue and climbing to the top of these things for regular maintenance isn’t easy given the weather. There’s been a proposal to build hydro dams near Iqaluit. The QIA is against it because apparently it interferes with one of their member’s favorite fishing spots… Watch a movie called “Pandora’s Promise” if you want a factual look at the benefits of nuclear power. #22. Posted by Nkc on December 16, 2013 NS is a great program that has benefited Inuit students by helping them learn& understand about what Inuit have faced during the years to create Nunavut& help Nunavut reach where it is now. The students taking the program that have had this debate have their own opinions of why they would say yes or no to the uranium mine and that is their opinion, it was just a class not the actual debate. Who are you to say that it isn’t real learning when it has helped students become more successful in life by helping give them a better education to get a better future. NS is their first step out of high school. Taking NS is better than staying home, being on welfare and doing nothing with their lives. If that’s what most people see they should take a look at the NS website, watch the videos and see where ns has taken most of its students and how it’s helped them. #23. Posted by Somebody on December 16, 2013 Thanks #21.  A question, I know this could probably be a costly idea, but what if there was a combination of all three sources? The maintenance could be an issue but this could create more jobs for those who are in need would it not? I may not know all the facts, but I am interested in learning.  If there were a system that could cover off each power source when one wasn’t working due to no sunlight for example, a tidal source could perhaps kick in? Is that even possible? #24. Posted by Emotions Called Debate? on December 17, 2013 Interesting the students are ok with gold mine, as when a gold mine is closed company can walk away leaving tailing ponds as is – company doesn’t have to monitor it for decades after. Or have financial plan with funding in place to draw from for decommissioning a mine after mine has been closed or walked away. Uranium mine before the licensing of the mine, a full decommissioning plan must be in place with financial guarantee in place, to be drawn from over decades during decommissioning the mine after it has ended.  The students are ok with continued burning of fossil fuels, dumping tons of Co2 into the air for electricity production? Without looking at Micro Nuclear Electrical Power Generators (handles baseload) benefiting Nunavut? Heard from Canadian Nuclear Association, Canada Nuclear Safety Commission, Areva,NIRB? Considered warming Kivalliq possibly causing caribou to leave area? Heard of Baker Lake drinking alcohol, cigarette smoking decades before mine? #25. Posted by What?!? on December 17, 2013 This seems to be a sensitive issue.  For those discussing the possibility of using nuclear as energy source, think twice! Northerners all know that the new vehcile models (all makes) have modern technologies that will work for few weeks and then the sensors start acting up thus your investment in desperate need of a mechanic, which requires an education that you claim that we don’t have. Now imagine this, say Nunavut got into nuclear energy and we all know dealing with nuclear requires know it all. God forbid the natural disaster. Again, you claim we don’t have education, who else would be able to maintain nuclear energy at -30 to -45C? We all know what happened at Japan’s Fukushima power plant! Problems with containing it and Japan now in dire need of help globally. Now get this, you guys even cannot work together based on comments above. WOW! #26. Posted by Replying to #23 on December 17, 2013 #23 I am not #21 and will reply to your questions.  A combination of all 3 electrical generating ideas still wouldn’t work as it all comes down to baseload as #21 said.  Base-load is what the power grid can handle steadily hour after hour day after day without causing a black out.  Creating jobs for electrical power generation would increase power rates, above the current burning of oil.  All would demand lower rates and go back to burning of fossil fuels.  Alternative electrical generation is to get away from burning oil or coal both creating tons of Co2.  It’s urgent now as world has almost hit the 2 degree rise in temperature mark.  Hit 4-6 degrees above, world goes on but humans may not because land can’t grow crops or animals. Google Micro Nuclear Power Generators. A $100,000 unit can handle baseload power for BL over 25 years,  possible lower power rate, no flooding land, no oil burning, by using tiny bit of uranium. Refreshing #23 you’re thirsty for knowledge. #27. Posted by Iqaluit on December 17, 2013 @25 Comparing 3rd and 4th generation nuclear power plants with Fukushima really demonstrates that you do not know anything about modern nuclear power plants. Fukushima was built in the late 1960’s-early 1970’s and was a water cooled design. The only similarity between Fukushima and a 4th generation plant is that both are referred to as “nuclear power plants”.  4th generation plants don’t even use water for cooling, and have passive instead of active cooling systems in place which are inherently safer. The micro nuclear plants that an earlier poster mentioned don’t even need onsite monitoring.  Between the fiber optic line that would be online in less than 2 years, and a satellite for backup, there’d be enough bandwidth to ensure coverage. The temperature “outside” has nothing to do with the running of a nuclear plant “inside” since the power lines it uses are the same ones that exist now. Going nuclear would make more sense than continuing to run diesel generators 24/7. #28. Posted by Ethelanne on December 17, 2013 I’m currently an NS student!.It’s specifically for getting us ready for college life! Pre-college I’d call this(Nunavut Sivuniksavut)program…We get great experience learning reality(Budget money,paying bills etc), getting familiar with city life and being away from home for a long period of time for the first. This program is a great opportunity to prepare us for College. I sure hope this program keeps going! #29. Posted by Putuguk on December 17, 2013 Good gracious, this is just a critical thinking exercise that every college or university student would do. An excellent teaching method and well worth doing. However, we need the follow through. All the IPGs being studied at NS make decisions on a TK, technical and scientific basis. All these areas of thought require huge amounts of subject matter knowledge. For Inuit to be an effective part of the process, NS Students should be going on to study the sciences, engineering and living on the land. Knowing the NLCA is a good start, but it is not enough. If we want to be fully involved in these types of decisions, we need Inuit doctors, engineers and physicists. NS Students; please do not stop, keep going after finishing NS and continue with University and College. #30. Posted by h s p on December 17, 2013 How many NS grads go on and graduate from university? How many NS students hold down meaningful full time jobs after either partially completing or completing NS? What is the first year drop out rate for NS students? Nunavut HS does not prepare Nunavut students for college or university. And way too much racism on this thread (again). Bloody southerners should stop being so bitter. #31. Posted by Bob on December 17, 2013 @30 It’s funny that in your rush to call out racism in these responses, where in fact the responses are just pointing out facts based on evidence, that you make a somewhat racist remark yourself by painting all southerners with the same brush. #32. Posted by really? on December 17, 2013 Pandora’s promise is a load of garbage. It’s unscientific propaganda for the nuclear industry. The realities of climate change and carbon emissions are so much more complex. Nuclear is no ‘quick fix’—it isn’t capable of resolving the climate crisis. It’s also overly expensive. It also creates a TONNE of very very dangerous waste that must be stored forever. Bob, if you want to be taken seriously, do some real homework. #33. Posted by 5 + 5 = 9 on December 17, 2013 Almost 30 years now, I think we are about to see big changes at NS and I hope so.  NS is no different than any institution except they are very good in advertising and looks good from afar.  When I look at NU leaders I admire them, self-made leaders with combination of strong home and strong self.  #30 general public below 60 does not know NS I think the north is talking.  Not many schools with 50 students or less operate with their own board and with 6 to 10 instructors…....success rate should be 80% or higher for both yr. 1 & 2.  It would be interesting, if the former Inuit staff were also interviewed. #34. Posted by Bob on December 17, 2013 @32 The only people criticizing it are people who are funded by Big Oil and environmentalists whose heads are buried in the sand.  The science in it is quite sound. Nuclear is the “only” method that’s capable of seriously addressing the climate crisis. It’s zero emission.  It’s only expensive because we don’t build reactors in great quantities yet.  The science of 4th generation nuclear reactors is inherently safe.  And if you knew anything about 4th generation nuclear, you’d know that the waste that is created lasts only a few hundred years (with present technology) compared to the thousands of years that present nuclear waste can last. Renewables like wind and solar are just not practical for the power needs of 24/7 communities, especially in the Arctic.  Nuclear wouldn’t be as expensive if it was adopted more. It’s all about scale. You build one of something, it costs a lot, you build hundreds of the same thing, costs go down. #35. Posted by What?!? on December 17, 2013 #34, it’s called mass produced! #27: monitoring remotely, are you serious? Since we are dealing with nuclear energy, on-site monitoring would be ideal, better yet I would demand on-site monitoring.  Say something happened and it would take two days to get to a community, especially as remote as Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay! I live in a community where I know two government owned buildings are monitored remotely and there is always some technical glitch to it. On few occassions the remote monitor did not do its work.  When maintenance personnel did their rounds, sure enough there was a problem with the system and the remote monitor did not pick up the problem.  Now, having to remotely monitor nuclear energy, that is a disaster waiting to happend like a ticking bomb. #36. Posted by North Star on December 17, 2013 For the NS students watching this thread. Stay in school! Hope all or most of you will return to NS or continue in your schooling, the education will continue when you get into the workforce. Uranium mining is a sensitive issue as you can read in the thread. Educate youselves, look at where you are now whether it be social passing or hard earned work/studies and years of going through the much discussed education system in Nunavut. (Sounds like most of you should be on welfare, drinking, doing drugs, being part of dysfuctional familes)Like all young generations around the world you are caught in a changing world. I’m sure there were mistakes when Rome was being built, and you can look at the canadian government even after 200+ years of governing, there are still issues we deal with today. 50+ years for Nunavut self government, hang in there students, you are becoming part of a fast changing world! You can have the best of both worlds! Reach for the stars! #37. Posted by Somebody on December 17, 2013 I still dont like the idea of depending on scientific technologies to insure that the environment will not be contaminated. I mean look at what happened in the golf of Mexico, the EIS said that it was unlikely that something catastrophic would happens to harm the environment and wildlife. Maybe I just won’t budge on my standpoint where I believe nuclear energy is a bad idea.  After all generators were invented and are placed in building where power is absolutely necessary to function. Nunavut still experiences power outages from time to time and it hasn’t caused any major issues that I know of. Maybe having occasional power outages will give people of break from technology and be forced to actually spend time with each other? Overall, I can’t seem to articulate any major negative impacts on solar, wind and tidal power. #38. Posted by just sayin' on December 17, 2013 “Bob”, you crazy guy: Nuclear power is only “zero emission” if you ignore everything involved in mining uranium, refining uranium (massively energy intensive), building the reactor, operating the reactor, decommissioning the reactor, and storing the high-level nuclear wastes (which neither Canada nor the US has yet found a safe way to do, despite having spent billions trying). And all the transportation for all of the involved. The total emissions of nuclear power generation are massively greater than zero! #39. Posted by Denise Bélanger on December 17, 2013 To Inuit students: REMEMBER YOUR CULTURAL IDENTITY.  LOVE FROM YOUR FAMILIES AND FOR YOURSELF. The future is yours’ and all good come your way.  #40. Posted by Bob on December 17, 2013 @37 I don’t quite get your argument. You say you don’t want to depend of scientific technology to ensure the environment will not be contaminated, so what’s your alternative? It seems to me that the only alternative would be to…completely abandon the use of technology…which isn’t a feasible option. If you’re talking about the big oil spill in the Gulf, something like that is possible in every Nunavut community since they all use diesel generators. All those generators use millions of liters of diesel fuel every year.  All that exhaust is going into the air we breathe.  People are afraid of nuclear because they are un informed for the most part. The power outages in Nunavut are causing major problems. They fry electronics, the lack of heat bursts pipes, people can’t work leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity.  An extended outage would be life threatening. Solar and wind aren’t viable for the reasons stated earlier. #41. Posted by Bob on December 17, 2013 @38 Nuclear power produces zero carbon emissions during the entire energy production process. The burning of fossil fuels produce massive amounts of emissions during the mining of the fuels, and during the burning of the fuels during the energy production process. So not once, but twice here. Refining uranium is not massively energy intensive when you use nuclear power in the first place. Building and operating the nuclear power plant itself is not that different from other types of electrical generating plants. Everything that you talk about applies to regular power plants as well for the most part. As I said earlier, the nuclear waste from new 4th generation plants under development lasts only a century or two. The carbon emissions that coal and diesel plants emit stays in the atmosphere for “hundreds” of years, and warms the planet as well. There is way more transportation involved with fossil fuel plants than nuclear, emitting more emissions. #42. Posted by mack on December 17, 2013 LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE,they are stimulating debate,for and against, by the way bob, thanks, you have given me more info to think about, sounds like you know what your talking about, #43. Posted by critic on December 17, 2013 Bob, You are quite the fan of nuclear power. Aside from all the benefits of nuclear power you see (no bad aspects, at all, apparently?), let me change the subject. Would you like to live near a Uranium mine? Would you like to work at a Uranium mine? Would you like to ship uranium across your home country land? That is what the AREVA proposal is about. Not just about making power. It is about mining, transporting, and cleaning up Uranium contamination. In Nunavut. There are no uranium mines close to southern communities, ie. non-native towns, in Canada. All uranium mined in Canada today is from Aboriginal territory. I wonder why?  Maybe it is because, when Uranium exploration or mining is proposed near non-native towns, people freak out. No way, they say. If you are going to recommend pandora’s promise (pro-uranium), then I will recommend this article about it: http://grist.org/climate-energy/some-thoughts-on-pandoras-promise-and-the-nuclear-debate/ ps.u with nti? #44. Posted by critic on December 17, 2013 Bob, on the Nuclear electricity argument…. Nuclear advocates (like bob) start from a premise that nuke is the only feasible replacement to fossil fuels, especially coal. Yet, other non-fossil alternatives clearly WORK and DO exist. So implicitly, debate reduces to cost. What’s it cost to reduce carbon emissions? What’s the cheapest, fastest way to do it? Nuclear has risks that renewables and efficiency do not. Among them cancer, genetic defects, accidents, terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation (not to be disregarded considering Iran, Iraq, Pakistan,India, N Korea). In Nunavut’s case, possible contamination of caribou calving/post calving grounds forever. Whatever advantages nuclear has over renewables are presumably worth the additional lost lives & impaired health, or we won’t choose one over the other. #45. Posted by Bob on December 18, 2013 @43 To your 3 questions… would I like to do it? I’ll admit it’s not in my present skill sets but if I had no other job or career, sure I would. There have been mines in Ontario and Saskatchewan.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining_in_Canada).  @44 Non fossil alternatives can work “in some instances”, but they simply lack the ability to produce the amount of power that is required for most large communities, especially if those communities have heavy industrial plants.  Most renewables with the exception of hydro/tidal aren’t feasible for Nunavut either. Making solar panels is a pretty toxic process by the way. You talk about lives lost. How about when the planet warms up by another 2 degrees over the next century? The permafrost melts, which then increases globlal temps another 6-8 degrees.  Then you’re talking massive flooding and population die offs from starvation…yeah I’d choose nuclear any day with that prospective outcome. #46. Posted by Critic on December 18, 2013 Bob, You’re correct, there have been uranium mines in the south. Only past producers in Ontario. Uranium mining banned in BC and Quebec. What do they know that we don’t? Or do we need the money more than them? I guess this depends on your viewpoint, and what you are prepared to sacrifice for money. Caribou? Nuna? Health? Water? It is a waste of money too. “Nuclear’s main problem is economics, which its supporters seem oddly unwilling to discuss, opting instead for one lay psychological diagnosis of their opponents after another. The subject of economics is broached passingly, if at all… ...It is the most socialist of all energy industries, propped up by governments everywhere it exists…. ...Nuke plants are hellishly expensive to finance, build, insure, and decommission. It’s one of the most expensive ways to reduce carbon emissions and it’s not getting any cheaper.” Google Deline Uranium. Google Navajo Uranium. Google Aborigine Uranium. Read and think. #47. Posted by Max on December 18, 2013 This is the problem with people who make climate change “the” environmental issue. They’re willing to do anything to address it, without any regard for what sort of toxic radioactive crap they leave behind. Further, when climate change is “the” issue, people assume it can be fixed without fundamentally changing society. To actually address climate change, without causing a host of other environmental injustices, requires us to dramatically change the way we organize ourselves economically. We live in a system where planned obsolescence, massive amounts of waste, and global chains of manufacturing are necessary. If we can move beyond those problems, to a system that focuses on human needs and environmental health rather than corporate profits, we’d be going in the right direction. A simple technical shift to nuclear is NOT the answer.  

Idle No More fight continues after tough 12 months

A year after 1st national day of action, activist vows to push for changeBy Ryan McMahon  The other day, during one of our famous Winnipeg winter storms, I watched dozens of parents pull their kids to school on plastic sleds and overpriced toboggans and I thought to myself, “those kids have legs — what the hell are they doing being pulled to school by their parents.”   These kids weren’t babies. They weren’t even toddlers. They were grade school kids. Grade school kids with legs. I heard the parents joke about the fact that dragging their kids to school was the “toughest thing they’d do all day.” I don’t have an anger problem, in general, but I walked home that day fuming.   I’m not sure what triggered the anger. My thoughts on parenting aside — it really bothered me that I felt so angry. It bothered me that I had such a reaction to such a small thing. I smudged on it. Slept on it. Prayed on it. A day or so later it came to me. I am tired. So many indigenous people in Canada are tired. The hardest thing we face in our communities daily is not dragging our kids to school in sleds and toboggans. The list grows daily. The answers elude us. The frustration grows. Elsipogtog. LubiconCree Nation. Attawapiskat. Northern Manitoba. The fight for our women, The flight for our children. Poverty. Addictions. These are just some of the hardest things we face in our daili lives. The support wanes. The players change. The teams stay the same. And we fight. And fight.It’s been a long year. An intense year of focus. Growth. A year of being Idle No More. A year of rebuilding. It’s been beautiful. And ugly. Every day is a struggle. We live in crisis. We work in crisis. Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence gave us the strength to demand a better deal. To sit at the table with all partners in this relationship. Her demand was simple — indigenous communities, government and the Crown together at a table. It easily could have happened — but it didn’t. The takeaway from a year in the movement — we need to do things differently. We can do things differently. The conversation has changed this year. Our youth are more engaged on the ground. Our women are taking their rightful places at the front of much of the grassroots planning. As hard as the fight is, it’s given us much to focus on. The land is my godLet me put it this way - the land is my god. All the land gives me, from my traditional territory, is what I use to keep me well. The land, water, plants and animals are all present at my ceremonies. We don’t separate ourselves from the land.   Why do we fight for the land? For practical reasons — yes. Dirty water kills us. Poisoned fish kill us. Clear cutting destroys ecosystems. But it's also bigger than that. My religious beliefs depend on the land, ise the land and without that, I cannot be Anishinaabe.Treaty relationship and Indian Act Treaty is not honoured today in this country and it cannot be honoured inside the Indian Act system. We must not settle for anything less than treaty enforcement.   We will continue to lead ourselves out from under the Indian Act. The colonial relationship has to change. It’s fundamental. We need Canadians to demand it. We need indigenous people to demand it. This outdated, racist and oppressive legislation was meant to kill Indian people in this country. Law and legislation was never written for idigenous people to flourish. It was meant to kill us. We don’t want the Indian Act tinkered with — we want it gone. Decolonize everything We need to remind ourselves that we don’t need permission from any government or politician to be Anishinaabe, Nehiyaw, Mohawk, Mi’kmaq, Metis, Inuit. We can live this way everyday.   Not all of us understand what this means. It means language, culture, ceremony and teachings. It means returning to ourselves. It means calling for an end to the violence in our communities — violence experienced in multiple ways by our women, children, men, and elders in our communities. We must restore the love and support in our relationships. 'I vow to continue to fight' The largest indigenous movement in this country is in front of us. Yes, it’s still a movement. We’re still working. We’re still pushing. We’re still asking people to join the fight.   We have a lot to do. Most people have more questions than answers. Some of the answers are there. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal People and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are decent places to start to look for answers. I vow to continue to fight. I will take my place in the circle and fight. I’m going to continue the fight with a sled in my hand though. I’m going out to buy one today. I want my daughters to feel the privilege and entitlement those other kids have if not for just a few minutes a day. They deserve it. And hopefully when they’re my age the fight won’t be as hard.www.cbc.ca 

Supporting the Actions of Indigenous Peoples

Idle No More & Defenders of the Land Support the Actions of Indigenous Peoples of Elsipogtog, Barriere Lake & Lubicon Lake Nation to Protect Their Waters, Lands & ForestsIdle No More and Defenders of the Land networks call on Indigenous Peoples and Canadians to support Indigenous Nations currently engaged in protecting their lands and waters against the corporate-sponsored agendas of the federal and provincial governments.  In the past month, the Mi'kmaq of Elsipogtog, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and the Cree of Lubicon Lake Nation have been involved in land protection struggles to defend against invasive extractive natural resource development (natural gas exploration, drilling for oil & natural gas/fracking and clear cut logging) taking place on their territories without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). In each of these land struggles, there are people camping and protecting lands outside in extreme winter weather conditions before the holidays to keep industry activity at bay. Despite weather dipping to -30º C on some days, men, women, children and Elders continue to protect the land to ensure their grandchildren and future generations have something left for their sustenance and livelihood. We condemn the collusion between the Federal/Provincial governments and corporations who work together to implement economic development plans and activities that disregard the Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty Rights held by Indigenous Peoples. Sylvia McAdam, an Idle No More organizer stated "we are against shale gas exploration and fracking. We do not support puppet regimes that endorse extractive industry natural resource development on Indigenous lands. We support the FPIC of the Indigenous People's impacted by extractive resource development on their Indigenous lands." Russell Diabo, a member of the Defenders of the Land network, added "the Lubicon Lake Nation protectors are rights holders and are to be commended for their personal sacrifice in camping in the bitter cold to stop unauthorized oil and natural gas development on their traditional lands." "The Canadian and provincial government's current energy and mining policies are designed to destroy the environment. If they are genuinely interested in reshaping Canada's energy policy in a positive direction they must recognize and affirm Aboriginal and Treaty Rights on the ground," said Arthur Manuel, a member of the Defenders of the Land network. [Note: Idle No More and Defenders of the Land are Networks of Indigenous Peoples/Communities and Canadians who are committed to protecting the environment, waters and lands while promoting the sovereignty and rights of Indigenous Peoples and Nations.] SOURCE Idle No Morewww.digitaljournal.com  

A proposed uranium mine in Nunavut is causing concern in Saskatchewan

The Athabasca Denesuline don't want the uranium moving through — or over — their traditional territory. At issue is Areva Resources’ Kiggavik project near Baker Lake. Areva proposes to fly concentrated uranium from Kiggavik to northern Saskatchewan, then move it from there by truck and train. In a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Athabasca Denesuline say they’re worried about possible accidents and "irreversible destruction" to the environment. Barry McCallum of Areva says the concerns are overblown. “Impacts to wildlife would be expected to be low, localized and temporary,” he says. “Because spills are relatively easy to clean up. And that's all in the draft environmental impact statement" Areva plans to fly about 5,000 tonnes of concentrated uranium each year the 800 km from Kiggavik to Points North, Sask., likely using a Hercules C-130 aircraft.  That would average almost one plane load per day. The Athabasca Denesuline says the flight path would be almost entirely over their traditional territory. Nobody from the Athabasca Denesuline was available to speak to CBC. The Kiggavik project is still under review. Areva hopes to start mining by 2020, at the earliest.www.cbc.ca

Nunavut residents consider future of oil and wildlife in Lancaster Sound

"Will the oil and gas potential have a role in this? Absolutely." BY DAVID MURPHY There’s an ocean of oil lying under the proposed conservation area of Lancaster Sound, Nunavut. But the area is also home to more than a million birds, Canada’s largest polar bear subpopulation and an estimated 75 per cent of the world’s narwhals. Which makes Lancaster Sound spectacular in many ways. Members of the public heard a lot about oil, gas and wildlife Dec. 2 at a public consultation meeting in Iqaluit to discuss a proposed National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound, the body of water which separates northern Baffin Island from Devon Island. If the conservation area is approved, there would be no oil and gas extraction there, but it all depends on how the map is drawn. It’s still in preliminary stages and areas rich in natural resources could be excluded. There certainly is incentive for that. Based on the most recent Parks Canada research in Lancaster Sound, the seabed contains 13 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 4.5 billion barrels of oil. “These are very large numbers, ones that we don’t often use,” said Natural Resources Canada project geologist Danny Wright. “It’s hard for us to imagine how much that is.” That amount of oil is comparable to the Hibernia oil field, off the coast of Newfoundland — the world’s largest oil platform. Lancaster Sound is not the largest oil field in the world — that title goes to Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, thought to contain more than 100 billion barrels of oil. But there’s still a lot of oil, explained Wright, enough to supply world demand for 50 days. He warned that it’s just an estimate. To be sure about how much oil is in the sound, “you would have to go there and do drilling,” Wright said. Parks Canada didn’t even look at other alternative gases, older rocks,  and a few other ways gas can be stored. “There could be potentially more oil and gas in Lancaster Sound,” Wright said. The tentative proposal for the National Marine Conservation Area by Parks Canada would cover just over 40,000 square kilometres. “It’s actually quite huge,” Carey Elverum of Parks Canada said. The reason Parks Canada is looking to protect the area is because critical wildlife thrives there. There are “several species at risk” in the area, which include “bowhead, beluga, narwhal, and polar bear, that rely on Lancaster sound for critical life stages,” said Francine Mercier of Parks Canada. About 75 per cent of the world’s narwhal population and 20 per cent of the beluga population reside in Lancaster Sound. In addition, it’s home to 17 per cent of the Canadian polar bear population — the largest subpopulation in Canada. “It also supports the largest seabird colonies in the Canadian Arctic. There’s about 350,000 pairs of seabirds. And if you count the non-sea birds, there’s about a million birds there,” Mercier said. The amount of oil in Lancaster Sound doesn’t necessarily put the conservation area in jeopardy, said David Monteith of Nunavut Parks and Special Places.  “The end result of the feasibility study is going to be a report that will have a variety of options,” Monteith said. “Will the oil and gas potential have a role in this? Absolutely. We’re just not sure what that will be,” he said. “I wouldn’t say the oil and gas potential will be the deciding factor — I think it’s just one component,” Monteith said. The president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and the environmental ministers for the governments of Nunavut and Canada all have to agree on a proposed plan. But there’s a long way to go before the proposal takes shape. Parks Canada is still in its feasibility assessment stage. After that, a steering committee report, an Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement and an interim management plan all need be completed before Parliament can pass the proposed conservation area.  For now there are some discrepancies on what the map should look like. The QIA travelled with Parks Canada to the affected communities of Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet, and Clyde River. The regional Inuit association then compiled data based on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit. Their proposed area extends both west and east — at each opening of the Sound — from what Parks Canada is recommending. The QIA boundary also cuts through land that has been leased out by the Canadian government to oil company Shell. It is unknown how long the lease lasts, but the lease began several decades ago, according to the QIA. “We’ve got to take in all information that feeds into the decision. Once we’ve been to all the communities, gathered all the information,” Elverum said, “the six steering committee members will sit down and look at all the information we have to make a decision on a recommendation.” The QIA and Parks Canada will travel to the six communities again in early 2014 to get more feedback on their revised plans.  www.nunatsiaqonline.com NUNATSIAQ NEWS Comments: #1. Posted by eskimo joe on December 04, 2013 here’s how any deal should be like; iiba should change as follows: closet communities to sites for developments should receive 50% of any royalties of any sort (mining, oil doesn’t matter), 40% to the people of the region where development will be and the reminder to rio’s. sounds good? make this happen baffin then you will hear qia whistling a different tune. why should all that $$ goes to qia? so the staff can travel more? higher wages? benefit of the staff? better staff housing, more company vehicles? when inuit orgs screw up, they do screw big time. case in point baker lake should have taken most of the meadow bank benefits, not david and company. #2. Posted by Selling Out?! on December 04, 2013 Seriously, why would this even be a consideration?! The impact this would have, aside from the possibility of a catastrophic accident, is so outrageous I, for one, have to strongly protest. This area, among others and all for that matter, is so entirely critical to the species that will be affected it is another step in the wrong direction for Canadians, humans and sadly the wildlife, which again come last in our selfish processes! Shame on us! LJP #3. Posted by jimmyy on December 04, 2013 Enough to supply world demand for fifty days? Is that worth risking damage to the environment? I have no idea!! #4. Posted by Selling Out?! on December 04, 2013 Meant to add that as well, jimmyy. 50 days…sickening! #5. Posted by Think about the consequences on December 04, 2013 I can’t believe eskimo joe is already considering the money involved. Although I know that big oil is a mammoth monster and under the conservative government, it has been hard to stop their progress, but I would hope that everyone would consider the future of Nunavut’s environment.  Listen to this: 16 of the worlds largest cargo ships emit as much sulphur pollution as ALL CARS OF THE WORLD COMBINED. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1229857/How-16-ships-create-pollution-cars-world.html) Now consider the fact that the IIBA for the Mary River Iron ore project was just approved and shipping to the north will increase dramatically starting in the summer of 2015 and increase year by year, eventually shipping year-round.  The money flowing into Nunavut will be good economically, but will be an environmental disaster from just the increase in emissions. Destruction of our earth for generations, all in the name of advancement today. losing faith in humankind. #6. Posted by Psea on December 04, 2013 I cant get my head around that this has even remotely been considered. The current government will not address the effect of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming so forget about them backing the people of the north and protecting their livelihood and way of life. This is some of last untamed wilderness on earth. Say no to this rape of the earth. Money spent on oil and gas exploration would go a long way into sustainable green energy.  TAKE A SNIFF HARPER . You cant even run your own office above board why should you run the country any differently. David Suziki was right. #7. Posted by Bob on December 04, 2013 @5 There really isn’t that much money flowing into Nunavut from these projects, compared to the amount of money that the federal government injects into the GN each and every year. The only money that Nunavut/GN could receive, would be a percentage of the “after cost” revenue that is generated.  Production costs in Nunavut for any mining/oil/gas project are incredibly high, so the money left after isn’t much, and most is pocketed by the select associations and their close associates. Most of the consumables these mining projects use are not bought locally, they’re brought up from the South.  The same is true for most of the workforce.  The vast majority of the Nunavut population will not see any benefit from these projects. #8. Posted by jimmyy on December 05, 2013 Well I am not an expert, but Iknow that there are a lot of Inuit employed at the Mary River Project. The said employees pay taxes, and support their families. I might be wrong, but this is not costing the GN any money, I don’t think they are even involved in training, although the GN has trained a lot of HEO over the years. This is now paying off!! #9. Posted by jimmyy on December 05, 2013 Whatever the reason hamlets are in debt and laying off employees. We have to support (feed) our families!!

QIA releases public version of Mary River IIBA

Royalty rate still not disclosed, few agreement details not included in plain language versionThe Qikiqtani Inuit Association released the public version of the Mary River Project Inuit Impacts Benefit Agreement Dec. 6 — an agreement that sets out the working relationship between Nunavut Inuit and the Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation. “It is QIA’s wish to share theIIBA openly,” said QIA president Okalik Eegeesiak in a Dec. 6 release. “We believe this will provide an opportunity to strengthen our implementation efforts.” The agreement would likely direct millions of dollars into QIA’s coffers after the mine moves into commercial production. The deal also came with a signing bonus. But most of the financial arrangements contained in the IIBA remain confidential, including royalty rates and land lease payments, although QIA said “amounts received as a result of the project will be reported at each annual general meeting.” The full impact and benefits agreement provides few details that aren’t already included in the plain language guide that was first released this past September, when QIA officially signed the deal with Baffinland. The agreement lays out how royalities will be paid to QIA: quarterly, beginning with the first quarter after commercial production begins at the mine. The royalty payment is defined as “the net sales revenue for a period multiplied by the royalty percentage.” However, the royalty rate is no disclosed. Those payments can be re-negotiated after 30 years, or once 1 billion tonnes of iron ore have been mined. As part of the IIBA, an implementation budget will be created along with several funds, which include: • business capacity and start-up fund — $250,000 per year paid by BIMC until commercial production begins; • Ilagiiktunut Nunalinnullu Pivalliajutisait Kiinaujat Fund (a fund to offset negative social or cultural impacts created by the project and to help distribute benefits) — $750,000 per year paid by BIMC and QIA equally for the first six years; • education and training fund — $1 million for the first two years the IIBA is in effect, paid by BIMC; • scholarship fund — $25,000 each year paid by BIMC; • workplace orientation programs; and, • money to pay the costs associated with implementation of any rights, obligation or requirements of the IIBA. An executive committee will be established to oversee implementation of the IIBA, made up three senior representatives from the QIA and another three from Baffinland. That committee will meet four times a year, and will be tasked with coming up with the minimum Inuit employment goal at the mine; reviewing a list of training and education opportunities for Nunavummiut and looking at contract award issues. Both the executive committee and a separate management committee respond to the need for any dispute resolution. They’ll also hire two IIBA coordinators, along with Inuit monitors, an elder in residence, a QIA employment and training coordinator and environment monitors. Baffinland is in the process of building an iron mine at Mary River in northern Baffin Island that start by producing 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year.www.nunatsiaqonline.ca   NUNATSIAQ ONLINE Commentsas of December 10, 2013: #1. Posted by Tommy on December 09, 2013 Too bad only handful of people will actually benefit from this deal - not necessarily the beneficiaries - funny how NTI just increased the annual wages distributed to QIA, now signing bonuses and withheld info from those that serves - this is all wrong right from the get go #2. Posted by InukShook on December 09, 2013 I know several beneficiaries and long time Nunavut residents who applied directly with Bafinland for jobs they are qualified for and been rejected or ignored. Meanwhile the 737 charter jet is flying up form St Catherines Ontario is full of non-Inuit workers. The Inuoit from Pond, Clude, Igloolik etc are only working in menial jobs. Just like Nanisivik and Cornwallis Island, majority of wqorkers will be from the south. #3. Posted by Richard on December 09, 2013 Here is what I see is causing the problem with these so called agreements. Three representative from QIA and three from Baffin Island. Why is the company involved with the process that determines where or how the money is distributed and spent? It seems that all over the North, companies are coming up with hair brain ideals that serve very little good or meets very few priorities in our communities. These so called funds must be managed by the people it was meant for. No exceptions. #4. Posted by pissed off on December 09, 2013 I agree with no 1 and 2  But don’t forget that the jet flying these people is   “”“” Owned by an Inuit Company”“” Or so they say! What a joke!!! #5. Posted by Olympic Trip Success on December 09, 2013 How is this “openly” when facts are withheld? Did the lure of signing bonus get serious thinking put into the back pocket for the pressure of instant bonus “loss” to take over thinking? For 30 years royalties are locked in at, who knows what rate, because they cannot be re- negotiated. When it’s hush hush it doesn’t sound like one side got a good deal. Does that mean the royalties in 20 years, 2033 are still at 2013 rate? Or do the royalties increase over the years, covering inflation/cost of living? Why isn’t QIA talking with the facts? Are we people like the polar bears, wildlife getting next to nothing, only covered for the first 2 or 5 years of the 30 years mine? Will ITK be barking for the bears in Nunavut and people or saying shhh it’s our backyard.? Giving the free Olympic trip seems to of been an outrageously successful strategy. #6. Posted by Tommy on December 09, 2013 This deal no longer serves the Inuit Interests, only the few Interested Inuit.  Okalik likely has generous pay as Prez from QIA and now a Signing Bonus from BaffinLand?  Why is QIA so secretive? There is no competetion directly with this deal - all sole sourcing done by Baffinland to keep the costs from over inflation and pure profits from pure extracted iron.  The true cost of this pure Iron is sure profit all around - so why all the secrecy #7. Posted by Truth on December 10, 2013 And the rich get richer, especially execs on these orgs! Where’s money to help me with food? Freight ? Hunting? Like usual these orgs that are supposed to protect OUR birthright just look out for themselves. I am sure the prez made her best frind the MP happy and the can both look forward to board positions with the corp and living down south permanently in the future #8. Posted by Pilipuusi on December 10, 2013 Everything else aside, QIA is a private Corporation legally owned by the Inuit of the Qikiqtani region. It is not a publicly owned corportation. As a regular beneficiary in the community I feel isolated from the decision makers as much as any other beneficiary. But if you bring you NTI card and insist on seeing something only meant for beneficiaries, I bet you would get a lot more information than a non-beneficiary. The key word here is ‘beneficiary’. If you live here and are not a beneficiary - get over it. #9. Posted by Observer on December 10, 2013 Uninformed quote from #5 “Or do the royalties increase over the years, covering inflation/cost of living?” If you read the article it says the royalty is a fixed percentage of Baffinland’s net sales revenue. Sales revenue, not profit. So this means it does not matter if Baffinland makes a profit. The more iron ore they sell the more royalty cash will flow into QIA. The value of the sales revenue will go up and down with the price of iron and it will go up and down with the rate of production at the mine. If Baffinland goes ahead with a future railway and port and 12 month shipping, the QIA royalties will quadruple and maybe more. If the royalty percentage rate were known it would be pretty easy to come up with a ballpark figure for total royalty revenues every year. Problem is, probably 95 per cent of Baffin beneficiaries are too uneducated to understand this kind of information anyway. This of course will make it easier for all the thieves inside the Inuit corporations to grab huge amounts of cash for themselves. Bring on the Baffin kleptocrats! #10. Posted by Laughing Out Loud on December 10, 2013 Its funny reading the comments, they are all the same. The question is. Did the beneficiaries actually think they would benefit from the trip to the Olympics? Sounds to me that Harry, Okalik and Levi just got GOLD. If you don’t stand up for yourselves you will get taken advantage off by the Gold diggers. Don’t be so GD naive. That’s why you have the right to vote and denounce the wrongs against you. It is sad that there isn’t a Mandela amongst you. Congratulations to Baffinland let the bottom line grow..Big corporations know how to make money.. 

The Bell Tolls for Free Entry in Canada

Legal Victory for Yukon First Nation Will Have Implications Across the CountryThe Ross River Dena First Nation have learned that the Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the Yukon Government’s appeal of an earlier decision that sharply rebuked the territory’s free entry mineral staking regime. This means the earlier decision of the Yukon Court of Appeal stands. Ross River took the government to court over its practice of allowing mineral claims to be staked and early exploration activities to occur on the First Nation’s traditional lands without prior consultation or accommodation of their Aboriginal rights and title. (Yukon Conservation Society has a great animated graphic of claim staking in the Yukon.) The Judge hearing the case for the Yukon Court of Appeal agreed and found in favour of Ross River requiring the Yukon government to consult and accommodate Ross River’s Aboriginal rights and title before claim staking and before any exploration activities occur. While the need to consult on later stage exploration activities is fairly well established in Canadian case law (though not respected in all jurisdictions) this is the first time the courts have clearly indicated the need to have consultation BEFORE a prospector or mining company stakes a property. The decision is an important recognition that claim staking is not free of impacts to Aboriginal title as it establishes a 3rd party interest that can greatly encumber future decisions about the land. The Yukon government argued that they did not have a duty to consult because they were not actively making decisions about claim staking or early exploration. The Court of Appeal Judge didn’t buy that, stating: “The duty to consult exists to ensure that the Crown does not manage its resources in a manner that ignores Aboriginal claims. It is a mechanism by which the claims of First Nations can be reconciled with the Crown’s right to manage resources. Statutory regimes that do not allow for consultation and fail to provide any other equally effective means to acknowledge and accommodate Aboriginal claims are defective and cannot be allowed to subsist.” As is to be expected, there have been hyperbolic statements from the Yukon Prospectors' Association about the sky falling in on the industry. CBC quoted the Association’s president saying that: Anything that detracts from the Yukon's otherwise good reputation as a place to invest in mineral exploration will make it tougher for us at the bottom of the food chain to defend the properties we're exploring. The Prospectors' Association fails to recognise that persistent conflict and lack of clarity about the process for reconciling Aboriginal rights and title are as likely (if not more so) to scare away investors, as are extra steps involved in staking a claim, early consultation or the removal of some areas from access to staking in order to respect Aboriginal rights and title. The need to address Aboriginal title before claim staking is likely to have implications across Canada as there is no jurisdiction that has a system in place to do so. Parts of some provinces and territories may be compliant with the Ross River decision on claim staking if a land use plan identifying areas open for staking has been agreed to with the Aboriginal peoples of the area. There are, however, relatively few areas where this is the case. The requirement to consult before any exploration activities occur is likely to require modifications to most existing consultation processes. A possible exception is Ontario, where new regulations require consultation by mining companies before they file work plans or request exploration permits. Provincial, territorial and the federal governments will likely argue that the decision doesn’t apply to areas with historic or modern treaties as their interpretation of the treaties is that they extinguish all prior Aboriginal rights and title. Aboriginal signatories and some legal experts disagree with the Crown’s interpretation of the treaties and will likely push to apply the decision more broadly. Areas without historic or modern land-based treaties include most of B.C., parts of Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador, and all of the Maritimes.  In theory, there should be few barriers to applying the full scope of the Ross River decision to these areas. The Yukon government was mandated by the court to respond to its decision by the end of the year but their response so far indicates they do not intend to apply the decision outside of the Ross River area. Whether other territorial and provincial governments see the writing on the wall remains to be seen. If past history is any indication, it may take more lawsuits to ensure they live up to the standard established by the Ross River case - a pattern that has caught the attention of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Committee's 2012 report on Canada expressed concern "that Aboriginal peoples incur heavy financial expenditures in litigation to resolve land disputes with the State party owing to rigidly adversarial positions taken by the State party in such disputes." NOTE: The full Ross River vs. Yukon Court of Appeal decision is quite readable and available here. A few select quotes are included below. [43] I fully understand that the open entry system continued under the Quartz Mining Act* has considerable value in maintaining a viable mining industry and encouraging prospecting. I also acknowledge that there is a long tradition of acquiring mineral claims by staking, and that the system is important both historically and economically to Yukon. It must, however, be modified in order for the Crown to act in accordance with its constitutional duties. [44] The potential impact of mining claims on Aboriginal title and rights is such that mere notice cannot suffice as the sole mechanism of consultation. A more elaborate system must be engrafted onto the regime set out in the Quartz Mining Act. In particular, the regime must allow for an appropriate level of consultation before Aboriginal claims are adversely affected. [51] At least where Class 1 exploration activities will have serious or long-lasting adverse effects on claimed Aboriginal rights, the Crown must be in a position to engage in consultations with First Nations before the activities are allowed to take place. The affected First Nation must be provided with notice of the proposed activities and, where appropriate, an opportunity to consult prior to the activity taking place. The Crown must ensure that it maintains the ability to prevent or regulate activities where it is appropriate to do so.www.miningwatch.ca  

N.I.R.B. hoping for more power

Regulatory board can issue terms and conditions for mine projects, but not enforce them Regulators in Nunavut are hoping new legislation will give them more power when it comes to making mining companies comply with regulations. Currently, the Nunavut Impact Review Board can only issue terms and conditions for mine projects, but doesn't have the authority to enforce those terms or punish companies who violate them.  Ryan Barry, the executive director of the NIRB, says something has to change.  "We do have legislation coming through, we're waiting for it to come into force — the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act. That actually will carry prohibitions for not being in compliance or breaking terms and conditions of project certificates," Barry said. "So that will have fines, even up to and including jail time." Shear Diamonds high priority Shear Diamonds, the owner of the Jericho diamond mine site, has failed to meet certain basic requirements to maintain and monitor the site. But the NIRB can't do much about it except ask for compliance. Shear Diamonds took over the Jericho project a few years ago, hoping to re-open the mine. But money problems interfered andShear quickly packed up and closed the site more than a year ago. It left behind barrels of waste, untreated fuel spills, and some unlucky investors. The federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has been doing some basic monitoring, but the long-term future of the site, including any cleanup, is not known. In the meantime, many are having trouble getting in contact with representatives from Shear Diamonds. "We have had enough contact to get an appropriate name and listing of a contact that does maintain responsibility for Shear Diamond's affairs currently," Barry said. "That's about as far as we've gone. "So as you'll see detailed in our public report, we really haven't had much success in engaging this particular proponent in the last year, neither have — to the best of our knowledge — other parties with monitoring responsibilities."  www.cbc.ca CBC.CA COMMENTS: AmazingNunavutAnything and everything that is in the site are now owned by Kitikmeot Inuit Association so if you "steal" you are stealing from KIA and will face justice.  You should never ever leave any site uncleaned, esp toxic fuel waste where wild animals live. This is close to a calving ground for caribou so it is a real concern.inukGriffin you do not know what you are talking about no one living in the area give me a break. Regardless if anyone is in the area clean up your mess and there are people in the area. I say let all of kitikmeot go to the mine and grab what they can no one will know.Griffin AldjoyThere's no inhabited communities in the nearby area. Bathurst Inlet was the closest community. 2011 population = 0, 2001 population = 5.  Your ethics are wonderful. On the one hand you're telling them to clean their mess up, and on the other you're telling people to go in and steal. It's little wonder that they've left if they're surrounded by thieves.Filipino Di PizzoHaving a regulatory authority, let alone an environmental assessment agency like NIRB, take care of enforcement, is like having the judge hear a case, make a decision, then investigate and go after a party if they fail to meet the terms and conditions of that decision. While I understand it may be frustrating to a regulatory authority like NIRB to see this obvious lack of enforcement, the fact is that legislation in place contain defined provisions for inspection, enforcement action, fines and ... » moreGriffin AldjoyThere is no one who lives anywhere near this mine. The land has no use in the foreseeable future for anything except mining. It's no surprise that the mining company didn't do any reclamation work. 

MMG delays Nunavut’s Izok corridor scheme for at least another year

Company continues slow-down on ambitious road, port and mine project MMG Ltd., the proponents of the Izok corridor project, a big zinc-copper extraction scheme in Nunavut’s western Kitikmeot region, will put off taking the next step in an environmental review of the project for at least one year and possibly longer.The company had told the review board earlier this year they would submit an updated project description for the Izok corridor by December 2013. But now, MMG says they want more time.   “MMG is continuing to evaluate alternative engineering options with potential to add value to the project, as well as planning for a 2014 exploration program focused on identifying more mineral resources in the Izok corridor,” Sahba Safavi, MMG’s project manager for Canada, said Nov. 13 in a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board.   And Safavi did not commit to a firm date for submission of the updated project description, saying the firm would provide the NIRB with another update during the last quarter of 2014.   Under MMG’s plan, the company would build a 350-kilometre road from the huge Izok Lake mineral deposit near the Nunavut-Northwest Territories border by Contwoyto Lake to a port on Coronation Gulf at a spot called Gray’s Bay.   That road would pass through another mine site at High Lake.   The rich mineral deposits at Izok Lake and the other properties in MMG’s collection have been known to geologists since the late 1950s.   Since then, the on-again, off-again property has passed through the hands of many owners, none of whom ever figured out how to economically mine and transport the region’s huge stores of zinc, copper and lead.   The MMG group emerged after 2009, when state-owned China Minmetals Corp. gobbled up nearly all mines and exploration projects controlled by Australia’s debt-ridden Oz Minerals Ltd.   One of those properties was a shopping basket of lead-copper-zinc sites in the western Kitikmeot that Wolfden Resources Inc. had sold to Zinifex, the company that formed one-half of the short-lived Oz conglomerate.   Wolfden’s canny shareholders may be the only people who ever profited from Izok Lake. In 2007 they accepted a $363-million share-purchase deal offered by Zinifex, which morphed into Oz a year later and then came close to going belly-up in the 2008 recession.   But when MMG’s parent company snapped up Oz, they inherited an old transportation plan for Izok that Wolfden had developed. It combined mineral production from two sites, Izok Lake and High Lake, linked by a road from Izok to Grays Bay. The most expensive piece of infrastructure in that plan is the 350-kilometre road that leads to the port at Grays Bay.   The firm filed the first version of its project description with the NIRB on Sept. 4, 2012.   After a screening, with recommendations from the NIRB,  Bernard Valcourt, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, ordered this past April 8 that the project get an environmental review under Part 5 of the Nunavut land claim agreement’s Article 12.   But soon after, MMG told the review board that they want to file an updated version of their project description prior to the start of any work on scoping and guidelines for a future environmental impact statement.   That’s because they wanted to consider “additional project design options with potential to improve the economic viability of the project.”   Until that document is filed, the project cannot move forward.   In the meantime, MMG will continue to do exploration and socio-economic, environmental and engineering studies, MMG said. The proposed Izok mine, with an open pit and underground mine under Izok Lake, would include a two-million-tonne per year concentrator, which would also process the ore from the High Lake mine.   MMG also proposed building new airstrips at Izok Lake, High Lake and Grays Bay, along with a new port at Grays Bay with the capacity to ship 650,000 tonnes of concentrate per year.   The original project description also called for 10 to 15 shipments a year to run east during an 80-day window from mid-July to October, except for the last run of the season, which would head west.   No year-round ice breaking would take place, under that proposal. Ships would avoid unnecessary ship acceleration, keep to the same course whenever possible and maintain a minimum distance from the shore.   On the haul road, MMG says it would make provisions for caribou crossing, close the road during the calving season and create water crossings to protect fish stocks. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca  

Shipping Firm Explores Alaska Port Possibility

Shipping Firm Explores Alaska Port PossibilityBy Marex Tschudi Shipping Co., one of the oldest shipping firms in Norway, will begin exploring the possibility of establishing a transshipment port in western Alaska, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell said. Treadwell, who leads the state's work with the 8-nation Arctic Council, applauded Tschudi's decision, saying it is a tremendous step toward developing Alaska's economic opportunities related to Arctic shipping. Tschudi Shipping Co. is owned and operated by the fourth generation of the Tschudi family and operates shipping, offshore and logistics worldwide with particular focus on east-west cargo flows between Northwest Europe, Central Asia and Russia including logistics in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic. Tschudi wants to establish a location to serve as an intermediate or transshipment site for goods and commodities shipped to and from Scandinavia and Europe via its port facilities in Kirkenes, Norway along Russia's Northern Sea Route and through the Bering Strait bound for Pacific U.S., Alaska or Far East ports. "Felix Tschudi understands the strategic position of Alaska and the practical value of this new ocean that's opening as ice recedes," Treadwell said. "We've long known that ports in western Alaska, including Adak and Dutch Harbor, offer a valuable global location with links to trans-Pacific routes. As we look to develop our Arctic economy, we believe this opportunity to link ports in Europe on trans-Atlantic routes to ports in Alaska will be an important first step." Tschudi, the CEO of Tschudi Shipping Co. and co-founder of the Center for High North Logistics, a non-profit research foundation focusing on transportation solutions in the Arctic, agreed. "We are pleased that Alaska sees the economic value of this kind of collaboration, and we will be working to study all possibilities and options in the coming months." Discussions with Tschudi began several weeks ago in Iceland and continued last week during a two-day workshop organized by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and the Institute of the North in cooperation with the Norwegian Embassy in Washington and the Center for High North Logistics to explore shipping opportunities. The workshop was part of an ongoing study being conducted by UAF for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED) to look at the economic opportunities and impacts that could accrue to Alaska from Arctic shipping. Presenters included U.S. Army Corp of Engineers on plans for a deep-draft port at Port Clarence and Nome, experts in Arctic ice conditions, planners examining the rail and road links from Nome/Port Clarence to Fairbanks, and those with experience in shipping along Russia's Northern Sea Route. Treadwell said the collaboration on a potential Alaska transshipment port location is a direct result of the Dept. of Commerce effort. The Commerce/UAF study will help Alaska present its case, as ports in Japan and Russia could serve the same purpose. Treadwell said Tschudi joins other European ports in Norway, Iceland, and Germany that have expressed an interest in cooperation with Alaska ports. Alaska also is working closely with its northern neighbors through the Arctic Council to improve the shipping safety in the Arctic. "Western Alaska ports, including the deep-draft ports proposed for Port Clarence and Nome, may be at the same point in our economic history that the Anchorage and Fairbanks airports were in the 1950s at the dawn of the jet age. Regular Arctic shipping is coming just as polar aviation came in the last generation," Treadwell said. "Our strategic position in the air cargo world supplies tens of thousands of jobs here today, and trans-polar shipping may have similar potential in the next 50 years." The UAF/Commerce study will continue to examine how to ensure safe, secure and reliable shipping to prevent oil spills and protect coastal communities, fishing, and hunting, how to reduce energy costs for Alaskans, how to increase the export of Alaska resources, and, how to create more jobs for Alaskans.www.maritime-executive.com 

NIRB Announces Additional Mary River Hearings

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has announced additional hearings reconsidering the Mary River Project Certificate Terms and Conditions and Process for Interventions. The NIRB first issued the project certificate to Baffinland for the Mary River iron project on December 28, 2012.New hearings are being held to assess the potential ecosystem and socio-economic impacts of the Early Revenue Phase proposal associated with the Mary River project as proposed by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation.At present, hearings are only scheduled in the community of Pond Inlet: all day January 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 at the Community Hall. Those wishing to participate in the hearings must apply to become formal intervenors by submiting a completed Intervenor Application to the NIRB by December 13, 2013. Full details on how to apply can be download here.

CanNor and QIA to collaborate on resource development

CanNor and Qikiqtani Inuit Association collaborate to promote economic development from resource development projects  The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), confirming both parties’ commitment to advance responsible resource development while promoting regional benefits in the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut.   Under this MOU, CanNor and the QIA will coordinate their efforts so that Inuit of the Qikiqtani region are best prepared to participate in and benefit from major resource and regional infrastructure projects. CanNor is putting in place MOUs as part of its overall efforts to foster a sustainable and dynamic economy for Northerners. Through its Northern Projects Management Office (NPMO), CanNor and the QIA together will identify the potential opportunities and challenges to participating in major projects, and map out a plan so that the region can grow and prosper as a result of their involvement in major projects.   “CanNor is pleased to be working in partnership with the QIA,” said Patrick Borbey, President of CanNor. "Working with communities to establish these types of collaborative tools will help us all to maximize the opportunities flowing from resource development projects."   “We are committed to striking a balance in developing resources in the Qikiqtani region and making sure Inuit not only benefit from these developments, but that our rights and traditions are respected, protected, and advanced. By signing this MOU with CanNor we look forward to coordinating our efforts with those of the federal government,” said QIA President Okalik Eegeesiak.   The Qikiqtani region of Nunavut is rich with natural resources and with the recent federal approval of the Mary River iron ore project, the region is poised to take advantage of the benefits from a major project in the very near future. The approved project has the potential to produce 18 milion tones of iron ore per year over a projected 21 year lifespan and create thousands of jobs during the construction and operation phases. The NPMO, as part of CanNor, has a mandate to improve the timeliness, predictability and transparency of regulatory processes in the North to help create a more stable and attractive investment climate in the territories. CanNor fosters northern economic development through funding programs, providing project management services, leveraging the federal role in the North, serving as a champion for northern interests, and undertaking policy and research.   Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation for the Coordination and Management of Major Projects in the Qikiqtani Region   SOURCE Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency news.qnom.es  

Nunavut regulator gives green light to $116M Nanisivik naval station

NIRB recommends 38 terms and conditions, no environmental assessment JIM BELL The federal government’s long-delayed $116-million naval station at Nanisivik ought to go ahead without an environmental assessment, the Nunavut Impact Review Board recommended Oct. 24. In a screening decision, the review board recommended the project be approved subject to 38 terms and conditions and 24 other requirements covering monitoring and reporting, wildlife protection, waste management and its potential impact on Arctic Bay’s municipal water system. Article 12 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement gives NIRB the discretion to recommend against an environmental review if they find — following a screening — that such an exercise is not necessary. At the same time, the NIRB may recommend its own specific terms and conditions. (See document embedded below.) Bernard Valcourt, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and Rob Nicholson, the minister of national defence, must now authorize the review board’s recommendations. After that happens, the defence department may go ahead with site preparation and construction work in 2014 aimed at getting the naval station up and running in 2016. If the Department of National Defence sticks to that schedule, the station would be operating by 2017, when Ottawa hopes to receive the first of its planned fleet of Arctic offshore patrol vessels. This would complete a lengthy process that started in 2006 when Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced an “Arctic deep water port” that in 2007 was confirmed as Nanisivik, site of an existing dock used since the 1970s by the now defunct Nanisivik zinc-lead mine. “Taken together, the creation of the Canadian Forces Arctic Training Centre [at Resolute Bay], the expansion and modernization of the Canadian Rangers and the development of Port Nanisivik will significantly strengthen Canada’s sovereignty over the Arctic,” Harper said Aug. 10, 2007 during a stop in Resolute Bay on his second northern tour. Since then, the two “sovereignty” projects have seen big downgrades. A scaled back version of the Canadian Forces training centre at Resolute Bay opened this past August, using pre-existing space within a building constructed for the Polar Continental Shelf Project. And in February 2012, DND informed the NIRB of major downgrades to their plan for the Nanisivik station, which was reduced to a summer-only refueling station for vessels operated by the Royal Canadian Navy, the Coast Guard and other agencies. Ottawa dropped plans for use of the jet-capable airstrip at Nanisivik that, in any case, was shut down by the Government of Nunavut, and also dropped plans for permanent staff accommodations and a telecommunications system, at the same time reducing the proposed size of a tank farm. The naval station will now carry one year’s supply of fuel, for use by future Arctic patrol ships, Coast Guard vessels and other ships. The site may also be used by private sealift vessels to hold and distribute cargo. The review board, in January of 2013, the review board rejected the defence department’s first submission, a recommendation that Valcourt endorsed in April 2013. That’s because, the NIRB found that DND provided insufficient information about the project. DND resubmitted the scheme this past August, leading to the NIRB’s Oct. 24 recommendation. The Nanisivik naval facility will also include: • use of the old existing deep water berth at Nanisivik for transportation, vessel refueling and unloading of oversized sealift cargo for Arctic Bay; • use of the small airport at Arctic Bay for transport workers and materials during construction; • use of the existing all-weather road between Arctic Bay and Nanisivik; • a helicopter landing area; • two big storage tanks capable of holding up to 7.5 million litres of naval distillate fuel; • two 81,000-litre storage tanks for diesel; • 15 drums capable of holding 3,000 litres of aviation fuel; • use of three existing trailers for personnel; • a general purpose storage building and wharf operator shelter; • a cargo storage and marshaling area; • use of a local quarry for gravel. About 50 to 60 workers will live in pre-built mobile trailers during the construction period — the NIRB recommends DND hire local people “to the extent possible.” The Hamlet of Arctic Bay will provide water and waste water management services during construction, under an agreement signed this past Aug. 19. And the NIRB recommends that the Nunavut Water Board keep an eye on Arctic Bay’s water sources to ensure the community can meet its needs while handling the extra demand from the naval station. During construction, solid waste is to be incinerated and other wastes are supposed to transported to the south for recycling. After the naval station’s up and running, solid wastes are to be shipped off site to “an approved disposal facility.” NIRB screening decision report, Nanisivik naval facilitywww.nunatsiaqonline.ca

Peregrine to fast-track analysis of Chidliak bulk sample

We’ll advance Nunavut diamond project on our own, Peregrine says NUNATSIAQ NEWS Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. said Oct. 23 that following a decision by De Beers Canada Ltd. to reject a potential joint venture with them on the Chidliak diamond project near Iqaluit, they will advance the project on their own. In a news release, Peregrine said they plan to move ahead with Chidliak, located about 120 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit, on “a 100 per cent ownership basis.” “Chidliak has benefitted greatly from De Beers’ involvement over the last year and we are cognizant of their reasons not to proceed given the challenging mining market our industry is currently experiencing,” Peregrine said. On Oct. 11, Peregrine said De Beers — under the terms of a deal struck between the two companies Sept. 5, 2012 — gave them verbal notification that De Beers will not enter a joint-venture agreement with Peregrine. Peregrine said they received written notice from De Beers on Oct. 22 and will meet with De Beers to discuss the handover of technical data. Under a previous agreement, De Beers will pay the cost of processing the first 250 tonnes of ore extracted in a bulk sample earlier this year from the promising CH-6 kimberlite pipe. Peregrine will pay the cost of processing an additional 250 tonnes, and De Beers will do the processing. The mineral concentrate produced by that processing work will be sent to the Saskatchewan Research Council to recover its diamond content. After that, Peregrine will make an initial announcement on the bulk sample’s diamond content in January, 2014, under a fast-tracked schedule. They’ll use that information to help plan their next steps, including their 2014 and 2015 exploration programs. “The results from CH-6 and new exploration and conceptual mining data generated by De Beers will be utilized to formulate optimum exploration and sampling programs for 2014 and 2015,” Peregrine said. De Beers is now controlled by the London-based mining giant Anglo-America PLC, which controls 85 per cent of the company. The other 15 per cent is owned by the government of Botswana. On Oct. 22, AAND minister Bernard Valcourt approved a joint-venture project that De Beers has stuck with — the Gahcho Kue diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, a joint venture between De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.www.nunatsiaqonline.ca

Iqaluit protestors shut down Four Corners in Oct. 18 anti-fracking demo

“We need to be prepared to talk about what our connections to the land are” DAVID MURPHY A group of about 25 protestors shut down Iqaluit’s Four Corners, the busiest intersection in Nunavut, in an Oct. 18 march supporting the Elsipogtog First Nation’s anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick. After a brief anti-fracking speech outside the Iqaluit RCMP detachment — where the protest started — the group started chanting, “Elsipogtog, Elsipogtog, Elsipogtog!” A demonstration by the Elsipogtog First Nation against a Texas-based energy company, SWN Resources, which is proposing to use the controversial fracking method to extract shale gas in eastern New Brunswick led to violence and the arrest of 40 protesters Oct. 17. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a technique used to extract natural gas or oil that is embedded within sedimentary rock like shale. Water, sand and chemicals are mixed and injected into the bedrock at high pressures to create fractures that release the natural gas, Five RCMP vehicles were set on fire and Molotov cocktails were reportedly thrown at RCMP officers during the New Brunswick protest, while the Elsipogtog First Nation alleged the RCMP mistreated many of the protesters. That sparked a social media frenzy, and led to several dozen protests in support of Elsipogtog across Canada and the United States. Protesters in Iqaluit carried signs denouncing fracking that read, “Frack you Harper” and “Nunavut needs legislation” as they marched down the middle of a foggy and cold fall day during rush hour. “Our march moves away from the RCMP detachment in a symbolic way,” protest organizer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory said. “Rather than focusing on violence and racial tension, we will turn our attention to Elsipogtog’s assertive measure to peace, health and a safe environment,” she said. RCMP lights were flashing as police redirected traffic around the Four Corners during Iqaluit’s rush hour, while the protesters marched two-by-two down Federal Road. Williamson Bathory called this protest a “catalyst for things that are happening all across the country.” “We’ve been a part of the Idle No More protest since it began and this is something that is a part of this entire movement for people to stand up to speak their views, to express their indigenous identities,” Williamson Bathory said. “As a territory that is on all sorts of waters that could possibility have all sort of oil and gas development in the future, we need to be prepared to talk about what our connections to the land are.” Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada says there is more than 14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the High Arctic based on a 1970 exploration, and the Arctic Islands are estimated to hold about 300 million barrels of oil. Karliin Aariak walked down the street at the front of the line with Williamson Bathory with a sign that had the word “fracking” crossed out. She thinks it’s about time Nunavut adopted laws to prevent fracking in Nunavut. “We need to start discussions in Nunavut so that Nunavummiut won’t have to protest like the Elsipogtog protested against fracking,” Aariak said. “So we want and [are] hoping for legislation, or to look at regulators around fracking in Nunavut — because discussions need to start now,” she said Williamson Bathory echoed Aariak’s statement. “As we walk to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement monument, let us all think about how we as a community can ensure our children and grandchildren will never have to worry about destroying our environment by fracking,” Williamson Bathory said. “Nunavut needs anti-fracking legislation. It is up to us, the people, the community to make this happen.” At the last sitting of the legislative assembly, Quttiktuq MLA Ron Elliott asked economic development minister Peter Taptuna about fracking. Taptuna said British Columbia and Alberta have used hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas “for over 40 years without any environmental issues.”www.nunatsiaqonline.ca

Baffinland CEO says no to shipping ore through Northwest Passage

Chief executive Tom Paddon says shipping route is too shallow for iron ore and coal carriers By PAUL WALDIE The head of a Canadian mining company developing a massive mineral deposit within the Arctic Circle said the Northwest Passage won't work as a viable shipping route to Europe and Asia. Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., which is owned by steel giant ArcelorMittal and private equity firm Iron Ore Holdings LP, is building one of the largest iron ore mines in the world on Baffin Island in Nunavut. The $750-million Mary River mine is on track to open in 2015 and the ore will be shipped to Europe. "In my opinion the Northwest Passage is not a transit route of any significance," Tom Paddon, Baffinland's chief executive, told the Arctic Futures 2013 conference in Brussels on Thursday. Mr. Paddon said one problem is the Northwest Passage's depth, which prevents it from becoming a major trade route. Many commodities such as iron ore and coal are shipped on bulk carriers that need a depth of up to 19 metres, also known as "capesize" vessels. Much of the Northwest Passage is only 15 metres deep. "So the iron ore business is not looking to move material from one side of the world to the other through the Northwest Passage unless somebody invents a different way to sail a boat," he said. His opinion conflicts with that of the Canadian government, which has gone to great lengths to push utilization of the Northwest Passage as a way to ensure Canadian sovereignty in the North. Canada is also worried that Russia's rival Northern Sea Route will develop more quickly as a shipping alternative. The federal government helped sponsor the recent voyage from Vancouver to Finland of a Danish ship loaded with metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel. The ship was the first bulk carrier to sail through the Northwest Passage and the voyage was hailed as proof that the route provides a faster and cheaper alternative to the Panama Canal. Some experts agree with Mr. Paddon. Kathrin Keil, a scientist at Germany's Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, dismissed the trip, noting that the Danish ship was escorted by a Canadian Coastguard vessel. "These are all stunts," she said during a break in the Arctic conference. "These are just to show we have the technology to do it. They have nothing to do with trade." Ms. Keil said Arctic shipping in general is too expensive to become a real alternative to traditional routes, even though the northern trips are much shorter. She told the conference that just 46 ships crossed Russia's Northern Sea Route last year and only 40 have made the trip this year. Many of those trips were domestic voyages within Russia and did not go all the way through to Asia. By contrast, 18,000 ships use the Suez Canal annually and 13,000 ply the Panama Canal. "It's a niche," she said referring to the Arctic route. "For certain ships, for certain commodities, for a certain time of the year." She added that among the advantages of the longer southern voyage is the opportunity to stop at ports along the way, something that can't happen in the Arctic. "You want to call at all these other ports. You want to actually serve all these other markets too," she said. Arctic shipping will remain largely "destinational," or for specific purposes such as sending supplies to mining companies or moving resources to ports, she said. "But [the Arctic] is not an all year round, global maritime trade route. That's not what it is and probably won't be." Anders Backman, an expert on Arctic shipping from the University of Gothenberg in Sweden, told the conference that he also did not believe shipping would increase significantly in the North because of the expense and difficult sailing conditions. "Maybe it will increase compared to today," he said. "But it will not be dramatic."www.theglobeandmail.com

QIA calls for review of oil and gas development

Nunavut Inuit org says Qikiqtani needs big review of oil and gas development “Not enough known” about impacts to marine wildlife PETER VARGA The potential oil and gas reserves in Baffin Bay and other Qikiqtani region waters may be huge, but Inuit of the region are not ready to support their exploration and production until they know more about the effect such projects will have on their communities. With that, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association resolved at its annual general meeting that its 13 member communities of eastern Nunavut need more information on oil and gas development in the region before they can support such projects. Some 20 per cent of Canada’s potential oil and gas reserves are thought to lie in Canadian waters off the east and north coasts of Baffin Island, according to Bernie MacIsaac, the director of lands and resources for QIA. “That 20 per cent represents $2 trillion dollars, and that’s huge,” MacIsaac told QIA board members on the final day of the association’s AGM, Oct. 11. MacIsaac told board members that Canada’s National Energy Board has long assumed that communities of the region support exploration and development in the area. But opposition to seismic testing in the region’s waters says otherwise, MacIsaac said. “Not enough is known about what the impact to marine mammals and wildlife might be in that particular survey,” he said. This, and lack of answers to questions about possible environmental hazards add up to “non-support” for the project so far. “People don’t really know what the benefits might be to Inuit in the communities,” he said. Seven QIA member communities on Baffin Island oppose seismic testing, MacIsaac said, because they fear this will affect wildlife populations — which they rely on for food and fisheries industries. Board representatives from each of the association’s member communities confirmed those concerns at the annual meeting. Many said they lacked information on the effect that seismic testing, which involves the use of sound to survey the sea floor, would have on whales and other marine animals. Simon Nattaq, community director for Iqaluit, said proponents claim current seismic testing technology has no effect on marine animals, although community members believe otherwise. Other directors pointed out safety concerns, such as the effect of oil spills, and questioned what effect oil and gas development in Greenland, across Baffin Bay, might have on animals that migrate into Canadian waters. The QIA has consistently pushed the National Energy Board to better inform the communities, “but they haven’t got all the answer to everybody’s satisfaction,” MacIsaac said. “A seismic survey leads to drilling, and drilling leads to production. So it’s the start of a chain, and we’ve got to deal with it now, before this snowball starts rolling down a hill and we end up with a situation where communities have to react to it as opposed to being involved,” he told board members. As part of its new policy on oil and gas development in the Qikiqtani region, QIA’s department of lands and resources would call for the federal government to conduct a “strategic environmental assessment” of such projects in Baffin Bay, MacIsaac said. “This would examine all the issues related to development, and establish what conditions have to be in place before oil and gas (development) takes place,” he said. “That’s the guts of what we’re working on. That nothing take place until these issues have been dealt with and examined.”www.nunatsiaqonline.caCOMMENTS from Nunatsiaq Online #1. Posted by snapshot on October 16, 2013 lets wait till technology gets better, then we’ll get our shares of the trillion dollars. #2. Posted by yes! on October 16, 2013 Finally, some sense in this situation. With Mary River opening up, there’s literally no need for oil/gas development on baffin. The region has nothing to gain and everything to lose from it. QIA and NTI should oppose it, out of principle. #3. Posted by concern inuk on October 16, 2013 Stop being childlish you same old style towards white people.  Show some more respect to corporate aspirations.  Seismic survey are not killing marine mammals because you don’t see them floating near survey sites.  This is all too familar towards white people and to any business that want to do without any tricks from DIO.  I know my Community Director who is completely racists and makes it harder for local employee if he does not like him/her.  These personal attacks has to end on super Inuit who little or have no respect with Charter of Rights and Freedoms to another individual or corporation. #4. Posted by uncertain on October 16, 2013 There are still a lot of unanswered questions that NEB themselves have no knowledge about as staff members keep deferring their questions to a later date…this may drag on for years but we have to be ready for anything. #5. Posted by The Arctic is the last global energy reserve... on October 16, 2013 Number 1, Norway has been doing offshore drilling in arctic waters for over 20 years - the technology and know how already exists.  I’m not pro-drilling by any means, but critics of it always seem to conveniently forget that one arctic nation has been doing it for a while now. #6. Posted by pros and cons on October 16, 2013 Better deal with it quick before somebody else such as the almighty American government taps into the oil reserves we have here in Nunavut. Don’t get me wrong because I too hunt and fish periodically when I have the time. Either way someone will want the piece of the pie. #7. Posted by no... on October 16, 2013 #6—there is no way the USA can lay claims to minerals off Baffin Island

Harper cabinet readies major B.C. pipelines push

Harper cabinet readies major B.C. pipelines push B.C. First Nations leaders to meet with key federal officials Sept. 23 in Vancouver By CHRIS HALLl A parade of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats will head to British Columbia starting next week as part of a major push to mollify opponents of building oil pipelines to the West Coast, CBC News has learned. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is signalling he intends to make progress on proposals to connect Alberta's oilsands with ports in British Columbia and the lucrative Asian markets beyond. The new initiative is in large part a response to a report from the prime minister's special pipelines representative in British Columbia. Douglas Eyford told Harper last month that negotiations with First Nations — especially on Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway — are a mess. Eyford's report to the prime minister, and his final report in November, will not be made public. But sources tell CBC News Eyford urged the federal government take the lead role in dealing with Indian bands on both the Gateway project and the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans-Mountain pipeline. Special Report: Northern Gateway The Alberta oilsands explainedCanada's main pipeline network  First Nations leaders in B.C. confirm they are to meet on Sept. 23 in Vancouver with a delegation of deputy ministers from Aboriginal Affairs, Natural Resources, Environment and other departments with direct oversight of the proposed projects. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, said the request to meet came out of the blue on Thursday, with no agenda — and no indication of what Ottawa is prepared to offer. "I have a sinking feeling that perhaps they're covering their backsides in terms of a consultation record,'' Phillip said in an interview from Vancouver. "And looking towards laying the groundwork that will be necessary when the decision is finally made by Prime Minister Harper and the cabinet, regardless of what the joint review panel comes forward with in terms of an approval or a rejection of these proposed projects.'' Federal bureaucrats aren't the only ones with orders to head to B.C. Starting Monday, Harper has directed key ministers on the file to promote the projects in the province. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver will continue to be the lead minister. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt will be in B.C. all next week, although the primary reason for his trip is to attend hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Others planning trips before Thanksgiving are Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq. Phillip said they have all asked for meetings with First Nations. Adding to the sudden flurry of interest from politicians, Phillip said B.C. Premier Christy Clark wrote to request a sit-down with them too, proposing a time that actually overlaps with the federal meeting. "I find it very disturbing … that there's such an urgency attached to both letters," Phillip said, noting the chiefs had heard nothing from the politicians for months, until now. Energy superpower — or pipe dream? Federal sources say the objective is to work proactively to convince First Nations, community groups, and B.C.'s government that moving oil through the province is good for the economy, and good for them. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is making a push to convince B.C. Premier Christy Clark, background, and B.C. First Nations to drop their opposition to proposed pipelines carrying Alberta oil and gas through the province for export. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press) It's the second prong in a fall campaign to realize Harper's vision of Canada as an energy superpower, a vision that so far remains just a pipe dream, when so much of the country's vast oil deposits remain in landlocked Alberta. CBC News reported last week that Harper wrote U.S. President Barack Obama in late August to propose joint standards for reduced greenhouse gas emissions for the oil and gas sector in both countries, in return for presidential approval of the proposed $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And now comes the new overtures in British Columbia, complete with a more conciliatory tone from the federal Conservatives, who until now have opted largely for confrontation over co-operation with pipeline opponents. Sources tell CBC News that the Prime Minister's Office met recently with First Nations representatives, asking what Ottawa could do to address their concerns. The meeting on Sept. 23 is a followup. Representatives from the B.C. Assembly of First Nations and Coastal First Nations are also invited. First Nations focus Federal officials say they aren't there to make specific offers, but to engage groups directly affected by both the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat, B.C., and Kinder Morgan's Trans-Mountain pipeline to Burnaby, B.C. Ottawa is also increasing its efforts to appease the B.C. premier. Clark set out five conditions to approve the controversial Northern Gateway project, including improved methods to prevent and clean up spills and a bigger share of revenues for the province. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is one of the Harper ministers who will be spending more time in B.C. over the next few weeks. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press) Ottawa already responded to some of these demands, for example, announcing new regulations last spring to improve the safety of oil tankers and oil-handling terminals, raising the corporate liability for offshore spills to $1 billion and imposing a new set of fines of up to $100,000 for safety breaches that, if unaddressed, could lead to more serious problems. But dealing with the concerns of First Nations bands remains the biggest challenge. Federal officials acknowledge that Enbridge did a poor job in dealing with bands along the proposed Gateway route. Media reports suggest the company now faces a nearly impossible task to earn local support. The outlook is better, if not exactly rosy, for U.S. based Kinder Morgan’s plans to twin its Trans-Mountain pipeline that runs from Edmonton through Kamloops to Burnaby. At least three First Nations oppose the plan, which would triple the amount of crude oil being transported each day to 890,000 barrels. Area Indian bands say the line is old and prone to leaks. One of the communities, the Coldwater Indian Band near Merritt, will be in a B.C. court Oct. 30 looking for a judicial order that would prevent Ottawa from approving the expansion without its consent. The company plans to file its formal application with the National Energy Board later this year. In an email, Coldwater Chief Harold Aljam said his band has met with Eyford, but no one from the federal government has contacted the band for a further meeting. Coldwater, he said, is still preparing to go to court. Big stakes For First Nations, the fear is the Harper government intends to push through both pipeline proposals no matter what. Much of the discussion will be about the economic benefits of the projects and the role the pipelines will play in diversifying Canada’s energy exports. Ottawa is feeling the pressure from the oil and gas industry, as well as other business groups. In a report to be released next week, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says being captive to the U.S. market now costs Canadian oil producers $50 million a day. Of that, $10 million is lost tax revenues to various levels of government. The message: someone has to show the political courage to push through pipelines. And that person, no doubt, will be Stephen Harper. The man with the pipe dreams.www.cbc.ca

Energy deals with First Nations can't be rushed, PM's envoy warns

Doug Eyford, a Vancouver lawyer and treaty negotiator, is discouraging the notion that there are any shortcuts on the road to reconciliation By JUSTINE HUNTER The Prime Minister's envoy appointed to bring First Nations onside to develop energy corridors across British Columbia is warning that much time has already been lost, setting the stage for "confrontation and resistance" rather than agreement. While Ottawa is cranking up the pressure to reach a quick resolution to provide new export pathways for Western Canada's energy resources, Doug Eyford, a Vancouver lawyer and treaty negotiator, is discouraging the notion that there are any shortcuts on the road to reconciliation. Mr. Eyford is not due to deliver his fact-finding report to Prime Minister Stephen Harper until November. But in a speech at a summit on liquefied natural gas in Vancouver, Mr. Eyford outlined a series of hurdles on the First Nations energy file, from overlapping land claims to an entrenched history of litigation. At the same time, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was also in Vancouver, expressing concern that opportunities for "billions of dollars" of development could be lost if settlements cannot be struck in a timely way with aboriginal leaders. B.C. is poised for a major energy boom, with a significant array of development projects on the drawing board, from the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to liquefied natural gas plants. Because much of the province remains subject to unresolved land claims, the federal government plays a key role in these projects, with a duty to consult with First Nations in the path of those developments. "First Nations communities are expected to become experts in energy policy and make decisions that may permanently alter their cultural connection to their traditional territories," Mr. Eyford told the LNG conference on Sept. 23. "These projects are profoundly challenging for aboriginal leaders, and confrontation and resistance are the likely outcomes if their communities are not effectively engaged during the planning and development stages." Ottawa has sought to integrate its obligation to consult on major resource projects into environmental assessments, as it did in the Northern Gateway pipeline application. But Mr. Eyford said that does not allow for the "deep consultation" required in major resource-development projects. "From a risk management perspective, governments cannot afford to stand at arms-length from projects of regional or national importance," he said. And the challenge of overlapping land claims "should not be underestimated," he said. "The spectre of endless conflict among aboriginal groups, including litigation, may influence final investment decisions." The Enbridge pipeline proposal alone would have to cut through lands claimed by 30 First Nations. Mr. Eyford was drawing on the lessons he learned from a similar case that was, like the current proposals to move heavy oil from Alberta to B.C.'s coast, deemed to be in the national interest. In 2008, Mr. Eyford was appointed by Transport Canada to resolve a dispute that was holding up expansion plans for the port of Prince Rupert. Five First Nations were involved, with overlapping and unresolved land claims. After years of litigation, the parties were entrenched and mistrustful. Delay, he said, was endemic. "I anticipated that formal agreements would be completed within a matter of months. I was wrong," Mr. Eyford noted. The file, already four years old when he was brought in, took another three years to resolve. Mr. Eyford was appointed last spring to help map out a settlement strategy, and he has already delivered a preliminary report to the Prime Minister. That report has not been made public. However, there are indications that his advice has led to a renewed effort to reach out to First Nations in B.C. Last week, Ottawa dispatched five deputy ministers to Vancouver to meet with aboriginal leaders to "better understand the issues and priorities" of First Nations for resource and infrastructure development. This week, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency offered up cash to help First Nations participate in the Northern Gateway pipeline review. Art Sterritt, executive director of the Coastal First Nations, dismissed the offer – $14,000 for his organization – as "a joke." However, he said he is hopeful Mr. Eyford is delivering a clear message to Ottawa about what needs to change. He said the efforts come too late to win over support for the Enbridge pipeline proposal, but could influence other developments in the energy sector. "Northern Gateway is dead," Mr. Sterritt said in an interview. "But if we can develop a new relationship with Canada, perhaps we can sit down and have a conversation."www.theglobeandmail.com 

Canadian spies met with energy firms, documents reveal

Government agency that allegedly spied on Brazil had secret meetings with energy companiesBY Martin Lukacs and Tim GrovesThe Canadian government agency that allegedly hacked into the Brazilian mining and energy ministry has participated in secret meetings in Ottawa where Canadian security agencies briefed energy corporations, it has emerged. Claims of spying on the ministry by Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) come amid the Canadian government's increasingly aggressive promotion of resource corporations at home and abroad, including unprecedented surveillance and intelligence sharing with companies. According to freedom of information documents obtained by the Guardian, the meetings – conducted twice a year since 2005 – involved federal ministries, spy and police agencies, and representatives from scores of companies who obtained high-level security clearance. Meetings were officially billed to discuss "threats" to energy infrastructure but also covered "challenges to energy projects from environmental groups", "cyber security initiatives" and "economic and corporate espionage". The documents – heavily redacted agendas – do not indicate that any international espionage was shared by CSEC officials, but the meetings were an opportunity for government agencies and companies to develop "ongoing trusting relations" that would help them exchange information "off the record", wrote an official from the Natural Resources ministry in 2010. At the most recent meeting in May 2013, which focused on "security of energy resources development", meals were sponsored by Enbridge, a Canadian oil company trying to win approval for controversial tar sands pipelines. Since coming to power, Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, has used his government apparatus to serve a natural resources development agenda, while creating sweeping domestic surveillance programs that have kept close tabs on indigenous and environmental opposition and shared intelligence with companies. Harper has transformed Canada's foreign policy to offer full diplomatic backing to foreign mining and oil projects, tying aid pledges to their advancement and jointly funding ventures with companies throughout Africa, South America and Asia. Keith Stewart, an energy policy analyst with Greenpeace Canada, said: "There seems to be no limit to what the Harper government will do to help their friends in the oil and mining industries. They've muzzled scientists, gutted environmental laws, reneged on our international climate commitments, labelled environmental critics as criminals and traitors, and have now been caught engaging in economic espionage in a friendly country. Canadians, and our allies, have a right to ask who exactly is receiving the gathered intelligence and whose interests are being served." Observers have suggested that Canadian spying on Brazil is related to the country's auctioning of massive offshore oil finds, potential competition to Canada's tar sands, and Canada's desire to gain competitive advantage for more than 40 Canadian companies involved in Brazil's mining sector. "There is very substantial evidence that the spying Canada was doing for economic reasons aimed at Brazil is far from an aberration," Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald told Canadian media on Tuesday. Greenwald hinted that he will be publishing further documents on CSEC. "We've already seen how Canadian embassies around the world essentially act as agents for Canadian companies – even when they're implicated in serious human rights abuses," said Jamie Kneen of MiningWatch Canada, an NGO watchdog. "We just had no idea how far they were willing to go."www.theguardian.com 

Ontario's Ring Of Fire Risks Becoming 'Wild West' Of Mining: Watchdog

An Isolated Northern Community Stands at The Crossroads Between Poverty And A $50-Billion Mining Project Staking Claim is a multi-part series in The Huffington Post Canada exploring the proposed Ring of Fire mining development in Ontario and how the First Nations communities are preparing for economic activity and the environmental and societal consequences of Canada's next resource rush.   BY SUNNY FREEMAN The Huffington Post Canada Ontario’s Ring of Fire region could devolve into the “wild west” of resource development, if the province doesn’t immediately make environmental risks a priority, warns the government’s environment watchdog. “We really only have one chance to get things right in the far north,” Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller said in a speech Thursday after presenting his annual report. “We’re talking about a really remote facility, but a huge economic opportunity for the province of Ontario.” Miller skewered the government for its lack of formal environmental monitoring in the far north, despite burgeoning mining activity in the Ring of Fire, which is said to contain as much as $50 billion in resource wealth. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s report makes two recommendations concerning the region. He calls on the government to conduct immediate and thorough environmental monitoring and to expand the scope of its environmental reviews to include the cumulative impact of a new mining frontier in an untouched region of Canada. The 5,000 square kilometre crescent-shaped development about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., contains lucrative stores of gold, copper, nickel, zinc and chromite. It is in the heart of the largest block of undisturbed boreal forest in the world, home to at-risk species including caribou, wolverine and bald eagles. Its peatlands are large carbon stores, helpful in the fight against climate change. The far north also comprises the traditional territories of some 38 First Nations communities, including the nine Matawa First Nations communities, which will be most impacted by Ring of Fire activity and which are in negotiations with the provincial government over its development. Miller said the province lacks a clear environmental plan and has not done enough to study and analyze the effects of development on the land, wildlife and the First Nations who rely on them. “Where should we put development and where shouldn’t we put development? We don’t know. Is there anybody looking? No. “Who’s looking at the cumulative effects in the watershed? Who’s looking at the broader impacts? Nobody.” The province must act now because opportunities and pressures for development in the Ring of Fire and across Ontario’s far north will only increase in the years ahead, he said. “The planning decisions that the Ontario government makes right now will not only significantly affect how the region functions economically, but will also shape the future state of this globally significant ecosystem.” The Commissioner said it is important to collect as much environmental data as possible now, before mining begins, to compile accurate baseline information because the impact of human activity will be difficult to discern without many years of data in the heretofore unstudied region. An accurate starting point is critical for governments and companies to properly predict and mitigate potential environmental impacts, as well as for the enforcement of environmental laws, the report said. Miller recommended the province make an immediate statutory commitment to long-term environmental monitoring in the far north, including the Ring of Fire. He added that it is essential that First Nations communities are actively involved and that aboriginal traditional knowledge is incorporated. “Ontario is squandering the opportunity to base future decisions on the best attainable knowledge by not immediately undertaking a comprehensive program of environmental monitoring,” he wrote in the report. “The government is also thwarting any possibility for the public and future generations to understand whether development decisions in the Ring of Fire and the far north succeed in minimizing environmental effects.” The cost of such monitoring, the report said, is likely much lower than the social, environmental and monetary costs of trying to fix problems after they have already occurred. The Commissioner recognizes that investment in monitoring might be a tough sell in the current economic climate, adding that the government should explore asking industry to help out. “It would actually make things better for business and cheaper for business as well as satisfy the concerns of First Nations,” Miller said. Miller’s report also criticized changes in last year’s budget that give Queen’s Park power to dole out natural resources and Crown land — which comprises nearly 90 per cent of the province — to industry. “We’re talking about handing over this land to third parties over which we have no control, so there’s profound change at the highest level,” he said. There are 21 companies active in the Ring of Fire region, but only two have reached the environmental assessment stage. Toronto-based Noront Resources Inc. plans to file an assessment by the end of this year, while Cliffs Natural Resources has put its on hold after hitting a number of roadblocks. Miller also recommended a regional environmental assessment which would take into consideration the effect of all of the development projects in the region. His report also said the government’s current approach to the environmental assessment process, which reviews projects individually, is “grossly inadequate in this sensitive, undeveloped and globally significant region.” “Without such a robust and interconnected approvals process, the government has unnecessarily created uncertainty about its role with respect to both conservation and development; that is both bad for the environment and bad for business,” he wrote in the report. First Nations groups and environmentalists have also called the project-by-project approach haphazard and inadequate. The Ontario Nature and Wildlands League applauded Miller’s report Thursday, saying he was right to lambast the government’s hands-off approach. “I hope the two recommendations the ECO put forward are the way to solve this,” said Anna Baggio, the group’s director of conservation planning. The Ontario government, however, said it believes its current environmental assessment process is thorough enough. “Realizing the full potential of the Ring of Fire region is an extremely complex undertaking. It’s one that our government takes very seriously, we need to get it right the first time,” said Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. He added that negotiations with the Matawa First Nations will address environmental protection and monitoring, along with regional infrastructure planning and development, resource revenue sharing and social and economic support. Negotiations between former Liberal MP Bob Rae, Matawa’s chief negotiator and former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci, representing the province, are expected to last at least a year. Matawa First Nations recently dropped a court challenge calling for a federal judicial review and a more intensive environmental assessment process. “It signals a level of confidence not just in the work of Mr. Rae and Mr. Iacobucci, but also in Ontario’s approach to the Ring of Fire development,” Gravelle said. Matawa chiefs are still not happy with the environmental assessment process, which they say does not properly consult First Nations, doesn’t consider the cumulative impacts of more than one mine and isn’t long enough. But they said they would rather reach a solution through negotiation — now that a process is in place — rather than through litigation. Environmental monitoring and a more comprehensive environmental assessment process are priorities for Matawa, said its CEO David Paul Achneepineskum. "Certainly the recommendation given in this report is something that the Matawa chiefs have been saying all along." Matawa wants the people of its nine communities to be directly involved in environmental monitoring. It is in the early stages of setting up its own program but will be looking for funding in the talks with the Ontario government. "It's something that has to be done before any development occurs," he said. "Not diving right in before considering what the environmental issues are going to be." www.huffingtonpost.ca 

Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement

QIA and Baffinland sign the Inuit Impact and Benifit Agreement for the Mary Rvier mining project in Iqaluit on September 6, 2013.Camera: Aacharias KunukEditor: Carol Kunnuk

UN's fact-finder on First Nations sets off on Canadian mission

'The idea is to get a firsthand view of the situation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada by hearing directly from as many as I can,' law professor James Anaya says By JOE FRIESEN It's a whirlwind fact-finding tour that will highlight points of tension in Canada's relationship with its aboriginal peoples, but it could also offer a road map to reconciliation. James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, begins his first visit to Canada with meetings in Ottawa Monday and Tuesday with top officials from the federal government, including Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt. He will then travel across the country to listen directly to the concerns of aboriginal people and to observe the social and economic conditions in which they live. While the visit is sure to draw attention to issues such as poverty, ill-health and conflict over pipelines and mining projects, it could also present opportunities to educate Canadians about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada endorsed in 2010, and on the obligations of all Canadians as treaty people. Prof. Anaya, who teaches human-rights law at the University of Arizona, said in an interview Sunday that he's anxious to investigate a number of issues that Canadians have written to him about in recent years, including resource development, land claims, the residential schools and the plight of missing and murdered aboriginal women. He's also interested to learn more about the outcomes of the Idle No More movement, which he followed closely. "It's a broad range of issues, but I'm really going to be guided by what aboriginal people and the government signal as the ones that are in need of still greatest attention. I don't want to prejudge what I'm going to highlight before I listen to everybody over the next nine days or so," Prof. Anaya said. "The purpose of the visit is to listen and to learn and to contribute to your discussion on how to address the challenges that are outstanding." One of the places Prof. Anaya will visit is the Ermineskin Cree Nation in Alberta. Wilton Littlechild, who is the chair of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is originally from Ermineskin and along with the chief and council invited Prof. Anaya to visit the community. He said he expects people will want to talk about a suite of pending federal legislation that will affect the rights of indigenous people, including the proposed First Nations Education Act, which seeks to modernize the organization of schools on reserve. Some aboriginal people oppose the legislation because they feel it was produced with insufficient consultation. Also, Prof. Anaya recently produced a report on indigenous people and extractive industries that endorsed the general rule of free, prior and informed consent as a basic requirement for any operation on indigenous land, an issue of pressing concern in Western Canada and the North. "He's interested in whether there are any good practices out there on extractive industries and indigenous people," Mr. Littlechild said. "He's always asking me if there's anything out there we could lift up as a good model." Mr. Littlechild said he's optimistic the visit will spark a constructive dialogue. "If he would link treaties as a solution with the UN declaration I think it would go a long way to reconciliation," said Mr. Littlechild. "That would be be a very good outcome to his visit. It would really provoke us to work together." Prof. Anaya initially asked the Canadian government for an invitation to visit in early 2012. It took until a few months ago to obtain official approval, although Prof. Anaya said that's not unusual. Prof. Anaya will deliver a preliminary assessment at the conclusion of his visit and a final report in a few months time.www.theglobeandmail.com

UN Special Rapporteur to gauge aboriginal peoples' progress

James Anaya's visit comes at delicate time for federal government's relationship with First Nations By Karina Roman CBC News The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is about to put Canada under a microscope. James Anaya is arriving this weekend, before embarking on a nine-day tour of the country, starting Monday. He will meet with aboriginal people, as well as government officials and even natural resource industry representatives. Anaya's predecessor visited in 2003 and his final report was not flattering to Canada. It highlighted the continuing inequalities that aboriginal people face in Canada, in terms of economic and social rights, education, housing and health. "The purpose of my visit is to take stock of what progress has been made," Anaya told CBC News in an interview from his office at the law faculty of the University of Arizona. "That past report does serve as a benchmark of sorts for my visit." In February of 2012, Anaya asked the Canadian government if he could come visit. He didn't hear back until more than a year later, just this past spring. "Of course I would have liked to have earlier acceptance of the visit, but I'm more pleased that it was eventually accepted," he said. Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo. (Canadian Press) Anaya's visit comes at a critical time for indigenous peoples. In an interview with CBC News, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo outlined why. "Deep impoverishment, over 600 murdered, missing indigenous women and girls, underfunding in education, challenging Canada at the Canadian Human Rights Commission," he listed, adding that Anaya's visit will be "the holding up of a mirror, reflecting back to Canada, about its relationship with First Nations." But the UN Special Rapporteur's visit also comes at a critical time for the federal government. Resource development Prime Minister Stephen Harper has staked the future prosperity of the country on natural resource development, much of which would take place on or near indigenous lands. Anaya said it is clear what those industries need to do. "If the extractive activities go forward, it (must) be done so with the consent of the indigenous people concerned and consistent with their own aspirations for development," Anaya said. Without proper consultation, Anaya warned what will happen. "There's going to be social conflict and typically the projects aren't going to be sustainable, not just because of the social conflict but because of the inability of the project to go forward without the active support of the people most affected by the activity."www.cbc.ca

Baffinland Progress at Mary River

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation released yesterday a first progress report on the development of the Mary River mining project.Baffinland first announced on September 13th that construction, or more accurately preparations for construction, would begin immediately. This first step follows the corporation’s successful signing of the Mary River Agreement (Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement and Commercial Production Lease) with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association on September 9th. The project launch was also made possible by the Nunavut Impact Review Board approval given in December 2012, all be it as a “Early Revenue Phase” version of the original proposal. On September 25th Baffinland made their inaugural charter flight carrying employees and cargo from the Kitchener-Waterloo airport to the Baffinland Mary River Project site. Carrying cargo and a maximum of 119 passengers, Boeing 737s will began to fly weekly to and from Nunavut with cargo and passengers. These chartered flights are coordinated by Sarvaq Logistics, a logistics company headquartered in Iqaluit, and operated by Nolinor, a Quebec-based charter airline. Director of charter operations at Nolinor previously stated that this partnership might offer new charter opportunities for people traveling from the North suggesting that members of the public could even “crowd-source” flights by selling seats for flights online when the 737s are not in use with Baffinland. But at this time no such initiatives have been taken. Weekly jet service to and from the Mary River site began on September 26th. As for details on the actual work progress at the Mary River Site, Baffinland only states that the Mary River hard wall camp is in progress. Baffinland’s October 1st, 2013 Progress photos are available here   

Construction begins at Mary River

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. formally announces a decision to start construction on the Mary River Project in a release issued September 13th.The construction decision was made possible as a result of the recently completed Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA) and Commercial Production Lease (CPL), which were executed jointly with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association on September 6, 2013. The Mary River Project has undergon an environmental impact assessment for the past 5 years, which culminated in a Nunavut Impact Review Board Project Certificate in December of 2012. The receipt of the Project Certificate allowed for the Class A Water License process to be completed with the Nunavut Water Board in July 2013. Collectively, these approvals along with the IIBA and CPL have given Baffinland the necessary permissions to began construction. “Announcing a construction decision is a significant milestone in the evolution of the Mary River Project. Many years of environmental reviews and negotiations have led us to be able to reach this decision. Our work at Mary River and Milne Inlet will focus on construction activities that are currently approved through the environmental assessment process. As further approvals are obtained in the coming months our construction activities will encompass development required to achieve our Early Revenue Phase and allow for the eventual shipment of ore.” stated Tom Paddon, President and CEO of Baffinland. In early 2013, Baffinland began mobilizing construction material, fuel, and equipment via sealift to facilitate construction activities. Along with mobilization efforts, Baffinland has promissed to also offer extensive training and to undertake recruitment initiatives to allow for Inuit, particularly from the North Baffin communities, to participate in employment opportunities created by the Mary River Project. Baffinland says it will now focus on completing the 2013 cargo and fuel sealift deliveries, as well as the construction of camp and fuel storage facilities, which will allow for construction activities to continue throughout late 2013 and into 2014.Baffinland's full release can be read here 

International Cry: Underreported Struggles

Guarani community facing imminent violence after reclaiming traditional lands; Penan reinstate blockade against controversial Murum dam; Wixarika People celebrate suspension of all mining in Wirikuta.IC Magazine Underreported Struggles #78  Maasai people in Tanzania celebrated the Prime Minister's decision to scrap a controversial plan to take 1,500 square mile of land from them in the name of conservation. The area, known as Loliondo, will instead remain with the Maasai, who the Prime Minister acknowledged for taking 'good care of the area' since 'time immemorial'. The Guarani community of Apyka'i together with The Aty Guasu Council of the Kaiowá reclaimed traditional lands in the municipality of Dourados, in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The Apyka'i community--having already waited two decades for the government to demarcate the land in question--finally decided that enough was enough. For the past 14 years, The Apyka'i community has been living and dying at the edge of a road--federal highway BR-463. Since retaking the land, the community has received several death threats. A group of men also reportedly "threw a liquid poison in the water" and then promised they will attack and evict the Guarani. The Tahltan Central Council celebrated a decision by Fortune Minerals’ to halt mineral exploration activities on Klappan Mountain inside the Sacred Headwaters region of Northern British Columbia, Canada. The decision came after several bold actions led by the Klabona Keepers including the delivery of an eviction notice, a blockade and the take over of a drilling site. However, Fortune Minerals added that they have no intention to leaving Mount Klappan for good; rather they are trying to diffuse tensions by pulling out of the area for several months. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is trying to run a new transmission line through the painfully historic Tahca Wakutepi massacre site in North Dakota. In 1864, Union Brigadier General Alfred Sully and his troops engaged in the wholesale slaughter of Lakota and Dakota, men, women, children, elders and warriors. Not satisfied with the massacre of human bodies, they destroyed the people's crops, supplies, and lodges, as well. Now, it seems, Basin Electric is picking up where Sully left off. Tsilhqot'in families set up a blockade to stop logging in an area southwest of Williams Lake, in the Central Interior of British Columbia. The blockaders are trying to prevent any further logging in the area because of declining moose populations in the Chilcotin. A second blockade was set up just over one week later. A large group of Penan Peoples reinstated a blockade against the controversial Murum dam in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The blockade began soon after the Penan village of Long Wat--who would be the first to face the waters of the Murum reservoir--reached an agreement with the government for their voluntary resettlement, an agreement that other villages found to be wholly inadequate. With the village of Long Wat seemingly out-of-the-way, and the renewed blockade in full force, Sarawak Energy started filling in the reservoir without giving notice to any of the affected villages. Over 30 people, including citizens of the Winnemem Wintu and Hoopa Valley Tribes, protested government plans to raise the Shasta Dam. The protest was held as part of a series of events to counter the Bureau of Reclamation’s 75th anniversary celebration of the Shasta Dam. Tribal leaders say that raising the dam would inundate many sacred sites not already covered by the waters of Shasta Lake. They also oppose the dam raise because it has been designed in conjunction with Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan, a project that would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) attempted to greenwash Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd of Nigeria (SPDC) with a flawed report on the oil disaster in Ogoniland, Nigeria. In a critique of the report titled “Sustainable Remediation and Rehabilitation of Biodiversity and Habitats of Oil Spill Sites in the Niger Delta” Professor Richard Steiner details numerous concerns including factual inadequacies, ill-drawn conclusions and blatant attempts to shift blame of repeated spills on “anthropogenic activities". San Jose Nacahuil, a small village near Guatemala City with a majority of Maya – Kaqchikel inhabitants, made international headlines after a group of gunmen killed 11 people and wounded 28 more in a frenzy of unrequited violence. The Media reported that corrupt officers or gangs were the main suspects in the killings, however, Kaqchikel traditional authorities strongly denounced the claim. Since March 2012, the village has maintained a blockade against American mining company Kappes Cassidy and Associates (KCA’s), enduring "violent and systematic repression organized by the mining company, pro-mining community members and the government." The Lutsel K’e Dene, Yellow Knives Dene and Tlicho First Nations issued a final plea to the Canadian government to stop the oncoming Gahcho Kue diamond mine project, citing concerns over water quality, caribou migrations, the traditional use of the land and general pollution concerns. The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Review Board (MVEIRB), saying little about Indigenous rights, admitted that the project would “Likely [cause] significant adverse environmental impacts”, however, it still decided that the economic gains would outweigh any such impacts. The project is expected to commence some time between 2014-2015. The Wixarika People of Mexico and all others who hold Wirikuta to be sacred celebrated a major legal victory with the announcement that the federal court granted the suspension of all work on mining projects in the territory, including the projects of Canada's Revolution Resources and Frisco Mining Group, owned by Mexican tycoon, Carlos Slim. Under the court ruling, no further mining-related work may take place in the Wirikuta Natural Protected Area in San Luis Potosi until the legal case requesting an injunction against the concessions is resolved. Evading the Indonesian navy, two tiny boats met near the Australia-Indonesia border to ceremonially reconnect the indigenous peoples of Australia and West Papua. The ceremony was the pinnacle of a 5000km journey beginning in Lake Eyre, in which sacred water and ashes were carried and presented to West Papuan leaders. The cultural exchange of Indigenous elders was held in secret, due to threats made by Indonesian government ministers and military officials who had stated that the navy and air-force would “take measures” against the peaceful meeting The Ethiopian government vowed to continue with its massive villagization program despite continued human rights complaints. Already more than a hundred thousand Anuak and other Indigenous Peoples have been forcibly relocated to settlements in order to free up their land for the transnational agro-industry. Many of the new settlements are located on infertile land and lack access to even the most basic services. The villagization program is made possible with generous contributions from the World Bank, the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). BriBri communities rejected a new government proposal to permit U.S. military incursions onto their lands in the remote area of Alto Telire in the county of Talamanca, Costa Rica. A Bribri leader condemned the proposal, arguing that such an action would threaten public safety and serve to militarize Bribri territory. According to the proposal, SOUTHCOM would enter and move throughout Bribri lands without prior consultation or consent in order to provide various Costa Rican agencies with direct access to communities in the region. Based in Miami, Florida, SOUTHCOM is the arm of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for all U.S. military activities throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. A respected B'laan “bong fulong” (tribal elder) was killed by government troops at the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. According to various reports, Anteng Freay, head claimant of the Ancestral Domain territory of the Atbol B’laan territory, was killed a few meters away from his house during a government raid. 134 empty shells were found around Anteng Freays house. One other person, who went to bong fulong Freay's aid, was also shot and killed. Some 200 indigenous Mapuche blocked the entrance to a facility of Argentina's state-controlled Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF) oil company to protest the burning of five of their buildings. The residents blamed YPF security guards for the fires, which destroyed four homes and the meeting place for their community. The first of the houses set on fire were just 100 meters from a new plant that YPF is constructing. Members of the Gila River Alliance for a Clean Environment (GRACE) filed a civil rights complaint against the Arizona Department of Transportation for proposing and promoting construction of the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway. If built, the freeway would have devastating negative cultural, spiritual and religious impacts on the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee Posh (Maricopa) Peoples of the Gila River Indian Community. Videos of the Month Ohontsiawakon: The Land is Held - Kanetohare explains the meaning of Ohontsiawakon, otherwise known as the Aionwatha Belt, 5 Nations Belt and Hiawatha Belt. He details the core values of the Haudenosaunee, the founding of the league, and how this agreement pertains to lands. Message to Brazilian agribusiness congressmen - Worried about the future of his people, Pedro Vicente Karai Miri, Guarani, recorded a message for the National Congress of Brazil. Sacred Headwaters Drill Take Over - Meet the Klabona Keepers and the folks at Beauty camp as they take over a drill site that Fortune Minerals used for its environmental assessment on sacred land.http://intercontinentalcry.org 

QIA sends Nunngarut dam back to review board

Proposed hydroelectric project would disrupt historical trail, says Inuit association BY DARON LETTS Northern News Services KIMIRRUT/LAKE HARBOUR A proposed hydroelectric dam between Kimirrut and Iqaluit should be scrapped because it would sever a heritage route that has connected the communities for generations, according to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA). The QIA's Community Lands and Resource Committee in Iqaluit is opposing Qulliq Energy Corporation's plan to develop a 25-metre hydroelectric dam at Nunngarut, approximately 20 kilometres southwest of Iqaluit. The site is partially located on Inuit-owned lands and within Katannilik Territorial Park. The proposed development would threaten wildlife and disrupt the Kimirrut trail linking the community with Iqaluit, according to Simon Nattaq, QIA lands and resource committee chairperson in the capital. “The initial plan to build a dam at Nunngarut was opposed by many in Kimmirut and Iqaluit as it is a place that is frequented by Kimmirummiut and Iqalummiut for fishing and hunting activities," Nattaq stated in a Sept. 25 news release. "Travelling between Iqaluit and Kimmirut would also be threatened as the lake at Nunngarut is the only viable route to cross. For these reasons, we have concluded that the impact on Inuit would be too great." The corporation is proposing to build two hydroelectric dams, beginning with phase 1 at Qikirrijaarvik, approximately 40 kilometres south of Iqaluit, followed by phase 2 at the Nunngarut site, which would tap into the same grid. The project is in the midst of a review by the Nunavut Impact Review Board, after it completed screening in July. Nunavut Tourism expressed concerns about potential damage to the popular tourist area, while supporting the corporation's search for greener energy, in a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board in March. "We want to encourage that the multiple uses of this area be considered and the project proceed in a manner that will allow these uses to co-exist, with minimized impacts on each other," states chief executive officer of Nunavut Tourism Colleen Dupuis in the letter. On Sept. 18, the QIA called for the proposal to be returned to the review board for modification, including the removal of phase two of the phase-two dam, and encouraged the corporation to explore alternative sites for potential hydroelectric development in the region. -- with files from Lyndsay Herman nnsl.com 

Ring Of Fire Project: For First Nations, Disruption Is Certain, Profits Less So

An Isolated Northern Community Stands at The Crossroads Between Poverty And A $50-Billion Mining Project Staking Claim is a multi-part series in The Huffington Post Canada exploring the proposed Ring of Fire mining development in Ontario and how the First Nations communities are preparing for economic activity and the environmental and societal consequences of Canada's next resource rush.   BY SUNNY FREEMANThe Huffington Post Canada WEBEQUIE FIRST NATION, ONT. — A bald eagle soars from the east between the evergreen branches of an uninhabited island in Ontario’s Far North and swoops in front of a fisherman’s small aluminum boat. Another eagle flaps nearby as the boat speeds toward fertile fishing grounds. Sightings of the majestic bird on this fly-in First Nation reserve have become more frequent, just as at-risk woodland caribou have started trekking through Webequie’s land. So have wolves. And last winter, a wolverine — another threatened species — was spotted on the ice road connecting the community on the skinny northern tip of Eastwood Island to the nearest town 250 kilometres southwest. Some say the eagles, the wolves and the caribou signal that wildlife is fleeing the Ring of Fire, an area of mining development that has been dubbed “Canada’s next oilsands.” The boggy region in the James Bay lowlands is less than 90 kilometres southeast of this reserve, and in one of the world’s last undisturbed forests. It is farther north than most Canadians have ever travelled. At the moment, the Ring of Fire is little more than a 20-kilometre strip of discoveries surrounded by prospectors’ stakes, drilling equipment and dirt roads in the midst of a marsh. But the influence of the massive deposit of minerals could soon threaten to swallow this First Nation. Webequie is squarely in the mouth of the Ring of Fire, a 5,000-square-kilometre crescent the size of eight Torontos. Before mining companies can consider breaking ground, the crucial question of how to transport the valuable cargo out of the remote region must be answered. A highway connecting the Ring of Fire to the Trans-Canada hundreds of kilometres to the south could be the first permanent connection to Webequie and other isolated native communities in Ontario’s far north. It could be one of the most transformational stretches of highway in Canada’s history. For resource companies, the route could determine whether projects get off the ground. For the people of Webequie, the stakes are even higher; it could change their entire way of life. As some of the most neglected areas of Canada, Webequie and surrounding First Nations in the far north have the most to win and the most to lose along the road to development. The path could lead the community out of poverty, replacing despair with opportunity. But it could also provide greater access to negative influences, such as drugs and alcohol, that already afflict some of its members. To Webequie members, the lush group of islands, the lakes and rivers that dot the area are a link to those ancestors — a source of food, medicine, reflection and spirituality. They believe it is their responsibility to care for the land and all of its inhabitants. To resource companies, the land’s value lies underground. Miners eyeing a potential $50 billion in profits must convince the affected First Nations communities that they can be trusted to ensure that everyone — natives, governments and industry — benefits from resource extraction at a minimal cost to the environment. Guardians of the Land The allure of the Ring of Fire region is not lost on the people of Webequie. Like prospectors, they value the resources in that swampy swath of land but the influx of mining activity has already affected their way of life. Trappers, hunters, fishers and gatherers from the reserve began reporting helicopters whirring across the sky and prospectors staking claims to riches on their land about a decade ago. “All of a sudden, these people who were going out on the land see these markings,” says Webequie band councillor Elsie MacDonald, a soft-spoken former chief with a pragmatic mind and warm embrace for a stranger. “And that’s when they come back and say, ‘who is this on our traditional territory? What are they doing, and what’s their purpose’?” It was that tract of land to the east where they gathered with neighbouring bands for centuries before it was nicknamed the Ring of Fire by miners. “There’s a really great blueberry patch out there. People used to fill up their buckets with them,” MacDonald says, though her uncle’s visit there three years ago is the last time she recalls someone travelling to the area for berry picking. Webequie First Nation people have lived off this land for hundreds of years, since the small island was nothing more than a meeting place for families living nomadically in the surrounding bush, following wild game and migration routes. Elders trace the first permanent settlements back to the 1800s, and oral history of their presence dates to a century earlier. Given the community’s reliance on the forest, they are wary about development. Potential effects include a loss of local species, contamination of land and water from spills or seepage and the degradation of peatlands that act as a carbon sink. Even if environmental damage can be contained, the influx of human activities in the area could deter wildlife from following their natural migration routes. Today, there are few signs of resource development on the 343-square kilometre reserve — an empty shed once rented by a mining company and stacks of abandoned barrels of oil near the small airport. But the community is bracing for upheaval. “With change comes good and bad,” MacDonald says. In the conference room of the Webequie band office, maps of mining activity in the Far North are taped to the walls in an attempt to understand the complex web of claims on their traditional territory. MacDonald has converted a whiteboard mess of overlapping circles and scribbles into Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations to try to organize the situation. As the councillor responsible for the band’s finances and strategic planning, the pressure to strike a balance between environmental stewardship and business development weighs on her overworked shoulders. Sometimes it overwhelms her. The desk in her office is crowded with boxes of maps, proposals, applications and even a box of moccasins. Her bedroom, which barely fits a bed and small table, doubles as her home office, where to-do lists, Post-it notes and maps fight for space on the wood-panelled walls adorned with inspirational plaques and religious art. Elsie MacDonald has lived everywhere from Thunder Bay to Cape Breton Island, but moved back to her community in 1991 after a brief stint as an administrative assistant for the Ministry of Natural Resources left her feeling like a “traitor.” “At that time natives were being charged for hunting and I thought that was wrong,” MacDonald says. “I felt that under the treaty they have inherent aboriginal and treaty rights to go ahead and hunt anyplace that they need to find food.” That commitment to her people’s rights brought her back to Webequie. Now she is devoted to ensuring her people have a voice. “The people are considered guardians of the land, and as custodians, they have a say,” MacDonald says. “They want the industry to understand they have to deal with First Nations first before they can go ahead.” Proceed With Caution Aboriginals increasingly hold the balance of power in high-stakes development opportunities — their support is key to ensure smooth operation of multimillion-dollar projects. The alternative is simply too costly. Nearly 500 aboriginal communities across the country are at the heart of some $300 billion in oil, gas, forestry, energy and mining projects waiting to be developed. After centuries of being ignored and alienated by governments and corporate Canada, natives have been on a judicial winning streak. A broad interpretation of rights outlined in Section 35 of the Constitution makes it clear that First Nations must be consulted on resource development occurring within not just reserves, but also on traditional territory, though they hold no official veto power. The history of resource development in Canada, from the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline to the Prosperity Mine, is littered with projects shelved by companies that didn’t properly consult First Nations — resulting in big hits to their bottom lines and to the economy. Today, developers need only look west to the troubles Enbridge is facing over its controversial Northern Gateway pipeline for an example of what to avoid. First Nations have been shut out of the benefits of development, which has kept them locked in dependence on the federal government, says Grand Chief Edward John, a member and former chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. “The greatest source of poverty for First Nations has been their inability to access and develop lands and resources within their traditional lands and territories,” he says. “Someone else makes the decision, someone else benefits.” Not now, he says. First Nations want a stake in such projects and the ability to develop their own. “We need to develop a sense of independence like our ancestors had. We took care of ourselves and the lands and resources within our territories, and, surely to goodness, we can do that now.” A growing number of First Nations communities have already taken steps to build their economies through agreements that go beyond the promise of jobs and a share of revenues. The Onion Lake First Nation straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan border is working to turn the oil sector’s interest in their land into a diversified economy, in part through a number of joint ventures with oil-industry partners, and increasingly through self-owned businesses such as trucking, pipeline, and building material operations. Revenue is used to invest in the community and foster self-sufficiency. A Crossroads On Webequie’s small territory, children play amid neatly piled stacks of firewood in the shared spaces outside government-funded homes in various states of disrepair. Community members still hunt, skin and tan their own animal hides, make moccasins and jewelry and smoke fish and meat to keep for the winter months. Many mothers carry their infants on the traditional tikinagan, wrapped tight against a wooden plank. During festivals, they cook communal meals — frying fish together over an open outdoor grill, handing out portions as they are ready. With Webequie’s median income of $10,656, many families still rely on trapping, hunting and fishing to supplement what little they can afford to buy at the community’s lone northern store, which provides food and other necessities flown in to be sold at a price three times as much as in Thunder Bay. A litre of gas costs $2.69, while two litres of orange juice sell for $11.59. A potential all-weather road would permanently connect Webequie to the outside world, reducing the high costs of goods. It would enable the removal of junk vehicles from a heap beside the dump. Access could mean more supplies to improve beaten up and bumpy dirt roads and to fix the nearly 60 per cent of houses that are in need of major repair. It could also bring an influx of visitors looking for ways to spend their money. An infrastructure proposal from Ontario Power Authority would see a power line from the Ontario grid extended to Webequie, which could end their reliance on emissions-heavy diesel generators that can cut out in cold weather. However, a permanent connection to the mainland could also lower the prices of drugs and alcohol and make them readily available on a reserve that is officially dry. Someone looking for a fix can illegally get a quarter of a pill of Oxycontin for $120 or a 375ml bottle of vodka for $150. With unemployment hovering about 70 per cent, many on this reserve of 840 believe the Ring of Fire represents the first opportunity to stimulate the local economy they have ever seen. They want jobs, and companies say they want to hire locally. But Elsie MacDonald and her fellow band councillors want more than jobs.They are contemplating plans to open the airport to commercial use, warehouses for core samples, a camp for miners, a restaurant, as well as to expand the six-room motel. Joint ventures to supply resource companies in the Ring of Fire are also top-of-mind potential business opportunities. While MacDonald keeps one eye focused on the internal needs of her community, she also keenly watches the international metals market, looking for signs pointing toward a resurgence of interest in the region. The Legend of the Ring The Ring of Fire — and its store of chromite, nickel, copper, zinc and gold — comprises a new mining district at a time when a discovery is a rarity. Companies are eager to begin construction. The resource rush in the area started in 2002 when prospectors, exploring the area for diamonds since the 1990s, instead found deposits of copper and nickel, sparking a flurry of other exploration activity. Junior miner Noront Resources Ltd. discovered a rich deposit of minerals in the James Bay lowlands in 2007. Founder and former president Richard Nemis, a Johnny Cash fanatic, named the area the “Ring of Fire” after the famous country ballad. Then Noront prospectors struck paydirt in chromite, the ore of chromium that, when processed with iron into ferrochrome, is used in chrome rims for cars and stainless steel sinks. It was the first time commercial-level quantities of the glittery black mineral found in meteorites were discovered anywhere in North America. Some suggest the Ring of Fire was created by a meteorite that left chromite and brought an unusual amount of metals closer to the Earth’s surface. When global financial markets crashed in 2008 the exploration rush withered, though demand for chromite and the other minerals is expected to increase as global markets recover. Now there are about 30,000 claims and 30 resource companies in the area. Two companies have proposed projects: Noront, with its $609 million Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper and platinum underground mine and Cliffs Natural Resources, with its $3.3 billion Black Thor open-pit chromite mine. Both are within 100 kilometres of Webequie. “This isn’t a project, this is opening up a new mining district,” Bill Boor, Cliffs senior vice-president of global ferroalloys, says of the scale of its Black Thor site, the largest proposed development in the area. “I can’t think of any [regions] in particular worldwide that are untouched at this point or untapped that have the potential that the Ring of Fire does.” Road to Nowhere Ambitious projects require huge investments. The area is not accessible by road year-round. Supplies are flown in or driven across ice roads during long, frigid winters. The frozen lakes, acidic soil, impermeable muskeg and lack of rock and outcrop make construction — both at the mine sites and for surrounding infrastructure — particularly challenging. The issue of building a transportation corridor to get metals to market could make or break the mining development. Cleveland-based Cliffs has proposed a 350-kilometre North-South corridor. The estimated $600-million new highway would see 100 truckloads per day cross four rivers and a woodland caribou migration path. Although the plan does not connect any of the remote Matawa First Nations, Cliffs says the corridor would be a “spine” giving the First Nations it nears a chance to build roads out to it. The question of where a road is built is so crucial to Cliffs that it has threatened to abandon its project after a September ruling denied it the right to build a road on land held by a rival miner. Cliffs is now weighing whether to appeal the decision, buy the smaller miner outright or walk away altogether. While Cliffs’ future in the Ring of Fire is uncertain, Noront is going all in. Headquartered in Toronto, Noront’s sole focus as a company is the Ring of Fire. It is forging ahead with its environmental assessment and expects to submit it by the end of the year. Noront is proposing an alternate transportation option — a $500 million East-West corridor. The company argues that the route is superior in many ways; it does not traverse the migration route of woodland caribou, would be less expensive to build, avoids rivers and provincial park and would connect four remote communities. Noront — whose Toronto office is decorated with aboriginal art and vests made by children of Webequie that it bought from a charity auction — has already sunk $200 million into projects in the region, more than $5 million of it on consultations, training and social programs in First Nations communities. Paul Parisotto is the chair of Noront’s board and says the First Nations near the Ring of Fire will reap rewards from the project. “They make money, we make money, they have jobs, they feel good about themselves, so it’s a win-win for everybody, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve,” said Parisotto, who served as interim CEO until recently. The relationship between the mining company and the communities has been contentious. Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations allege that Noront began using two frozen lakes in the area as airstrips without their consent when it first started staking the area for claims in 2003. In 2010, frustration over the lack of consultation and the impact of exploration and construction activity hit a boiling point. The two communities erected blockades to stop mining planes from landing. Community members of all ages holding hand-painted placards gathered on the airstrips. ”No passing without our consent,” read one sign. “What’s in it for us?” asked another. Work was interrupted for two months before the First Nations were convinced their grievances would be taken seriously. Exploration agreements, which covered accommodation and compensation, were signed within months. But the agreement between Noront and Webequie expired last year, and the two have not been able to agree on new terms. The First Nation wants money from the mining company in order to study the impact of a road and future mining on their land. Noront says Webequie is asking for more than it is willing to provide before it even has approval for the project. For Webequie, it is a veritable Catch-22. Without an agreement providing financial support, it cannot pay for the studies, research, advisors, travel and translations needed to educate its members, form an opinion and articulate a position on the terms of a mining agreement. As the preliminary stages drag on, miners are growing increasingly frustrated with the glacial pace of development. They fret that investors and the global marketplace could lose interest. Bill Boor of Cliffs acknowledges that his company’s initial timetable for an operational mine by 2015 assumed people were “politically and emotionally and intellectually ready to move” and that reaching the point where parties were co-operating has taken a lot longer than anticipated. “We’ve got so many autonomous communities that are touched by this project, and it creates a complexity that is unusual in my view,” Boor says. While communities insist on negotiating with mining companies one-on-one, they have banded together for talks on regional strategy with the province. The group of First Nations will be represented at the bargaining table by former MP Bob Rae and retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci will negotiate for the province. But if the various negotiations do not begin to move faster, Boor says, the company could reach a point where the project is no longer economically feasible. That, he says, would reflect poorly on Ontario and Canada’s mining sector. “If projects like this don’t happen because we can’t get the alignment, then it says they’re not open for business.” Buying Time The Webequie First Nation sees the delays as a blessing. They give the band, economically trapped in the 19th century, time to prepare to sit at the table with well-staffed governments and multinational resource companies. Even the federal government has expressed concerns about whether Webequie and surrounding First Nations are too underdeveloped to benefit from such projects. “The First Nations closest to the Ring of Fire are among the most socio-economically challenged in Ontario, impacting their ability to meaningfully participate in large complex projects,” according to February 2013 briefing notes prepared for John Duncan, then minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. “Exposure to a development of this magnitude combined with low educational attainment and other factors suggests that the communities do not currently have the capacity to address the various issues related to the Ring of Fire.” Before Webequie considers whether it is for or against a permanent road connection, it must improve existing shabby infrastructure, MacDonald says. The reserve needs some $28 million to bring its roads, housing, garbage disposal, water and sewage treatment facilities up to the Canadian standard, according to a study conducted for the band last year. The people of Webequie want development to help end the challenges associated with isolation in the wilderness and to raise a more hopeful generation that thrives on both modern and traditional knowledge, that understands both Oji-Cree and the technical jargon of mining companies. They want to end their 70 per cent unemployment rate, increase the percentage of the population with a high school degree from 30 per cent and address the problems that contribute to a suicide rate that is 10 times the national average. As another winter approaches, Webequie members are bracing for the latest evidence of the impact of activity in the Ring of Fire — another stream of wildlife across their ice roads. But even as the outside world bears down on the community, Webequie vows it won’t bend to pressure to build a relationship with miners on a schedule dictated by the companies. “When the community is in a position to deal with what happens to their land and resources, then that good relationship would start to happen,” MacDonald says. “But the community has to be totally ready.” www.huffingtonpost.ca 

DID in the News!

On Their Terms: A Digital Project to Give Inuit Say in Developers' Arctic AmbitionsBY Elisabeth Fraser

First Nation's Plea to Stop the Canada-China FIPA

The Hupacasath First Nation's plea for help from the Canadian public: Earlier this year the Hupacasath First Nation took the Harper government to court to challenge FIPA - a reckless investor deal that would expose Canada to unlimited risk from costly lawsuits in secretive tribunals and undermine the rights of our democratically elected governments for the next 31 years.1 Thanks to the generous donations from thousands of Canadian individuals and organizations, the Hupacasath’s legal team were able to take their case in federal court in Vancouver on June 5th-7th. Unfortunately, the judge sided with the government. Incredibly, the judge said that he considered the Hupacasath's expert witness, internationally renowned Canadian professor Gus Van Harten, to be biased, and discounted his testimony. Instead the judge chose to base his decision on testimony from the government's witness, an investor-state arbitrator.2-4 Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, responded swiftly to say that the ruling was “absurd” given the obvious impacts of the FIPA on First Nations rights and title, and the complete lack of constitutionally guaranteed consultation from the federal government.3 The good news is this legal battle isn’t over yet. The Hupacasath’s lawyers believe they have grounds for an appeal, and the Hupacasath are prepared to take this case to the next level. The Hupacasath are ready to stand up for all of us, but they can’t do it alone - especially now that the Harper Conservatives have asked the courts to force the Hupacasath to pay over $100,000 in costs for the government’s legal team and expert witnesses.  Historically, Canadians have not been forced to pay the government’s costs in constitutional challenges where the public interest is at stake. What does it say about the state of our democracy that our government would refuse to bring a sweeping investor agreement before Parliament, and then force Canadians to pay punitive legal fees for challenging them in court? The Hupacasath are refusing to be intimidated by this new hurdle. Their band council has agreed to appeal the judge’s ruling, but the appeal can only go forward if we can raise $300,000 to pay the costs and legal fees before Thursday, September 26th to meet the strict deadline for filing an appeal. Over 6,000 people have already donated for this legal challenge, and if we all give just $3 today we can cover the costs and fully fund the appeal immediately.  If we can raise $110,000, we can cover the draconian fee that the government has imposed on the Hupacasath.  If we can raise $300,000 by September 26th then we can fully fund an appeal, ensure the Hupacasath will not be saddled with debt, and take the fight to the next level. If we raise more than $110,000, but less than $300,000, the remaining money will go to turn up the pressure in key Conservative MP ridings.  We can do amazing things when we stand together. By sharing the load, Canadians from coast to coast to coast already raised well over $150,000 to cover the costs of the initial legal challenge. Now, it’s up to you to decide whether or not this appeal will go forward. When this fight to stop FIPA started a year ago no one would have ever thought that we would get this far. From the beginning, we’ve had a two part strategy of challenging this FIPA in the courts while putting pressure on Conservative MPs to stop this reckless investor deal - and it’s succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. The legal challenge from this small 300 person First Nation has successfully delayed ratification of the Canada-China FIPA and raised awareness across Canada. They’ve taken on this David and Goliath battle to defend their own rights and title and to defend the rights and interests of all Canadians.  Can you chip in $3 or more today? Please click here to make a secure donation to the legal fund: http://leadnow.ca/fipa-legal With hope and respect, Matthew, Stefan, Cam, Jamie and Julia on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team p.s. We understand that not everyone can donate. If you’re not in a position to contribute to this legal challenge, please just take a minute to forward this message to friends and family who may be able to help. Here’s the link to share -- http://www.leadnow.ca/fipa-legal -- and thank you for all that you do p.p.s. If you’d like to donate by cheque, send your cheque payable to “Leadnow” to: Leadnow.ca PO Box 2091, Stn Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 3T2 (Please include a note so that we know your donation is for the FIPA legal challenge.) Or if you’d prefer to donate by phone, call 1-855-LEADN0W (1‑855‑532‑3609) extension 2. Further reading:  This statement from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, covers some of the central problems with the judge’s ruling: "The Union of BC Indian Chiefs refuse to accept the Government of Canada's argument that there is no 'causal link' or 'potential adverse impacts' on our constitutionally-enshrined and judicially-recognized Aboriginal rights and the ratification of FIPA. The Court wholeheartedly accepted Canada's argument. First Nations leadership across this country are facing a federal government who stated in court that they do not need to nor ever intend to ever consult any First Nation regarding any trade agreement. The Court responded this total lack of consultation 'would not contravene the principle of the honour of the Crown or Canada's duty to consult' That is absurd, unconscionable and incredibly offensive," Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.2 Sources: [1] Our old campaign page contains extensive background on the Canada-China FIPA: http://www.leadnow.ca/stop-fipa [2] Bio: Gus Van Harten, Osgoode Law Schoool http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/faculty/full-time/gus-van-harten [3] Judge's decision, Hupacasath First Nation v the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General of Canada. http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/Hupacasath%20En.pdf [4] Bio: J. Christopher Thomas, National University of Singapore http://cil.nus.edu.sg/about-2/cil-team-2/christopher-thomas/ [5] Hupacasath Disappointed with Federal Judicial Review of Canada-China FIPA: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/UBCICNews08271301.html [6] Photo credit: Gary McNutt, 2013.

Inuit org nixes proposed Armshow South dam site near Iqaluit

Qikiqtani Inuit Association wants Qulliq Energy Corp. to "further explore alternative sites" The Qikiqtani Inuit Association and the Community Lands and Resource Committee in Iqaluit said Sept. 25 that they oppose Qulliq Energy Corp.’s plans to develop a hydroelectric project at Nunngarut (Armshow South,) a popular hunting and camping area close to the Bay of Two Rivers. The QIA said it “encourages” the power corporation to look for alternative sites in the region that can potentially be used to hydro development. “The initial plans to build a dam at Nunngarut was opposed by many in Kimmirut and Iqaluit as it is a place that is frequented by Kimmirummiut and Iqalummiut for fishing and hunting activities. Travelling between Iqaluit and Kimmirut would also be threatened as the lake at Nunngarut is the only viable route to cross. “For these reasons we have concluded that the impact on Inuit would be too great,” said Simon Nattaq in a news release. Nattaq chairs Iqaluit’s Community Lands and Resource Committee, or “CLARC,” which advises about land management and development on Inuit-owned lands. Under QEC’s proposal, they would build a hydroelectric dam at Jaynes Inlet first, and after 2030, build a dam and power station at Armshow South. But the QIA said in a Sept. 25 news release that it will not approve any permits to build at Armshow South, which is partially located on Inuit-owned lands and within Katannilik Territorial Park. The CLARC and QIA say they want the QEC to resubmit their hydroelectric project proposal without the Armshow South dam component. The QIA announcement follows a Sept. 10 consultation with the Nunavut Impact Review Boardd where Inuit elders said they feared the effects of a hydroelectric project near Iqaluit. They also said at the meeting that QEC should negotiate an Inuit impact and benefit agreement with QIA. “I believe we need an IIBA in the millions,” Nattaq said at that meeting. On Sept. 18, the QIA provided comments on QEC’s hydroelectric dam proposal, which is currently under a Part 5 review by the NIRB. In the letter, the QIA said it would support community members’ opposition to the proposal due to the location. And QIA said the proposal should to be sent back to the QEC for changes. The power corporation has been planning a hydroelectric project near Iqaluit since at least 2005. The latest version of the QEC’s plan would see them spend up to $450 million on two dams and power stations over the next 20 years or so: the first at Jaynes Inlet (Qikirrijaarvik), about 40 kilometres from Iqaluit, and the second, planned for the decade following 2030, at Armshow South (Nunngarut) near the Bay of Two Rivers, 20 km southwest of Iqaluit. Those sites would be connected to the city by at least 84 km of power lines.www.nunatsiaonline.ca COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online #1. Posted by Worried Inuk on September 25, 2013 Thank you for listening to our concerns QIA, there is too many concerns with damming this area, it is used so much I think there has to be more consultation before the green light is turned on. #2. Posted by Bob on September 25, 2013 Meanwhile, the QEC has to store and burn “millions” of liters of diesel fuel every year, just because some people use the proposed area as a fishing and hunting spot.  The negative effects from that, far exceed the negative effects from a dam. Iqaluit will continue to suffer from economic and social problems as long as there are people who are opposed to change, for the sake of being of opposed to change, at every turn.  It’s not like there are a lot, if any, viable alternative sites for a project like this. #3. Posted by children86 on September 25, 2013 Had QEC argued for the opposite, I am nearly certain there would still be opposition. I feel like some organizations just put up roadblocks to be a part of things. I imagine it might have unfolded like this: QEC: We do not want to build a dam at Armshow, we would rather continue to burn diesel indefinitely. QIA: No, we do not support burning diesel, it is harming our fishing grounds. We want a dam at Armshow! #4. Posted by wondering on September 25, 2013 screw them..as a ratepayer, taxpaer and some one who pays for outrageous power bills..You have my permission to go ahead and build the dam there…thank you.. #5. Posted by White Dove on September 25, 2013 Calm down. The article states that QIA encourages Qulliq to look for alternative sites. It can still be worked out, no need to be negative. It’s better if it’s put in place and is well thought out and planned. #6. Posted by Of course this happens on September 25, 2013 This hydro project has been tossed around for years & countless dollars have been spent to determine that this was the best option for Iqaluit. Diesel forever I guess. That’s good for QIA though as they own Uksuq & deliver the diesel! I wonder how much research/critical thought went in to this decision by CLARC. I also wonder how many folks on CLARC actually pay the residential rate for power bills, vs. the heavily subsidized social housing rate that’s 1/10th the cost. Nunavut, where we take an ulu to our nose in spite of our face. #7. Posted by Bob on September 25, 2013 @WhiteDove It’s been planned out for “8 years”.  It’s fine to “say” they encourage alternative sites, but realistically there are only so many sites you can feasibly put a hydro electric dam.  I have little doubt the same arguments will be used to oppose those sites as well. Iqaluit needs more power alternatives ‘now’.  There’s already brown outs, insanely high power bills, a ridiculous amount of diesel being used every year, and it makes the cost of ‘everything’ higher. I totally agree with commentors 3 & 4 #8. Posted by pissed off on September 25, 2013 It would be nice to research what QIA’s position on the matter had been in the past.  With the amount of time and money spent on consulting and researching this issue, I am sure they were consulted a lot of time. On the other hand , guess what!! there will always be an area that is dear to somebody and there will always be a river that someone is using for fishing and recreation. So if we go at this that way nothing will ever get done. Let’s make a political decision once and for all or close the coffin forever and stop wasting time and energy on this. Thanks #9. Posted by objective baced thinking on September 25, 2013 @#4 will a $450million dam reduce power rates? or increases them 450mill is a lot to pay off…. #10. Posted by Diesel Forever on September 25, 2013 People who don’t pay for power nix a project they don’t understand. Great. Iqaluit will burn dirty expensive diesel forever. Thanks for nothing QIA.

Nova Scotia Paper Mill signs forestry agreement with Mi'kmaq bands

Port Hawkesbury Paper signs agreement with Mi'kmaq organizationSurrounded by the forests in Eskasoni and framed by the Bras d'Or Lakes, a new five-year forestry agreement was signed by Chiefs representing the five Mi'kmaq bands in Cape Breton and Marc Dube from Port Hawkesbury Paper. The new contract with Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR) outlines the roles and responsibilities for harvesting and silviculture, while paying special attention to species-at-risk and culturally significant areas for traditional-use plants.  Quotas for pulpwood, stud wood, saw logs and biomass are also detailed in the agreement. Mark MacPhail, UINR's Director of Forestry explains, "UINR has represented Unama'ki's Mi'kmaq in forestry since 2001. Since that initial agreement with Stora Enso, we've signed agreements with NewPage, and we are pleased to continue that tradition today with Port Hawkesbury Paper. While facing a difficult world market situation, Port Hawkesbury Paper is showing the North American paper market that they will be a leader in sustainable forestry while providing a high-quality product. UINR is pleased to be playing a key role in this success."  “Port Hawkesbury Paper is pleased to continue the agreement we have with UINR. It is consistent with our commitment to create good employment opportunities for the Mi'kmaq peoples of Nova Scotia", said Marc Dube, Development Manager, Port Hawkesbury Paper, “We look forward to expanding UINR's participation in forestry on the Crown and Private lands we manage.” Port Hawkesbury Paper is committed to the goals of providing long-term sustainability and natural biodiversity for the forests' many ecological, social and cultural values while providing a stable and long-term wood supply and economic viability for the company, local wood suppliers and sawmills.  UINR and the Chiefs of Unama'ki share the focus on land and water conservation that have been traditionally used by the Mi'kmaq people. Port Hawkesbury Paper LP is a forestry operations and paper mill in Port Hawkesbury. Port Hawkesbury Paper forestry operations are the only large forest operations that are Forest Stewardship Council® certified in Atlantic Canada. Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources is an organization that represents the five Mi'kmaq bands of Unama'ki (Cape Breton) on issues related to natural resources and the environment.Source: UINR 

Iqaluit Inuit elders tell Nunavut board they’re worried about hydro project, ask for IIBA

“It’s going to have a large social impact for us Inuit” JIM BELL Inuit elders fear the effects of a hydroelectric project near Iqaluit and they want the Qulliq Energy Corp. to negotiate an Inuit impact and benefit agreement, elders told the Nunavut Impact Review Board Sept. 10. “I believe we need an IIBA in the millions,” said Simon Nattaq, the chair of Iqaluit’s community land and resources committee, a land claim body also known as a “CLARC.” The review board organized meetings in Iqaluit aimed at helping them figure out the project’s scope: a list of things that ought to become part of the QEC’s draft environmental impact statement, or DEIS. Following similar meetings this week in Kimmirut and Pangnirtung, NIRB staff will produce a “scoping list” and use it to create guidelines. QEC is expected to follow those guidelines when completing its DEIS. The power corporation has been planning a hydroelectric project near Iqaluit since at least 2005. That work stopped for a while, then resumed in 2012. The latest version of the QEC’s plan would see them spend up to $450 million on two dams and power stations over the next 20 years or so: the first at Jaynes Inlet and the second, planned for the decade following 2030, at a site called Armshow South near the Bay of Two Rivers. Those sites are about 60 and 30 kilometres south-west of Iqaluit and would be connected to the city by 84 kilometres of power lines. Nattaq said this project would likely generate a “large social impact for us Inuit,” because of the potential disruption of areas used for fishing, camping and travelling. And he said that because of this, the QEC must be prepared to compensate Inuit for any harmful impacts through an IIBA. “We are very concerned,” Nattaq said. Hunters in Iqaluit had earlier favoured the Jayne’s Inlet site because it’s less likely to disturb popular fishing areas. But the proposed Armshow South site, which wouldn’t be developed until the 2030s, appears to threaten well-used fishing spots around the Bay of Two Rivers. “The Bay of Two Rivers is my main fishing spot,” Mosesee Atagooyuk told the review board. “Let’s look at alternatives that would have less of an impact on our lives,” Atagooyuk said. He also said that site could interfere with an important travel route to Kimmirut. Alacie Joamie said he same thing when she first heard of the power corporation’s hydroelectric plans but she “had a change of heart and I agree with it.” But at the same time, she said she wants to be sure that the people of Iqaluit will benefit from the project. “Our land is pristine and wild and natural and has never been affected by these developments,” she said. Other residents who attended the meeting said QEC should provide more detailed information about its plans. A QIA employee said the power corporation should be asked if they plan to remove fish from any lakes. And Seth Reinhart of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency said the QEC should be asked to provide more detailed information about the potential economic impact of the project and its affect on the cost of power. Adla Itorcheak of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. said the QEC should be asked if mining companies and other developers would be allowed to tap in to the hydro project’s system and if electrical power would be available to cabin owners on the side of the bay opposite Iqaluit. The QEC has said in the past that a hydroelectric plant could replace the use of dirty diesel-generated electrical power in Iqaluit, which consumes about one-third of all diesel imported into Nunavut this year. They also claim that a hydro plant would produce lower electrical power rates. The NIRB was planning to hold similar meetings Sept. 11 in Kimmirut and Sept. 12 in Pangnirtung. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca   COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online #1. Posted by assu on September 11, 2013 Ah, screw it. Let’s just keep shipping petroleum from the south and burn it here for energy. Self-sufficiency is over rated. #2. Posted by LP on September 11, 2013 Glad to see the elders standing up for the community! #1: What good is self-sufficiency if you plow through and destroy the resources that can make you self-sufficient? #3. Posted by heerdtell on September 11, 2013 I like the Iqaluit Elders.  Especially those showing in the pictures on Nunatsiaq.  We should always hear their side of the story.  Good for them to voice their concerns. #4. Posted by Well on September 11, 2013 Just cancel the whole thing..end of story #5. Posted by resident of Iqaluit on September 11, 2013 No, do even think about the darn dam, it will destroy our way of life and our way of fishing the mercury that will happen to all the sea mammals and of course the arctic char we have, It will destroy our way of life and our health, the elders are not even from our home town, I know who is orginally from our home town so they do not even see anything yet what it can do. “A change of heart”, hello, how can someone have a change of heart of what will happen to our lives and our health, No, please do not build dams here at all. I have seen many people from northern quebec when the James Bay Project went through, there was lot of sick people with mercury in their body, What do you think you are trying to do here, this is our hometown where we were born and raised and do not have any problems with the fishes we catch, and once you have build it, our way of life will change. If only they elders were told properly what it can do, change of heart, is driving me mad…I went to the night time meeting at 7 and got very emotional and cried as this is out land you will be destorying. It is not your land it is only your job. #6. Posted by wondering on September 11, 2013 what a joke! #1 hit the nail right on the head. and #2, the problem is , is your not self sufficient anymore..or you, like most “elders” don’t pay for electric costs anyways??? #7. Posted by assu on September 11, 2013 #2, everyone, perhaps I should not of spoken with sarcasm. This would have been more productive: This isn’t a southern company coming here to extract & exploit Nunavut resources. This is an Nunavut/Inuit organization trying to build infrastructure to improve self sufficiency and the standard of living for everyone. Sacrifice, collaboration, and compromise will be a must as we build a future for our children. Everyone should agree on the best place they should build this, and an environmental plan should be in place. Rather than asking how you can use this project to help your other agenda’s, do what you can to make this projects agenda a success. #8. Posted by Anything Else? on September 11, 2013 Yeah, and those dumb hospital buildings get in the way of berry picking.  We should tear those down now. #9. Posted by Atagooyuk's daughter on September 11, 2013 I totally agree with my dad, he is a regular hunter, it is what he does for a living after retiring, he often talks about hunting with his hunting buddies, and its their life! please dont build dams here, we are good without it. It doesnt only go to my dad, but it goes out to everyone else that hunts or go out on the land for many reasons. Our land, not theirs. #10. Posted by Your Dad on September 11, 2013 #9 Then what do you propose we use for future power?  I assume you like your lights on in the dark of night, your TV, computer, and heat?  Do you realize that Nunavut is currently being powered by diesel generators?  Nasty, dirty, expensive diesel generators?  OH, and by the way most of these diesel generators are outdated and lack the capacity to supply power to match the growth in Nunavut (and by growth I mean more Inuit being born which equals more houses/schools etc.) I am also curious why you say “our land, not theirs”?  This is about supplying power to “your people”.  Calm down, get informed before passing judgement. #11. Posted by Observer on September 11, 2013 So, to summarize: no building dams because it might interfere with a few people who hunt or fish now, instead continue burning greenhouse-gas producing fuel which adds to the problem of climate change and ruining hunting and fishing for everyone, everywhere, in the future. That about right? #12. Posted by North on September 11, 2013 This place gets more and more redonk everyday, millions for what. Inuit owned company on Inuit owned lands… Inuit want all the amenities of down south, but want southern prices all in isolated communities… mmmmm talk about greed I say let anyone that wants to live on the land live on the land, but go back to your traditional ways, no more white influences. Those who want to stay in the communities stay in the communities and follow the normal rules that Canadians follow #13. Posted by Need power on September 11, 2013 You can build it near my town. There is a good spot for it not too far. Explore other communities for the dam so we can build electrical poles to feed surrounding communities,...IIBA would be,...cheapest rate for the closest community. Dam,...c’mon up! #14. Posted by Scamp on September 11, 2013 #5 you got it backwards Hydro does not put Mercury in the water. Hydro is a clean energy. It the emissions for our dirty diesel power plants that is polluting our fish, wildlife and drinking water. Yes let’s keep adding more pollution to our air and water until we kill everything including ourselves. Lets built more diesel power plants, fuel storage farms and increase the oil tankers into our bays until eventually we have a major spill in our bay. A good message coming from our wise elders, you can only bring clean energy to our land provided you compensate us will millions. If not we don’t want it. #15. Posted by Qulliq, NTI Talk Micro Nuclear on September 11, 2013 Why doesn’t Qulliq Energy Corp. talk about Micro Nuclear generators for power? In 2009 they studied them.  Now new models on the market. Millions less then building dams. Or flooding.  NTI should be pushing for Micro Nuclear, them being NTI in the Uranium mining business. Why Quilliq and NTI are so silent on bringing this information and technology to Nunavut is disturbing. #16. Posted by Think on September 11, 2013 After today we shouldn’t worry about the clean energy a dam would provide but all the cars and trucks that are now here in town. also would the dams provide just iqaluit or southern baffin. #17. Posted by just wow on September 12, 2013 There is a lot of uninformed people commenting here against CLEAN energy as opposed to burning diesel fuels to supply power for this town. I just want to be clear that you are crazy. Think before you speak, and educate yourself on the topic at hand before you type. Show of hands… How many people would rather burn fossil fuels to enjoy the benefits of electricity rather than using a clean renewable energy source such as a hydroelectric damn? This is not a trick question, I promise. #18. Posted by sad on September 12, 2013 Thank you Alicee Joamie and Simon Nattaq for standing for Iqalumiut. Iqalumiut should stand up to go against the Dam. I wish I was in Iqaluit to help those who opposed the Dam. I know there are some rich people who owns a big company’s who might’ve push for the Dam. If being rich in Iqaluit is not enough. What else can they destroy what we were born with?. What do Iqalumiut have rights?? We Iqalumiut have no voice. Other people have pushed us away from our home. Dam shouldn’t even have been mention. The people who do not have ancestors in Iqaluit will not understand what our concerns are. #19. Posted by Bob on September 14, 2013 The time frame that is being discussed here is in the 2030’s, and the people objecting to it, just based on the picture I see, will be dead long before that. The social impact of lack of affordable electricity will have on the local population, given the expected population growth by 2030, will far exceed any negative social impact from berry picking, fishing, or hunting. Hydroelectric power is the most sustainable kind of power that Nunavut could use relative to any other known type of power generation.  Burning hundreds of thousands (or more) of liters of diesel fuel each and every year is simply not logical or sustainable. But logic and sustainability is not something I’ve come to expect from a region that prioritizes $40 million dollars for an aquatic centre, over the many other priorities the City and the GN need right now.

Nunavut board to inform public Sept. 10 on Iqaluit hydro project

Qulliq Energy Corp. promises hydroelectric power by 2019 PETER VARGA If you live in Iqaluit, the Nunavut Impact Review Board invites you to learn more about the Qulliq Energy Corp.’s proposed $450 million Iqaluit hydroelectric projects at public meetings set for Sept. 10 in Iqaluit. Qulliq’s plan calls for two hydro plants, generating electricity from dammed waters, to be built at Jaynes Inlet and the Armshow River. The plants would be located about 60 and 30 kilometres southwest of Iqaluit, respectively. The Jaynes Inlet facility would be built first, by 2019, and generate 10 to 14.6 megawatts of electricity. The second plant would follow 15 to 20 years later to supply expected increases in electricity demand in Iqaluit as the city continues to grow, according Qulliq. That project, known as Armshow South, would generate up to 8.8 MW of power. Qulliq has highlighted the projects as a source of “stable” power generation, which will lessen reliance on diesel fuel and eventually bring down the cost of electricity. At the Sept. 10 sessions, NIRB staff will present information about the projects and listen to concerns and opinions from the public, said Ryan Barry, the NIRB’s executive director. “We always encourage public participation and attendance,” Barry said. At the meetings, residents “can learn more about the project and also have a chance to influence the assessment by letting us know what their concerns are, and what their questions are,” he said. Staff will then take what they hear to develop guidelines that Qulliq will have to respond to in an environmental impact statement, Barry said. The NIRB will hold the two public scoping meetings on Sept. 10 at the Francophone centre in Iqaluit. The first is scheduled to take place 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and the second at 7 p.m. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca   COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online #1. Posted by I wonder on September 10, 2013 Just out of curiosity, why has the Sylvia Grinnell river been ignored? Its right there close to town and would be much cheaper to build. #2. Posted by iqalummiuq on September 10, 2013 #1 - because people go fish there. there was another lake that was chose too and people complained it was a fishing spot. #3. Posted by I wonder on September 10, 2013 There are dam’s all over the world and people can still fish, dam’s have fish ladders so they can swim down or back up, simple. #4. Posted by Ger on September 11, 2013 I am very happy to hear that the President of Qulliq intends to leave in June 2014.  He’d be in over his head.

1st Chinese ship crosses Arctic Ocean

A Chinese cargo ship crossed the Arctic Ocean for the first time reaching Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Tuesday. The voyage is regarded by some shipping experts as an audacious feat and has opened up a new sea route for China. The new route opened up after global warming made it possible to travel over parts of the usually frozen Arctic Ocean. The voyage by the ship 'Yong Sheng' took two weeks less than the 45 days it takes for a ship from China going to Europe using the conventional Suez Canal and Malacca Straits routes. Chinese shippers will be able to use the new route from July to November with the help of Russian ice breakers. The Arctic Council has given observer status to some countries including India, China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the European Union. Ships from Japan and South Korea have already traversed the Arctic sea route. But the entry of China with its massive cargo requirements for cargo shipping is expected to turn it into a major shipping route, observers said. China has been desperately looking for alternative sea routes to reduce its dependence on the increasingly risky and congested Malacca route. It has been heavily assisting Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan with finance and port construction in its quest for new sea routes. The Arctic Route offers Chinese shippers a limited alternative at least for a few months a year, observers said. www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

U.S. Ambassador in Alaska says Northern Nations are Scrambling to Meet Arctic Challenges

A U.S. ambassador says Arctic Nations are scrambling to meet the challenges posed by ice free arctic waters. By Dan Carpenter Channel 2 News On Tuesday, Assistant Secretary David Balton with the U.S. Department of State spoke of the many opportunities and challenges that come with ice free water in the Arctic at an Alaska World Affairs Council luncheon. Balton says oil and gas development and increased shipping hold opportunity for the United States, but also risks to the environment. “One obvious risk is a major oil pollution incident, if the event that took place in the gulf of Mexico a few years ago took place is the Chuckchi Sea it would almost certainly be a lot worse,” Balton said. Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, also attended the event. He says the Arctic Ocean is opening in our lifetimes, which means the state has two priorities due to the state’s strategic position: more jobs for Alaskans with more ports and protecting the marine environment. “Here you have Alaska, which is pro-development, saying to the Obama administration, which has not been very pro-development around here, that we've got to do a better job on the marine environment when you have these foreign ships passing through by our shores,” said Tredwell. The Arctic Council is composed of representatives from eight northern nations, including the United States. To date, the Arctic Nations have agreed to two policies: one strengthening search and rescue capabilities and the other preparing northern nations for oil pollution incidents. The U.S. will chair the council beginning in 2015. www.ktuu.com

Russian tanker loaded with diesel fuel collides with Arctic ice floe

A fully-loaded tanker carrying diesel fuel struck an ice floe and started taking on water last week while traveling the Northern Sea Route.  The Arctic Sounder Carey Restino September 13, 2013 The 453-foot Russian-flagged tanker Nordvik is rated to travel in non-Arctic seas in thin ice, but collided with an ice floe in Matisen Straight, causing a hole that resulted in water ingress. The Northern Sea Route Administration had given the vessel permission to sail in the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea, two of the most northern seas. There are as yet no reports of diesel fuel spills in the area, and the vessel was reportedly traveling toward Murmansk.  A graphic of sea ice concentrations shows ice in that region, though the majority of the passage is shown to be ice-free.  A Russian union spokesperson said the accident is an example of the need for more emergency response capacity in the region prior to allowing vessels to travel in the Arctic seas.  “Yesterday’s accident was a direct threat to the lives of sailors and the ecology of the Arctic,” Aleksander Bodnya says to the union’s web site. “Vessels like that should not be sailing on NSR, simply because they are not capable of withstanding the ice conditions.”  Alaska’s state officials responded with similar concern, saying the incident illustrates why Alaska and the United States need to continue to push an Arctic marine safety and life safety agenda.  “We have an Arctic Council agreement signed this year to help each other in cleanup, but need more work in prevention,” said Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, one of the state officials who has been leading Arctic policy efforts, in an email. Treadwell said one of the proposals from the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment includes a mandatory code defining what kind of ships can make these voyages.  “Russia and other nation’s crude oil and product tankers now come through the Bering Strait, through waters that are a major food source for Alaskans and the world,” Treadwell said. “They should have contingency plans and the support of an oil spill response organization in case of a problem. That is not cheap, but we have to find a way to make it happen.”  In 2012, 46 ships sailed the entire length from Europe to East Asia. In 2013, administrators of the Northern Sea Route had granted permission for more than 400 ships to sail. The accident was initially reported in the Barents Observer, which is based in Norway. The website also recently reported the opening of its first Arctic search and rescue center in Naryan-Mar, Russia. The country reportedly wants to open nine more centers across the Northern Sea Route by 2015, and allocated $27.6 million to do so in 2009. Treadwell said the Arctic Council’s agenda for the next two years is to work on oil spill prevention. “This incident shows we are talking about real risks, not future, far off and theoretical ones,” he said. www.alaskadispatch.com

Nunavut’s Mary River sets off shipping boom at Valleyfield port

Sept. 10 shipment sets record for Arctic-bound vesselsThe Mary River iron project on north Baffin Island has yet to start pumping out iron ore in commercial quantities — but it has already ignited an explosion of commercial activity at the St. Lawrence Seaway port in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que. On Sept. 10, the MV Claude Desgagnés, operated by Nunavut Sealink and Supply Inc., departed Valleyfield with 23,384 cubic metres of cargo bound for the Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. beach site at Milne Inlet, which is connected to Mary River by a tote road. For the Arctic-bound cargo vessels that depart Valleyfield every season, that shipment stands as an all-time record. “This is the highest volume of cargo loaded on an Arctic vessel to date in Valleyfield,” an Sept. 11 email from Valport Maritimes Services said. Valport is a stevedoring group that supports the shipment of cargo through the Port of Valleyfield, which is operated by Société du Port de Valleyfield. The company said that as of early September they had handled 100,000 cubic metres of cargo bound for Milne Inlet on four shiploads, using vessels operated by NSSI and Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping Ltd. “Two brilliant carriers — NEAS and Desgagnés TransArctik (a component of NSSI) — both pioneers of Canada’s Arctic community resupply program and specialized large-project carriers, also weigh in with proven scope and process to deliver cargos in the most challenging of conditions,” Valport said. One of the biggest items was a 140-tonne crane that was offloaded at Milne Inlet for transport by road from Milne Inlet to the mine camp. And they said they’ve already delivered items like sections of camp buildings, and components for a tank farm that will hold aircraft fuel, diesel and heating fuel. “This equipment and cargo specific to mine operations have also made their way north,” Valport said. To handle the complex logistics of acquiring, marshaling and shipping cargo to the Mary River site and constructing a mine there, Baffinland has selected Hatch Ltd., a company that specializes in large resource and infrastructure projects. Staff from Hatch now work closely with Valport Maritimes Services to assemble huge cargo loads bound for Milne Inlet. To prepare for large mega-projects like Mary River, Valport has expanded its facilities, adding new warehousing, a fabrication and assembly centre, a packaging and crating centre, a cross-dock operation, and a cargo staging facility. They also say that improvements to nearby Autoroute 30, nearby rail lines operated by CN and CP, as well as a new rail hub that’s under construction, positions the entire region as “a true multi-dimensional, multi-service logistics dynamo.” Meanwhile, the Nunavut Impact Review Board is about to hold public meetings between Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 — in Igloolik, Hall Beach, Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Resolute Bay, Grise Fiord and Clyde River — on Baffinland’s “early revenue phase” proposal. Under that plan, Baffinland would complete development of a port at Milne Inlet by mid-2015 and by 2016 would ship 3.5 million tonnes of ore a year from that port during the summer and fall. The company estimates that 1,400 workers will be on site in 2014 and 2,000 by 2015. But by 2020, Baffinland proposes completing a railway to a port at Steensby Inlet, which would allow 20 million tonnes of ore to start flowing from Mary River virtually all year round. Baffinland’s revamped plan is still under consideration by the NIRB, which is working with the Nunavut Planning Commission to determine if the company’s current plans for Milne Inlet conform to the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan.www.nunatsiaqonline.ca  COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online #1. Posted by wondering on September 13, 2013 take it while ya can, trust me..in 2-3 years from now this mine will go the way of all other mines…closed for business. #2. Posted by mack on September 13, 2013 Mayors,send as many people as you can to Morrisberg, they need this training, to secure employment at Mary River, #3. Posted by Observer on September 13, 2013 “take it while ya can, trust me..in 2-3 years from now this mine will go the way of all other mines…closed for business. “ Yeah, just like Lupin (1982-2005, 23 years), Polaris (1981-2002, 21 years), Nanisivik (1976-2002, 26 years), Meadowbank (2010-,  3 years and going). Oh, I’m sorry. Were you thinking Jericho was “all other mines”? #4. Posted by wondering on September 13, 2013 just like I said “all other mines” lupin, only 23 years nanisvik only 26 years polaris only 21 years yes Jericho only 2 years read what I said… all subject to high costs and falling prices. #5. Posted by #1 Northerner on September 13, 2013 Then let’s take advantage of those few years, instead of naysaying all the way. People who will work there will learn skills, earn money for their families instead of depending on welfare and perhaps (hopefully in the future) learn to make up their own decisions in running a mine.) I did not want this mine to go ahead, but for what reason? No more animals around that area to hunt anyway. The mine is progressing anyway whether we like it or not, so time to go with the flow. #6. Posted by No shelter here on September 16, 2013 Sigh. #7. Posted by concerned person on September 16, 2013 #5 #1 Notherner; couldn’t said it better! No more hunting grounds in most of that vast area. Also, get ready for new/invasive species that could potentially destroy a native species and/or put them into extinction. My biggest worry is that people will be mad once they can not hunt/eat their traditional foods (caribou, marine animals, polar bears etc.) when it becomes too late to take action. Wish more people were more educated as to what this mine will do to our environment (land, sea, air) and to the animals surrounding it.  

Baffinland says yes to construction of huge Nunavut iron mine

Company gives green light to building mine at Mary RiverFollowing Inuit impact-benefit and commercial production lease agreements with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has decided to go ahead with construction of an iron mine at Mary River on north Baffin Island, the company announced Sept. 13. “Announcing a construction decision is a significant milestone in the evolution of the Mary River project. Many years of environmental reviews and negotiations have led us to be able to reach this decision,” Tom Paddon, Baffinland’s president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. Earlier this year, Baffinland started shipping large amounts of construction material, fuel and equipment to its sealift landing site at Milne Inlet, sparking a boom in activity at the St. Lawrence Seaway port of Valleyfield. The company said they will work on completing their sealift deliveries this year and work on construction of mining camp and fuel storage facilities through late 2013 and into 2014. “Our work at Mary River and Milne Inlet will focus on construction activities that are currently approved through the environmental assessment process,” Paddon said. “As further approvals are obtained in the coming months our construction activities will encompass development required to achieve our Early Revenue Phase and allow for the eventual shipment of ore,” Paddon said. The “early revenue phase” is the name used to describe an amended mine development plan that Baffinland announced in January 2013, shortly after receiving a project certificate for the project. That plan provides for the shipment of about 3.5 million tonnes of ore annually through a port at Milne Inlet. But the amended plan now also provides for later construction of a railway to a port at Steensby Inlet by early 2019 and the shipment of up to 20 million tonnes of ore a year from the site by 2020. The Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Planning Commission are looking at the amended plan, and are to hold public meetings about it early next month in affected communities. The company said it will also move ahead with “extensive training and recruitment initiatives” to help Inuit from north Baffin communities get jobs with the project. And Baffinland said the recent IIBA and commercial production lease with QIA were “key ingredients” that helped the company reach a production decisions. www.nunatsiaqonline   COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online: #1. Posted by concern inuk on September 13, 2013 How do I get friends with that office worker in a small community so I will be hired.  What do I need to do to get hired? #2. Posted by inuk#2 on September 13, 2013 Get some training/education in the mining sector, that should help you get a job there. Arctic College should know where you can get the training. #3. Posted by heerdtell on September 13, 2013 Some of these companies have websites and in them ,  they have online application forms for jobs.  I would snoop around the web, etc.  possibly type in Baffinland iron mine, Mary River or similar…  There might be something for job applications.  Good luck on your job hunting. #4. Posted by no more hope on September 14, 2013 Post# 1, you have to be a good friend or a relative of the bosses that run these projects. I applied to various jobs with Q.C. and Baffinland and no phone call in months. Or you just have to kiss ass. #5. Posted by Robert Morin on September 14, 2013 You can also do a job search at www.indeed.ca. #6. Posted by Just a thoight on September 15, 2013 Don’t be picky. Take anything you can and don’t expect to get a management position making mega bucks from the get go. I know people that started off in janitors positions at Meadowbank and worked they was up to heavy equipment operators, haul truck drivers and management postions. In turn, they guys/gals are making some good coin working 2 weeks in 2 weeks out.  

U.N. Declaration Anniversary Draws Aboriginal Calls for Resource Control in Canada

The next step in the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is to give them full control over whether resource development projects take place on their land, Canada’s aboriginals said in a statement commemorating the sixth anniversary of the 2007 signing of the document. “Decisions about the land go to the very heart of who we are as Indigenous Peoples,” said Perry Bellegarde, Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Saskatchewan Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, in the statement, which was also signed by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Amnesty International of Canada, the Council of Canadians and several other groups. “We need to be able to make our own decisions, with full access to all the relevant information and without pressure or coercion, to ensure that the land is used in a way that reflects our values and our needs. We will always promote processes that unite us in finding long-lasting solutions.” “Inuit have indicated through our joint Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat that we want to be partners in development and seek out projects that benefit our communities,” said National Inuit Leader Terry Audla, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “We see this as a natural extension of our rights as Aboriginal People, which are protected in Canada’s Constitution and in our five comprehensive land claims as well as the U.N. Declaration.” Below is the full statement.JOINT STATEMENT Indigenous Peoples have the right to make decisions about the development of their lands Six years ago—on September 13, 2007—the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the minimum standards for the “survival, dignity and well-being” of Indigenous Peoples around the world. The UN Declaration recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination and calls for the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in all decisions potentially affecting their land. The Declaration urges partnership and collaboration between states and Indigenous Peoples. It sets out the requirement of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) to protect the right of Indigenous Peoples to make decisions about whether and when development should proceed. Implementation of the UN Declaration remains critical as Indigenous Peoples around the world continue to face exploitation of the natural resources of their territories. FPIC and other rights affirmed in the UN Declaration provide indispensable safeguards as Indigenous Peoples struggle to overcome a history of discrimination, marginalization and dispossession. James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, has said, “Implementation of the Declaration should be regarded as a political, moral and legal imperative without qualification.” In this context, it is alarming that Canada, a country at the center of the global extractive industry, continues to fight against recognition and implementation of the human rights protections set out in the UN Declaration. An estimated three-quarters of the world’s mining and mineral exploration companies are headquartered in Canada. Canada’s national Economic Action Plan is intended to support the development of an estimated 600 new large-scale resource extraction projects in the next decade. Also, Canada is promoting opportunities for Canadian oil and gas, mining and other extractive industries to expand their operations around the world. Many of these projects will affect lands and waters that Indigenous Peoples depend on as the basis of their economies, cultural traditions, languages and spiritual life. Indigenous Peoples’ rights over these lands are often the subject of ongoing legal disputes arising from centuries of unlawful dispossession under discredited doctrines such as Terra Nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery. In some cases, such as oil sands extraction or hydraulic fracturing, the long term and cumulative effects of the planned development are poorly understood. For Indigenous women, unchecked resource development has been especially destructive, contributing to a rise in violence, sex trafficking and exploitation as large numbers of outside workers are brought into Indigenous Peoples’ territories. A very high standard of precaution is essential to ensure that any decisions about resource development benefit rather than harm Indigenous Peoples. Under international human rights law, that standard will almost always be one of free, prior and informed consent. Regretfully Canada has taken the unsupportable position that the UN Declaration should have no effect on development decisions. This position is contrary to basic principles of international law and the decisions of Canadian courts. International human rights instruments such as the UN Declaration provide vital guidance to governments, courts and the private sector in defining the rights that may be at stake and the measures needed to protect them. The UN Declarationreflects foundational principles of international law, such as the prohibition against racial discrimination, and incorporates standards already well-established through expert interpretation and application of other regional and international human rights instruments. Canadian courts have concluded that declarations and other instruments are “relevant and persuasive” sources of interpretation of human rights in Canada. Court interpretation of the affirmation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in the Canadian Constitution has evolved in parallel to international law and reached conclusions that would support international human rights, including free, prior and informed consent. The Supreme Court of Canada has called for Indigenous Peoples’ meaningful participation in decision making and the substantial accommodation of their concerns including, where there are very serious issues, acknowledgement that projects should proceed on the basis of Indigenous Peoples’ consent. The Supreme Court of Canada will specifically consider the relevance of international human rights standards including the UN Declaration in a crucial case on Aboriginal title, the William case, which comes before the Court this November. The federal government has opposed the right of FPIC by casting it as an unacceptable power of absolute veto. This is misleading. Very few rights in international law are absolute. International human rights bodies have been clear that FPIC is a protective measure that is applied in proportion to the potential for harm – the same standard supported by Canadian courts. The federal government’s continued opposition to FPIC puts Canada at odds with progressive trends within industry. Since the adoption of the UN Declaration, there has been clear and growing momentum toward FPIC in the private sector with the standard being adopted or endorsed by influential bodies, including the International Financial Corporation, the arm of the World Bank responsible for private sector funding, and the International Council on Mining and Metals. The imposition of resource development without the meaningful involvement of Indigenous Peoples, or against their wishes, is a colonialist model that has no place in the 21st Century. We must dispense with colonial attitudes and practices so that the human rights of all can be respected and fulfilled without discrimination. The UN Declaration provides a roadmap for another approach, based on human rights, justice, non-discrimination and reconciliation – values that all Canadians can be proud to support. Such an approach is long overdue and should be embraced. The joint statement was endorsed by the following organizations: Amnesty International Canada Assembly of First Nations Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers) Chiefs of Ontario Council of Canadians Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations First Nations Summit (British Columbia) Femmes Autochtones du Québec / Quebec Native Women Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) Haudenosaunee of Kanehsatà:ke Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives MiningWatch Canada Native Women’s Association of Canada Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs www.indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.comRead more at Indian Country Today 

QIA plans to release full IIBA text by Dec. 6

Qikiqtani Inuit Association also plans community tour to explain deal If you are a beneficiary of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement living in the Baffin region, you’ll find out by Dec. 6 exactly what the Inuit impact and benefits agreement that Qikiqtani Inuit Association signed with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. for the Mary River iron mine project contains. The QIA has 90 days before it has to make public the full document, signed Sept. 6 in Iqaluit. That’s according to Sec. 26.8.1 of the NLCA, which says “an IIBA shall take effect 30 days after its receipt by the Minister” and Sec. 25.6 of the IIBA which states “the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall remain confidential for up to 90 days after which each Party shall be free to disclose this Agreement to any Person,” cited in a Sept. 11 news release from the QIA. The release said the “QIA therefore commits to providing a public copy of the IIBA on or before December 6, 2013.” To date, the QIA has prepared, released and posted to its website an open letter to beneficiaries, a project background document and an “initial draft [IIBA] plain language guide.” The QIA said it also plans to visit “impacted communities” to present the IIBA and its contents to beneficiaries. The dates of these visits will be made public “once logistics are finalized,” the QIA said Finally, the QIA said it will discuss the IIBA, its contents and initial implementation plans later with the media. In the meantime, the QIA or Baffinland can tell its advisors about the contents of the IIBA and disclose them, as required, during administrative, regulatory or court proceedings. The QIA may provide beneficiaries represented by QIA with “general information and a summary of this IIBA in sufficient detail as to understand the anticipated impacts and benefits of the project to Inuit.” www.nunatsiaqonline.ca  COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online #1. Posted by snapshot on September 13, 2013 im happy for this. Step in or step aside. #2. Posted by concern inuk on September 13, 2013 QIA representative better do most of the talking when you do community consultation.  Our representative never talks to community members and I find him to be bully when it comes to meeting and trying to set up management partners.  I don’t think he wants QIA or HTO to work with Government or community members.  He is going other way.

Nolinor win air contract for Mary River Project

Nolinor, local partner win air contract for Nunavut’s Mary River projectCargo-passenger service based out of Kitchener-Waterloo JANE GEORGE A new joint-venture alliance between Nolinor, a Quebec-based charter airline and Sarvaq Logistics, an expediting and freight firm at the Iqaluit International Airport, plans to run two flights a week from the airport at Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. to northern Baffin Island. Two Boeing 737s will fly to Nunavut with cargo and passengers to a mining project that multiple sources have identified as the Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s Mary River iron mine project. But Dave Morgan, the director of charter operations at Nolinor, said he cannot release the name of the company yet due to contractual obligations. But he said he’s looking forward to the first flight north on Sept. 16, which will carry cargo and 119 passengers Nolinor’s flights will depart in the morning from the Kitchener-Waterloo airport and on their way up stop at Iqaluit, where Frobisher Bay Touchdown Services will provide refueling and other services. If bad weather prevents the flights to and from the mine from taking off again, passengers will stay in Iqaluit, Morgan said. Nolinor now has joint ventures across the North to take advantage of mining exploration and production: in the Kitikmeot region, where it recently established a base in Yellowknife with Kitikmeot Aviation, in the Kivalliq region with Sarliaq Holdings Ltd, where their joint venture provides transportation for the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, and in Nunavik, with Developpements Aputik. “We want to grow across the Arctic,” Morgan said. Nolinor’s efforts in working with local people has generated positive response and feedback, he said. Many people he’s met in the North also welcome a new player, Morgan said,  saying his company’s presence breaks what he called “the monopoly in Arctic aviation.” The new flights could also open new charter opportunities for people traveling from the North. Nolinor and one of its partners could, for example, offer flights from one of its northern destinations to Kitchener-Waterloo when the 737s (three now and another one set to arrive shortly) are not flying. As well, members of the public could even “crowd-source” flights, Morgan suggested, by selling seats to a flight online, which has been done successfully in other places. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca  COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online September 11, 2013 #1. Posted by Just a thought... on September 09, 2013 If the charter flights ended up being cheaper than YFB-YOW-YYZ, I’d fly to KW all the time! Let’s do it, Nolinor! #2. Posted by Numbers on September 09, 2013 If #s were to be determined by random bookings… ABout $200,000 in costs. At 112 people, that’s $1700+ in cheap tickets, totalling the investment. And really, are the students and people of the KWA really ready for the people of Canada’s newest territory? More importantly, the reciprocal?  Bon appetitit, Waterloo! #3. Posted by Charter on September 10, 2013 To #1 - do you know how charters work? You won’t be on it unless you work for the mine or a contractor. This arrangement will do nothing for the people of Nunavut. #4. Posted by Just a thought... on September 10, 2013 #3, I am quite aware of how charters work. In case you missed the following, I’ll post it. “The new flights could also open new charter opportunities for people traveling from the North. Nolinor and one of its partners could, for example, offer flights from one of its northern destinations to Kitchener-Waterloo when the 737s (three now and another one set to arrive shortly) are not flying. As well, members of the public could even “crowd-source” flights, Morgan suggested, by selling seats to a flight online, which has been done successfully in other places.”  

Mary River Project: IIBA

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association realsed on September 6th, 2013 this summary of their Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) with Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation for the Mary River Project. The plan language guide is not binding and the actual IIBA has not been made available to the public. www.qia.ca   

Nunavut’s biggest IIBA to date: what’s in it?

QIA-Baffinland deal on the Mary River iron mine would pour millions of dollars into QIA’s coffers DAVID MURPHYNunatsiaq News The Qikiqtani Inuit Association dubbed it a “historic” moment when Tom Paddon, president and chief executive office of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., and QIA president Okalik Eegeesiak finally signed the deals which will pave the way for the Mary River iron mine in northern Baffin Island Sept. 6. Just before Eegeesiak put her right hand down to sign the first document, she looked behind her and asked a group of QIA negotiators: “Are we sure?” After a chuckle and some nods, she signed the Inuit impact and benefit agreement and commercial production lease, which has been in negotiation for seven years. The signing of the IIBA, which will likely be worth millions to the QIA and Inuit in Baffin Island when the mine moves into commercial production, also came with a signing bonus. But the amount and most other financial information contained in the IIBA was not revealed Sept. 6. Paddon said, however, that the IIBA will make the Mary River mine a successful project. “It’s very much in our best interest for this to be a success for the Inuit,” Paddon told the packed room at the Discovery Lodge in Iqaluit. “The stronger and healthier communities [are] in the North, the better project for us.” “We don’t want to have to recruit people from the South and fly everybody up and bring all of our services from the South — it’s not an efficient a way to do business,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to get there. But that’s what the document is for,” Paddon said. Eegeesiak, speaking mostly in Inuktitut, said that there are bound to be mistakes throughout the span of the project, which would produce 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year, until 2020, when 20 million tonnes of ore would start flowing for at least 20 years if Baffinland expands the project. But Eegeesiak said the entire Baffin region will benefit from the mine. She also said QIA representatives will visit the entire Baffin region to explain the agreement to communities. The IIBA contains twenty-four articles in the initial draft of the summary of the agreement handed out at the meeting, which spells out how Inuit will benefit from the Mary River Project. As part of the deal, an executive committee will be created that will comprise three representatives from each of QIA and Baffinland, called “BIMC” in the document. The executive committee “makes sure BIMC and QIA are accountable to their respective commitments to maximize Inuit participation.” To make any important decisions in relation to the IIBA, five of six representatives from the executive committee will have to agree. The agreement does not set a minimum Inuit employment target, called “MIEG” in the summary. But it does say the executive committee will set annual minimum Inuit employment targets, review contract award issues and respond to communities affected directly by the project. As part of the IIBA, an implementation budget will be created with several funds, which includes: • business capacity and start-up fund — $250,000 per year paid by BIMC until commercial production begins; • Ilagiiktunut Nunalinnullu Pivalliajutisait Kiinaujat Fund (a fund to offset negative social or cultural impacts created by the project and to help distribute benefits) — $750,000 per year paid by BIMC and QIA equally for the first six years; • education and training fund — $1 million for the first two years the IIBA is in effect, paid by BIMC; • scholarship fund — $25,000 each year paid by BIMC; • workplace orientation programs; and, • money to pay the costs associated with implementation of any rights, obligation or requirements of the IIBA. Royalty payments paid by Baffinland to QIA during commercial operations will be reported yearly in an annual general meeting. But the royalty rate and the estimated size of royalty payments were not revealed Sept. 6. In a footnote, the royalty payment is defined as “the net sales revenue for a period multiplied by a factor agreed to by the Parties in the IIBA.” These payments can be re-negotiated after 30 years, or once $1 billion tonnes of iron ore has been mined. QIA can also expect advance payments from Baffinland. These include: • a payment upon the date the IIBA is signed; • a payment upon the date the Nunavut Water Board type A water licence is approved; • a payment upon a positive construction decision by Baffinland; and, • a payment each quarter starting one-year after the construction decision is made and continuing until commercial production begins. For employment, Baffinland will create an Inuit-specific human resources strategy. Its goal: to “identify barriers to the employment and advancement of Inuit, particularly Inuit women, and BIMC will try to reduce them over the course of the project. “ A number of cultural articles are included in the IIBA as well. The IIBA says Inuktitut in the workplace will be supported and its use will be increased over the life of the project, and that a lack of English “will not be a barrier to employment.” And according to the IIBA, Baffinland says they will “make available” country food to Inuit employees, and to non-Inuit employees “from time to time” to promote Inuit culture. Baffinland will also provide funding for environmental monitors to ensure management of monitoring plans “specific to environmental concerns.” A wildlife compensation fund worth $750,000 will be established by Baffinland for the first three years the IIBA is in effect. The fund will be administered by QIA and will compensate Inuit “for any loss or damage related to wildlife that they have suffered” as a result of the project.  Baffinland have to make an annual IIBA implementation report each year to the executive committee. Some articles will still come up for review every three years. www.nutnatsiaqonline.ca   COMMENTS from Nunatsiaq Online #1. Posted by Reciprocity on September 08, 2013 The historic cry looking back “Are we sure?”  Returning with nervous laughter to lip bite, desperately trying to hold emotions, truth locked within. Is Olympics reciprocity now done dancing in heads? Mine is to last 30 years yet wildlife compensation last 3 years. The “off set negative social or cultural impacts” last 6 years. “Education and training fund” last 2 years. Ok I’ll bite, what is the $$ amount for all 3 above after the 3rd and 6th year for the next 27, 24 years? Will people accept this at the up coming community visits explaining the deal?  Do you think it’s a great deal? #2. Posted by IceClass on September 08, 2013 So how does it Benefit Inuit to give a thoroughly dysfunctional organization like QIA millions of dollars? QIA already spends millions every year with no distinguishable benefit to anyone beyond the President, board and those with a make-work job there. #3. Posted by Imaa on September 08, 2013 This IIBA sounds good, much better than the other IIBA’s, the Baker Lake IIBA is good but it is missing a lot of what is on this one. Congratulations QIA and Baffin Inuit! #4. Posted by Get Informed Before Running Your Mouth on September 08, 2013 # 3, what do you know about “Baker Lake IIBA” and what is missing, exactly? :D #5. Posted by the norm on September 08, 2013 The day after the signing, okalik was seen at the iqaluit airport flashing around a $10 million dollar check. Talk about professionalism. :S #6. Posted by Calm down before running your mouth on September 08, 2013 #4, http://www.miningnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/MEADOWBANK-IIBA.pdf The Meadowbank IIBA is lacking in a lot compared to this Baffinland IIBA. If you take the time and comb through the agreements you will see this also. #7. Posted by Fool on September 08, 2013 If she did that she is a fool.  Can’t fix foolish!  Isumaki. #8. Posted by Calm down on September 08, 2013 It is a new IIBA and improving on it is a good thing, any new IIBA should be some improvements. I hope everyone can work together for any new IIBA in the future to make it even better.

QIA & Baffinland strike deal for Nunavut iron project

"This is a historic deal for Inuit of the Qikiqtaaluk region and for all of Nunavut" NUNATSIAQ NEWS The Qikiqtani Inuit Association and Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. announced Sept. 6 they had reached agreement on an Inuit impact and benefit agreement and commercial production lease for Baffinland’s proposed Mary River iron mine project on northern Baffin Island. The official signing of the two agreements, which followed a special QIA board meeting in Iqaluit this past week, took place Sept. 6 at 3:30 p.m. inside the Discovery Lodge hotel in Iqaluit. The QIA’s board of directors, who serve as community representatives, ratified the agreement Sept. 5, the QIA said in a news release. “These agreements turn the page in QIA’s partnership with Baffinland and put Inuit interests at the forefront of the mine’s impacts and benefits. The agreements also provide clarity to Baffinland on Inuit expectations surrounding its investment in Nunavut,” the QIA said in a news release. “This is a historic deal for Inuit of the Qikiqtaaluk region and for all of Nunavut and has the potential to positively change the economic and social fabric of the territory. We are satisfied with the terms and conditions of the agreement which maximizes benefits while minimizing impacts,” said the QIA’s president Okalik Eegeesiak in the release. Tom Paddon, Baffinland’s president and chief executive officer, said the company is “very pleased to have concluded the negotiation of these important agreements with the QIA.” “We believe that this accomplishment clearly demonstrates Baffinland’s commitment to working cooperatively with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, which represents the interests of residents of the Qikiqtaaluk Region. Resource development projects, such as Mary River, have the ability to have a profound positive effect and we will be working closely with the QIA to achieve this goal,” Paddon said. Cathy Towtongie, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. also chimed in with a message of congratulations. “During the last 10 years, this project expended millions of dollars on goods and services from Inuit-owned businesses and joint ventures, and millions more employing and training Inuit and Northerners. I trust that the terms of the IIBA will put even more benefits into the hands of Inuit,” Towtongie said. The agreement’s specific measures have not yet been released to the public, although a “Plain Language Guide to the Mary River Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement” is now available on the QIA website. No financial information, including the value of various revenues flowing to QIA, has so far been released to the public. An NTI news release said that because the Mary project sits on Inuit-owned land, and NTI holds subsurface title to part of the area, “Inuit will receive significant mineral royalties in the years to come.” So far, none of the parties has disclosed the potential annual dollar amount of those Mary River royalty revenues. Article 26 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement requires that before a large development project, like Mary River, can proceed in Nunavut, an IIBA must be reached with a designated Inuit organization. For Mary River to operate as a mine, QIA and Baffinland also had to finalize a commercial production lease. This lease deals with things like rent, boundaries, water use fees, a quarry concession agreement, environmental conditions, authorities for QIA inspectors and auditors, required plans and reporting, and the amount and type of financial security. Baffinland wants to build an iron mine at Mary River that would produce 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year — a big step down from the much larger mine that the company planned to build until this past January, when owners announced they would go ahead with a scaled-down project. The “early revenue” phase of that scaled-down project would lead eventually to the construction of a larger, approved project to be completed within five years — by early 2019 — and, by 2020, 20 million tonnes of ore would start flowing from Mary River. The agreements will be in place throughout the life of the mine and “provide a structure to ensure both parties are cooperating to mutually benefit from the Mary River development.” An open letter to beneficiaries of the QIA, posted Sept. 6, promised “Inuit will be involved in many aspects of this project and will be paying attention and taking part in making sure that these agreements are carried out and implemented in a meaningful way. “It will be important for Inuit to become more involved in the implementation of these agreements in order to help realize critical roles for Inuit in environmental stewardship, training, education, social programming and helping to breathe life into environmental protection measures.” The agreement’s specific measures have not yet been released to the public. No financial information include the value of various revenues flowing to QIA, have been released to the public. www.nunatsiaqonlince.ca   COMMENTS from Nunatsiaq OnlineSeptember 9, 2013 #1. Posted by Hello Inuit on September 06, 2013 Important quotation—“The agreement’s specific measures have not yet been released to the public. No financial information, including the value of various revenues flowing to QIA, has so far been released to the public.” Hello Inuit you better start biting that pillow ‘cuz you are gonna get screwed good and hard. Start looking out for all the new trucks and houses the QIA and QC staff will buy for themselves out of your benefit money. #2. Posted by Hold on on September 07, 2013 #1; Please wait until the details are released before you start floating your malcontent. Let me guess, not living the high life you expected off the work of others? #3. Posted by B Scott on September 07, 2013 Hey #1, I think you can make your point without using a rape/sexual assault reference. I personally find it offensive and am likely not alone. Overt and subtle references to sexualized violence are sadly too common in our society. Enough already. Please find other ways to express your concerns. Hey Nunatsiaq - there is a time and place for moderating these comments. #4. Posted by Frustrated Beneficiary on September 07, 2013 These regional Inuit orgs use the beneficiaries for their own selfish purposes.  No benefits from these deals actually make it to the Inuit themselves, only for the people who work for these organizations and the board members….how $&@%ing sad! #5. Posted by Izzydogg on September 07, 2013 It is finally done, but #1 is right, nothing is gonna go towards us Inuit. The people of the surrounding communities are gonna be screwed. They have been screwed before with contracts, and without notice BIM terminated them all and gave them to other’s. their are also Inuit who own the land in Mary River, whom are still alive and they won’t benefit from it. Not a singal cent will be given to them. Only good thing coming out from this is employment. If it was to benefit the people I would love this deal but I know it won’t so it is not a huge deal. #6. Posted by musher on September 07, 2013 Wow, optimism abounds but she’s a hard-rock business. There will be some large effects on the wildlife, the land, the waterways, etc. for sure. Best of Luck to the the people in the Baffin. #7. Posted by Black Carbon Deal???? on September 07, 2013 Yikes OIA Pres calls it “Historic”.  Another one trying writing their own history?  Did they stand-up for people and polar bears demanding Black-Carbon filtration? Or the environment isn’t historically important? Let it melt.  If Black carbon means nothing it’ll send pains of shock-waves of disgust around the world. Looking at body language in the photos, bite lip, not looking at other and not releasing any information about deal days after announcing of a new communication person is sending message maybe it wasn’t a good historically deal. Without details, have to wonder what played with the minds making the deal?  One the Olympics trip big time had to repaid back some how in mind. The other big time mind game,making it huge project then reducing it to small scale.  Maybe in future will make it big. Yet this agreement is going to be in place for the life of the mind.  Another scary part. #8. Posted by snapshot on September 07, 2013 Yes yes yes. This Inuk is very happy for the signing. Congrats to all the people that negotiated for this. It’s finally done. I’m looking forward to bidding for contracts. To all the negative comments, keep on sulking. #9. Posted by real islander on September 07, 2013 wow everyone must be all smiles for this,history in the making-haha history well alot of people been useing alot of this history this -history that,wow the INUIT are suppose to be in charge of their own ways and traditions,and according to the GN the INUIT are suppose to be number one priority for languages and what ever comes oout of the land. All this has been forgotten,inuit values and traditions were put aside and deal with profits first instead on listening to the people. We all may know that the future is here but it has been here sence we known time,if everything suppose to be inuit for inuit well that is gone,Yes the only people are happy the ones that worked on it and made some profit maybe.?Wonder what happened to work together as inuit with inuit and deal with rest of the world.We gave NUNAVUT away on a Silver PLater #10. Posted by mack on September 07, 2013 Get Ready to work,prepare yourself,for an industrial job at site,2weeks in 2 weeks out, and 100k,a year,that is the most the average person will benifit,enjoy it.spend it wisely on your family. #11. Posted by super henry on September 08, 2013 seriously??? maybe you should think 10-15 years in the future…who are these folks on the QIA board? oh yes, I know some of them…. #12. Posted by arcticredriver on September 08, 2013 Baffinland’s corporate history does not fill one with confidence.  Do a google search on Jowhat Waheed.  There was an initial group of individuals, with a mineral rights claim to the mine-site—but without the financial resources to build the infrastructure.  They were seeking to partner with a firm with the financial resources.  They hired Jowhat Waheed, an experienced figure in the mining industry, as a consultant.  They had him sign a non-disclosure agreement. Presumably the non-disclosure agreement was intended to prevent him revealing details he learned on his job to a firm that would mount a hostile take-over bid.  Did the terms of the non-disclosure agreement prevent Waheed from founding a new company specifically to mount a hostile take-over bid?  The Ontario Securities Commission mounted an inquiry to see whether Waheed had violated its insider trading rules.  I am not aware if they have published their conclusions yet—but the whole deceit thing doesn’t bode well. #13. Posted by Joe Inuk Business on September 08, 2013 Beyond the over-reactions, I’d like to see how this agreement will benefit me as a new Inuk business owner. Having a quick read on Section 6- Contracting Opportunities, I am struck how weak it reads when addressing the requirements for Baffinland to use Inuit businesses. It may be one notch stronger than the Federal rules on how contracts are awarded to businesses in Nunavut but words like ‘try to use’, ‘make every effort’, ‘commits to using it’s best efforts’, does not give me much confidence money will flow to Inuit companies. The only mandatory item in this section is the ‘reporting requirement to QIA’. My fear is the folks negotiating on behalf of Inuit business have never run a business before. Other than the $10 million cheque to QIA, the Inuit businesses may be left to the margins. I will hold my criticism until I see which contracts will be available to Inuit businesses.

UN Special Rapporteur to visit Canada

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to carry out official visit to Canada from 12 to 20 October 2013 The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, will carry out an official visit to Canada from 12 to 20 October 2013. The aim of the Special Rapporteur's visit to Canada is to examine the human rights situation of the indigenous peoples of the country. During the visit, the Special Rapporteur will hold meetings and consultations with government officials, as well as with indigenous nations and their representatives in various locations. The Special Rapporteur is currently developing his agenda to visit locations throughout Canada. Further information and updates about the agenda of the Special Rapporteur, including opportunities to participate in consultations, will be made public on the website of the Special Rapporteur as it becomes available: www.unsr.jamesanaya.org. Please check that website periodically for updates. The Special Rapporteur invites indigenous peoples and organizations, and other interested parties, to send information relevant to the visit to Canada or any other aspect of the mandate to: indigenous@ohchr.org. Please be aware that, due to the large volume of invitations and information submitted, the Special Rapporteur may not be able to respond individually to each request. The findings from the Special Rapporteur's visit will be reflected in a preliminary report that will be submitted to Canada for its comments and consideration. A final version of the report will be circulated publicly and presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report will include recommendations to Canada, indigenous governing bodies and, possibly, other interested parties on how to address issues of ongoing concern to indigenous peoples.

Mining companies not accountable

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian) Allow me to respond to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver's letter to the editor - "Clarification from Oliver" - August 29: With all due respect, this is the same minister who said that it would be safe to drink from the Alberta oil sands' highly toxic tailing ponds in a few years. And I'm sure that Minister Oliver does not want to get into a debate about the ethical practices of Canadian mining companies in Latin America. The highly suspect record of those companies speaks for itself. More to the point, all this talk about "corporate social responsibility" is just talk and little more than PR spin and a sham. This, too, has been well documented. What I was really getting at in my op-ed piece, though, was the Harper government campaign to torpedo the private member's bill (C-300) by Liberal MP John McKay on holding Canadian extractive companies to account. It wasn't perfect, but it did mark an improvement over the current voluntary code for Canadian firms. Bill C-300, had it passed, would have established a set of binding standards that companies would have had to meet if they hoped to receive any support from government agencies and institutions (like the Canada Pension Plan and Export Development Canada). It would have also created a complaints mechanism to investigate, without the consent of the companies themselves, corporate compliance with these same standards. But because Minister Oliver's party opposed this initiative, it clearly exposed where his government stood on making Canadian mining companies more accountable for their actions abroad. Peter McKenna, Professor and Chair Department of Political Science, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown. --- "Clarification from Oliver" Peter McKenna alleges that the Harper government “fought” against efforts to hold mining companies accountable for their actions (Re: Holding Canadian mining companies to account, August 20, 2013). To the contrary, Canada joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2007. This initiative supports improved transparency in resource-rich developing countries through the full publication and verification of company payments and government receipts from oil, gas and mining operations in EITI implementing countries. In March 2009, our government also announced a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector. Last June, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that our government would establish new mandatory reporting standards for companies in the Canadian extractive industry. This policy will result in transparency of payments made to domestic and foreign governments. Canada’s mining sector, which employs more than 300,000 Canadians, already leads the world in responsible mining practices. As of the end of 2011, close to 850 Canadian mining companies operated abroad. This latest initiative will allow Canadians and people in countries where our companies operate to know the economic benefits that Canada’s mining companies contribute to their respective governments. It will enhance the reputation of the Canadian mining sector and promote a level playing field for Canadian companies abroad. Our government expects that extractive industries will meet the high standards of transparency and accountability that have been introduced since 2006. Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, Ottawa, ON.  www.theguardian.pe.ca

QIA set to sign deals with Baffinland for Mary River iron mine

QIA must approve Inuit impact and benefits agreement and commercial production leaseThe Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s board of directors, who represent Inuit from communities in Nunavut’s Baffin region, plan to hold a special meeting in Iqaluit this week to talk about some big issues, including an impact and benefit agreement and commercial production lease with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp, developer of the Mary River project. “Our board usually meets twice a year however, under special circumstances, we have agreed to meet this month to decide on some pressing issues of priority,” said Okalik Eegeesiak, the QIA’s president, in a Sept. 3 news release. At this meeting, the board will also appoint a new acting vice-president. And the board members will receive briefings on the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement-in-Principle and commercial production lease for Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.‘s Mary River iron mine project. Their meeting is likely to be capped off by resolutions calling for the approval of the two agreements. Article 26 of the NLCA requires that before a large development project, like Mary River, can proceed in Nunavut, an IIBA must be reached with a designated Inuit organization. In 2009, QIA and Baffinland signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to some economic provisions that would later become part of a final IIBA. This past April, Eegeesiak said the draft IIBA for the project ran to more than 200 pages. For Mary River to operate as a mine, QIA and Baffinland must also finalize a commercial production lease. This lease will touch on matters including rent, boundaries, water use fees, a quarry concession agreement, environmental conditions, authorities for QIA inspectors and auditors, required plans and reporting, and the amount and type of financial security. Baffinland wants to build an iron mine at Mary River in northern Baffin Island that would produce 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year — a big step down from the much larger mine that the company planned to build until this past January when owners announced they would go ahead with a scaled-down project. The “early revenue” phase of that scaled-down project would lead eventually to the construction of a larger, approved project to be completed within five years — by early 2019 — and, by 2020, 20 million tonnes of ore would start flowing from Mary River. The QIA board meeting takes place from Sept. 4 to Sept. 5 at the Anglican Parish Hall in Iqaluit. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca 

Arctic Fibre Lands Landing Points

Arctic Fibre has successfully completed the identification of seven cable-landing points across Nunavut as part of its 15,700 km subsea fibre optic network through the Northwest Passage between London, England and Tokyo, Japan. The Arctic Fibre project also enables the construction of a local broadband network that can serve the 52% of Nunavut’s population living in communities adjacent to the backbone network.During the past week, a seven-person team consisting of Arctic Fibre staff, AECOM environmental consultants, civil works contractor Ledcor Industries, network design engineer WFN Strategies, Ajungi Consulting, and TE SubCom travelled 4,150 miles to visit the communities of Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay. Information sessions and consultations were well attended, with representatives of the federal and territorial governments, hamlet councils, Hunters and Trappers Associations, Community Land and Resource Committees, Kitikmeot Inuit Association, Qikiqtani Inuit Association, local businesses, telecommunications carriers and local residents. “In most instances, we were able to confirm the engineering studies Arctic Fibre has undertaken over the past two years,” said Douglas Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Arctic Fibre. “However, we obtained input and local knowledge from residents that led us to modify our landing locations in Cape Dorset, Igloolik and Taloyoak to spots better suited to avoid ice scour, wave action and not interfere with local activities.”  www.lightreading.com 

Canada to Fund Diamond Mapping, Mining Training

Canada is renewing its Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals program, with a $100 million commitment over seven years from the federal budget. That follows a previous allocation of $100 million over five years from the federal budget in 2008.   The increased reliable geological information will increase investment from companies conducting exploration, including diamond companies. Canada also has gold, rare earths, copper, zinc and lead deposits.The minerals industry has played an important role to date in facilitating northern development, with GDP contributions in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut of 24.2% and 26%, respectively. In 2012, these areas attracted nearly $450 million in exploration investment. The GEM program renewal follows skills training announcements from Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a recent northern tour. This includes $5.8 million over two years to support the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society for a new mining sector-skills training program in the Northwest Territories and in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut. Harper also announced support for the creation of a new Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining, a $5.6 million investment over four years. Both programs aim to help Aboriginal peoples and northerners obtain the training and skills required for well-paying and highly-technical positions in the growing mining industry.www.israelidiamond.co.il 

Geomapping programme to boost exploration in Canada’s North

By: Creamer Media Reporter JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has welcomed the renewal of the Geomapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) programme, saying that it will help facilitate exploration activities in the northern parts of the country. The federal government has committed a further $100-million over seven years to the GEM programme, building on a previous allocation of $100-million over five years from the 2008 Budget. “This continued investment in surveying will help the industry better determine where mineral deposits are located and, ultimately, where the next generation of Canadian mines can be developed,” commented MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton. He said it made sense for companies conducting exploration to spend their high-risk dollars in areas where good geological data was available in order to heighten the chances of finding a deposit. “By developing a broader body of reliable geological information, Canada is enhancing its attractiveness as a destination for mineral exploration investment.” Canada's three territories – Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon – are rich in resources, including gold, diamonds, rare earths, copper, zinc and lead, and geomapping and exploration will help to identify more types of deposits in the region. MAC stated that roughly three-quarters of the GEM spending was directed toward investment in three territories, where the mapping needs were most acute. The minerals industry has played an important role to date in facilitating northern development, with gross domestic product contributions in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut of 24.2% and 2% respectively. In 2012, the three territories attracted nearly $450-million in exploration investment. “There is great interest in Canada's northern mineral potential and the GEM programme is critical to mapping out mineral opportunities in a region where geoscience knowledge is currently lacking," said Gratton. The GEM programme renewal follows positive skills training announcements from Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his northern tour, including $5.8-million over two years to support the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society for a new mining sector-skills training programme in the Northwest Territories and in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut. Earlier in the week, Harper also announced support for the creation of a new Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining to be housed within Yukon College, in Whitehorse, a $5.6-million investment over four years.www.miningweekly.com  

Nunavut anxious for self-control, Premier tells Harper

By STEVEN CHASEAariak presses Harper to relinquish Ottawa's control over its land and resources Nunavut, Canada's youngest territory, is getting impatient for the federal government to hand the jurisdiction province-like control over its land and resources, saying the intense international focus on the region makes a handover all the more urgent. Prime Minister Stephen Harper got an earful from Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak on the topic when he stopped in Rankin Inlet on Thursday on his annual summer tour of Northern Canada. "I find things are moving very, very slowly," Ms. Aariak told reporters. "I am getting more and more concerned about the fact that the start of devolution negotiations is taking longer than expected." Nunavut came into being in 1999 when it was split from the Northwest Territories, but the federal government has retained control over some powers traditionally exercised by provinces. The Northwest Territories inked a consensus agreement with Ottawa in June that would transfer decision-making authority over Crown land, water and natural resources to the territorial government and aboriginal groups, as well as a share of royalties paid by companies that extract minerals or energy. Sparsely populated Nunavut, where more than 31,000 people live, wants a similar arrangement. "Nunavut is the last remaining jurisdiction to have decisions about its land and resources made by ministers in Ottawa," Ms. Aariak said. Mining projects dot Nunavut, but the expectation is that devolution, or this power transfer, could spur more development, as it is expected to do in neighbouring NWT. The Northwest Passage – the sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – runs through Nunavut and melting ice is making it easier for shipping through the Arctic archipelago. This also increases the risk of environmentally damaging marine disasters in the area. "The world is looking at Nunavut and the Arctic," Ms. Aariak said. "Resource development is happening and the shipping season is getting longer and longer due to changes in sea-ice conditions." The Prime Minister's Office did not publicly discuss the meeting between Mr. Harper and Ms. Aariak, but the Premier released a statement on Thursday saying the Conservative Leader told her that Ottawa "would be ready to engage in substantive negotiations before 2014." However, the Premier's Office later changed the statement, eliminating this phrase and instead saying the Nunavut leader was "pleased that Prime Minister Harper once again confirmed his support for devolution." Mr. Harper is nearing the end of his annual summer tour of the Arctic. While in Rankin Inlet, a hamlet on northwestern Hudson Bay, he announced funds to finish mapping the geology of the Canadian North, a project expected to take until 2020 and generate data that will be used by companies to uncover more energy and mineral wealth in the area. The $100-million will help fund a geological mapping program that creates more detailed surveys of what lies beneath the ground in Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada. It will help identify areas of high potential for gold, nickel, rare metals, base metals and diamonds. The prospecting industry estimates that the mapping will generate at least $500-million in exploration efforts by private companies. "Our investment will continue to unlock the full economic, mineral and energy potential of the region, while generating new government revenues, private-sector investment and jobs," Mr. Harper said. The Geo-Mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program was launched in 2008.www.theglobeandmail.com 

Proposed Changes To The Northwest Territories And Nunavut Mining Regulations

Article by Johanna Fipke, Michael J. Bourassa and Steven Catania On June 29, 2013, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada ("AANDC") published a notice of proposed changes to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Mining Regulations (the "Current Regulations") in the Canada Gazette and is seeking public comment during a sixty (60) day period ending on August 28, 2013. Links to the proposed changes can be found at: Northwest Territories Mining Regulations and Nunavut Mining Regulations. In an effort to modernize the current mineral tenure framework in the Northwest Territories ("NWT") and Nunavut, AANDC has proposed to split the Current Regulations into two distinct regulations:  the Northwest Territories Mining Regulations ("NWT Regulations"), which would apply to Crown lands in NWT; and the Nunavut Mining Regulations ("Nunavut Regulations"), which would apply to Crown lands in Nunavut.  According to AANDC, the proposed changes, which would create legislative and administrative separation between the two jurisdictions, are necessary: to facilitate the development of a new online mineral tenure acquisition system in Nunavut, currently scheduled to be implemented in November 2014; and to prepare for the devolution of responsibilities over lands and resources from the federal government to the NWT territorial government ("NWT Devolution"), with such devolution set to occur on April 1, 2014. Although the proposed changes represent a considerable overhaul of the Current Regulations, the bulk of these changes are administrative in nature and do not present many substantive changes that would materially affect the nature of rights that would have otherwise been granted under the Current Regulations.  In addition, save for a few exceptions, the text of the proposed NWT Regulations and the Nunavut Regulations (together, the "Proposed Regulations") is identical. Some of the more substantive changes include the following: eliminating any potential gaps in tenure by changing the mineral lease application deadline from the 10th anniversary to the 9th anniversary of the claim (compare s. 58 of the Current Regulations with s. 57(2)(b) of each of the Proposed Regulations); changing the annual application period for prospecting permits from between December 1 to December 31 of each year to a much longer period of between February 1 to the last business day in November (compare s. 29(4) of the Current Regulations with s. 9(2)(b) of each of the Proposed Regulations); eliminating s. 48 of the Current Regulations dealing with safety issues covered by other legislation; repealing dispute resolution provisions that address access disputes between surface rights holders and prospectors.  In the future, those disputes will be governed under the Nunavut Waters and Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal Act in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act  (compare s. 70 of the Current Regulations with s. 6(b) of each of the Proposed Regulations); clarifying cancellation provisions for mineral claims and leases, including permitting a claim holder to cancel their claim at any time by submitting a cancellation request to the Mining Recorder along with the prescribed fee (see ss. 41, 50-52, 59-61, 63, and 82 of each of the Proposed Regulations); re-iterating the Minister's ability to delay re-opening of lands for staking and prospecting where the Minister of AANDC has reasonable grounds to believe that there is un-remedied environmental damage (see s. 53 of each of the Proposed Regulations); establishing provisions for requesting a suspension of payment and work requirements in the event that a claim holder company has received a court order under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (see s. 48 of each of the Proposed Regulations); simplifying provisions granting claim holders extensions on time to meet work requirements and limiting the number of extensions to 3 during the 10-year term of the claim (compare s. 44 of the Current Regulations to s. 47 of each of the Proposed Regulations). In addition, the proposed changes remove a number of administrative burdens, including: moving toward electronic filings (e.g., stakeholders will be able to file reports of work and provide raw data to AANDC electronically); eliminating the requirement for duplicate documents and reports (e.g. duplicate copies of lease documents will no longer be needed to transfer a lease and work reports and supporting documentation will no longer be required to be submitted in duplicate); eliminating certain required records and details (e.g. certain accounting and personnel records are no longer required); simplifying reporting (e.g. if the report deals only with excavation, sampling or the examination of outcrops and surficial deposits — or any combination of them — and the cost of the work is less than $10,000, stakeholder may submit a simplified report); eliminating inspection requirements (i.e. stakeholders will no longer be required to prepare for inspection). However, under the proposed changes, stakeholders would be required to provide a regional geological map and a list of geographic coordinates to locate work sites in a report. For a full summary and listing of the proposed changes, please see AANDC's Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement. It is important to note that, despite all these changes, provisions respecting royalties and fees will remain substantially the same. AANDC plans to implement the Proposed Regulations on April 1, 2014, at the same time as NWT Devolution.  AANDC will be accepting public comment on the Proposed Regulations until August 28, 2013. www.mondaq.com

Nunavut reviews Baffinland's new Mary River iron ore mine plan

CBC NEWS NORTHNunavut regulators have begun the formal review of Baffinland's new plans for a proposed iron ore mine at Mary River, Nunavut. The Nunavut Impact Review Board is asking for interested parties to review the plans and comment. The Baffinland iron ore mine at Mary River, Nunavut was approved last year, but in January, the company announced a change of plans. Those changes involved shipping the ore out of Milne Inlet. Regulators decided that called for another public review. Interested parties now have until Oct. 15 to provide comments to the Nunavut Impact Review Board. Baffinland is sticking to its original plan to build a railway and port at Steensby Inlet, but the company says that development will come later. Baffinland says shipping from Milne Inlet means it can start making money sooner.www.cbc.ca 

Harper unveils aboriginal mining grant in northern Canada

By STEVEN CHASE ‎S‎tephen Harper trumpeted a federal grant to teach essential mining skills to 400 aboriginal workers in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, an effort to ensure the local population benefits from big resource extraction projects. The prime minister's annual summer tour of northern Canada coincides with a controversy in neighboring Yukon over a new territorial government effort to import foreign workers for industries such as mining. ‎The $5.8-million over two years will fund a 25-month ‎program delivered with the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society for participants in the NWT and the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut. "The North's rapidly growing extractive industry is driving prosperity and creating demand for local skilled workers," said Prime Minister Harper. "The support being provided today will help Aboriginal participants in the North gain the training they need to access the jobs and prosperity being generated by the industry's growth." ‎The training is taking place in 11 communities and on three mine sites across the Territories and the Kitikmeot region of ‎Nunavut, including Hay River. Following the training, six local employer partners, including three area mines, will place graduates into jobs. ‎‎The prime minister announced the funds during a stop in Hay River, NWT, on the third day of his 2013 summer tour of northern Canad‎a.‎ Mr. Harper began his eighth annual northern tour of Canada Sunday, embarking on a six-day trip that starts in Yukon before crossing the Arctic Circle to promote mining and other resource extraction in this country's most sparsely populated region. Like Progressive Conservative chief John Diefenbaker, Mr. Harper has a use-it-or-lose it attitude toward northern Canada that in the early years of his government led to high-profile measures to promote Canadian sovereignty in the resource-rich Arctic. Now in his eighth year in office, the prime minister is focusing more on economic and social development of a region that struggles with unemployment and the challenge of creating durable jobs. Mr. Harper's other stops include Hay River, NWT, Gjoa Haven and Rankin Inlet in Nunavut as well as Raglan Mine, the location of a massive nickel mining complex in northern Quebec. Training will also be delivered at three mine sites in the Territories: Diavik Diamond Mine, Snap Lake Mine and Ekati Diamond Mine.www.theglobeandmail.com 

Tahltan First Nation Serves Fortune Minerals With Eviction Notice

ISKUT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Aug 16, 2013Members of the Tahltan First Nation have served Fortune Minerals Limited with an eviction notice to pack-up a controversial exploration camp situated near ancestral burial grounds.  The nation and its allies are calling on supporters to travel to the Sacred Headwaters to make a stand against the coal company.  "We didn't fight Shell for ten years so a coal company could come along and build an open pit mine in the heart of the Sacred Headwaters," said Mary Dennis, a Tahltan elder. "We've stopped bigger industrial projects before and we'll do it again with help from our supporters and allies."  Last month, the Tahltan Central Council (TCC) passed a unanimous resolution to protect the Sacred Headwaters from industrial development. The TCC are the elected representatives of the Tahltan Nation, which governs 5000 members and 93,500 square kilometers of unceded traditional Tahltan territory.  "We are calling on those people who have stood with us before, and who have a connection to the Sacred Headwaters, to stand with us again to protect this area once and for all," said Rhoda Quock, spokesperson for the Klabona Keepers, a group of Tahltan elders focused on protecting the Sacred Headwaters for future generations.  Fortune Minerals has been conducting exploratory work for the company's controversial Arctos Anthracite Coal Project, a plan to remove most of Mount Klappan and replace it with a 4,000 hectare open-pit coal mine. The area is adjacent to the Spatsizi wilderness area and is sacred to the Tahltan, who hunt and fish at a camp that has been used for several generations at the foot of the mountain.  "Fortune Minerals couldn't have picked a worse place to try and build an open-pit coal mine," said Shannon McPhail, Executive Director of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition. "This project is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the company should withdraw, rather than angering local communities over a project that will never be built."  The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition is assisting the public with travel logistics to get to the Sacred Headwaters: http://ow.ly/nYJ69.  Media Materials:  Video B-Roll: http://ow.ly/nYIXl  Photos: http://ow.ly/nYIZA www.marketwatch.com 

Alberta sets new rules on industry, aboriginal consultation

Winnipeg Free PressEDMONTON - The Alberta government has set new rules on how the province's resource industries must deal with aboriginal bands affected by development. At least one of those groups says the consultation policy is designed to keep government in the driver's seat.

Dream of arctic broadband one step closer to reality

Arctic Fibre begins Nunavut route surveys announces dream of arctic broadband one step closer to realityTuesday, Jul 30, 2013A separate site visit to Deception Bay in Nunavik, Northern Quebec, will follow the Nunavut excursion to ascertain the viability of building a spur off the backbone to meet the bandwidth requirements of mining companies in the area.The determination of the cable landing locations and Boothia Crossing route will form part of the company’s submissions to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) and the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC).  Approvals from NIRB and NPC are prerequisites to the issuance of an International Submarine Cable Landing Licence from the Minister Responsible for Industry Canada.Arctic Fibre submitted its licence application to Industry Canada last October but finalization of the survey schedule required ice clearance at all landing points. The finalization of landing site locations will enable Arctic Fibre to refine its undersea routes and undertake the detailed marine studies later this year and with the bulk of the work being completed in 2014. The scheduled in-service date for the $620 million backbone network between London and Tokyo is December 2015.By combining an Arctic broadband network in the same cable sheath with a trans-continental link between Asian and European financial centres, Arctic Fibre can build a backbone network serving half of the population of Nunavut without government subsidy.In February the Company submitted a $237 million proposal to Industry Canada which would extend the fibre cable to 23 additional northern communities with the assistance of nine microwave hops.  This secondary network expansion, which would require some form of government support, would ensure the provision of  virtually unlimited bandwidth to 98% of the combined Nunavut and Nunavik population, thereby supporting both economic and social development, while contributing significantly to Canada’s nation-building in its Arctic region.www.yourcommunicationnews.com

ITK and ICC reject calls to end oil and gas activity in the Arctic

ITK, Inuit Circumpolar Council say cautionary, case-by-case approach needed to development projects.THE HILL TIMES Chris Plecash July 15, 2013  Leaders representing Canada’s Inuit at the national and international level are calling for a cautionary approach to oil and gas development in the Arctic and rejecting a Greenpeace-led campaign demanding a ban on offshore drilling and a moratorium on onshore hydrocarbon extraction in the region. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the Inuit Circumpolar Council say it’s up to Inuit communities to determine how resources in their territories are developed, not Greenpeace and other organizations based outside of the Arctic Circle. Duane Smith, president of Canada’s Inuit Circumpolar Council branch, said that there are a variety of positions on resource development amongst the region’s Inuit, and it’s their decision whether or not projects like mining and offshore drilling take place on their settled territory. “Some are in favour, some are not. We would prefer to take a cautionary approach to development matters so that our respective Inuit regions are fully engaged, involved, and receiving benefits that they feel are appropriate for the development taking place in their areas,” Mr. Smith told The Hill Times. ITK president Terry Audla, whose organization represents the 55,000 Inuit living throughout the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Northern Quebec and Labrador nationally, said that his organization does not favour “development at all costs.”  Rather, the pace of development needs to be determined by Inuit communities living within each of the four regions settled under modern land claims agreement. “In each of those modern land claims agreements, there’s a requirement that Inuit participate and co-manage their renewable and non-renewable resources,” Mr. Audla said. “The advantage is that Inuit have 20-20 hindsight because of their isolation. We can look at what went wrong [elsewhere], what’s been done right, and try to build those into any development.” The comments from Mr. Audla and Mr. Smith are in stark contrast to the Joint Statement of Indigenous Solidarity for Arctic Protection that was released on May 13, two days before Canada assumed its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council in Kiruna, Sweden. The strongly worded statement was signed by 41 representatives from Arctic communities and civil society, and demands a ban on offshore drilling in the Arctic shelf, a moratorium on Arctic onshore drilling, and that all “extraction and industrialization” of land require the informed “explicit consent” of indigenous inhabitants. “Our culture and history cannot be bought off and replaced with pipelines and drill rigs. Our way of living defines who we are and we will stand up and fight for our nature and environment,” the document’s preamble states. “Our rights and ability to sustain ourselves must not be trampled by others’ endless hunger for profits.” Organized by Greenpeace, the statement includes signatories from five of the eight Arctic Council member states—Canada, Russia, the U.S., Denmark, and Sweden. A number of representatives of Arctic Council permanent participant groups also signed the document, including Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus, who is international vice chair of the Arctic Athabaskan Council. Chief Erasmus could not be reached for comment. Other permanent participant organizations to have members sign the declaration included the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, and the Saami Council. The Inuit Circumpolar Council is also an Arctic Council permanent participant. Mr. Smith acknowledged that his organization has members who oppose oil and gas development in their territory. “Some of the Inuit regions have a lot of experience dealing with these issues and some don’t have any at all. The position is going to be varied amongst each of those areas because of that,” he said. Kiera Kolson, a Greenpeace campaigner and member of the Dene Nation, defended the statement opposing Arctic resource development. She said that it was not a Greenpeace initiative—the organization only helped to “create the space” for the groups to come together and develop the statement at the 2012 Indigenous Peoples of the North Conference held in Northern Russia. “We’re dealing with a very aggressive government right now where the indigenous voice and indigenous inherent rights are being undermined,” Ms. Kolson told The Hill Times. “We will continue to challenge reckless development because the [developers] don’t have the solutions for a large-scale spill. The fact of the matter is that oil drilling is dangerous.” Canada has made no secret that it plans to make Arctic economic development its top priority during its chairmanship of the Arctic Council, and mineral and hydrocarbon resources are expected to spur that development. Briefings notes prepared for Health Minister and Arctic Council Chair Leona Aglukkaq (Nunavut) ahead of her October 2012 Arctic tour, obtained by The Hill Times through the Access to Information Act, identify development for northern peoples as the overarching theme of Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Three sub-themes are identified: Arctic resource development, responsible and safe Arctic shipping, and sustainable circumpolar communities. The notes, part of a discussion paper for consultation with Arctic stakeholders, identify natural resource development as “central to the economic future of the circumpolar region.” “Arctic Council initiatives could be built around and support Canada’s priorities to increase investment and development in the Northern resource sector,” the paper suggests in reference to existing priorities under the Conservative government’s Northern Strategy. “Initiatives should highlight and reinforce Canadian leadership in this area, and engage industry and the business community.” There has been extensive oil and gas exploration throughout Canada’s Arctic waters, but currently no producing wells. That’s expected to change in the coming years as waters remain open for longer periods of time, allowing for more industrial activity by all Arctic Council members. Mr. Audla acknowledged that Arctic resource development posed a challenge to the people who live in the region. “When it comes to non-renewable resources, there’s nothing sustainable about it,” he said. “It’s a matter of responsible extraction and extracting it and shipping it in a way that is not a detriment to the wildlife, habitat, and the health of our people.” However, he added that the Inuit should not be told by outsiders what they can and cannot do in their own territory. “For an outside group to try to dictate to us how to manage development is just not right. We can manage our own affairs,” Mr. Audla said. “The next step is for the rest of the world to [deal with] their over-reliance on oil and emission-causing activities need to be stemmed. In the meantime, Inuit are not going to be taxed and told they can’t develop while the rest of the world is.” cplecash@hilltimes.com Twitter: @chrisplecash www.hilltimes.com 

New Requirements for Kiggavik project

Nunavut Impact Review Board releases report with suggestions from June technical meetings NORTHERN NEWS SERVICES Miranda ScotlandJuly 17, 2013 BAKER LAKE  -  AREVA Resources Canada has received further direction on what to address in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for its proposed uranium project near Baker Lake. The Nunavut Impact Review Board set out an additional 25 requirements in a report released July 5. The suggestions are based on information that came as a result of the technical meetings held in June. At the time, the NIRB met with people in communities across the Kivalliq region. The board also met with organizations such as the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers. The proposed Kiggavik project would see an estimated 51,000 tonnes of uranium mined from a location 80 km west of Baker Lake. The mine site is estimated to have an operation life of 12 years. The additional requirements AREVA will have to address in its FEIS include: Provide a draft plan for monitoring dust from the operation. Consider ways to manage ore and waste rock storage areas in order to prevent dust contaminants from being blown around.Consider the effects the operation could have on caribou and ways to mitigate them to ensure the sustainability of the herds.Collect more Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and consider how the knowledge might be weighted against scientific information. Also, look at how to integrate the knowledge into plans to reduce project-related affects on the environment.Provide a more comprehensive analysis of labour force projections. Include a draft wildlife mitigation and monitoring plan. AREVA is expected to submit the FEIS by Sept. 30, 2014. The impacted parties will then have a chance to present final written submissions and the company will be given time to respond. The final hearing will be scheduled at a later date, likely for 2015. "At this time, the board is not in a position to schedule the date of the final hearing as it is highly dependent on the actual date of the filing and acceptance of a complete FEIS submission," the NIRB stated in its report, adding the meeting will not take place in May or June given that many community members are expected to be out on the land. Baker Lake has been selected as the location for the hearing, although representatives from each of the potentially affected communities will have an opportunity to participate. In the meantime, the board is encouraging AREVA to meet with people in communities across the region. The report stated the information sessions should address the questions raised during the community roundtables and provide an overview of how the key conclusions in the FEIS were reached. www.nnsl.com 

Baker Lake HTO still wants public vote on Areva uranium project

NUNATSIAQ NEWS Nunavut July 15, 2013 Editor’s note: The Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization sent this letter July 4 to the Nunavut Impact Review Board. They asked that it be published in Nunatsiaq News. The Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization participated in the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s community roundtable and pre-hearing conference for Areva’s proposed Kiggavik uranium project. The HTO would like to express several concerns with the structure of these meetings. During the meetings, the NIRB stated that the purpose of the community roundtable was to hear community concerns and to see if the communities opposed or supported Areva’s proposal. However, the HTO is concerned that the structure of the meetings resulted in a biased discussion, so the NIRB may not have an accurate picture of what the community feels about Areva’s proposal. The meetings were held in the spring, when many families in Baker Lake are busy fishing and preparing dried fish and dried meat out at their camps. The meetings were mostly held during working hours. Many people who work full-time or depend on fish and caribou did not attend the meetings. The NIRB did not hear their perspectives. The time allotted for community questions was also very tight. Some community members were able to dominate the floor, speaking many times, while many others were never given an opportunity to speak. The format of the community roundtable was also an issue. Community members were told to ask questions to Areva. Areva answered questions and responded to concerns like any mining company would. They told people not to worry, that they’d take care of any problems, and reassured us that everything would be okay. The NIRB staff was present, as were many intervening parties, but they mostly stayed out of the discussion, as they were never called upon. As a result Areva’s staff were left to guide the discussion and were allowed to steer the discussion in a very positive direction for them. Many Inuit in Baker Lake have complained that they do not feel comfortable voicing concerns directly to the mining industry. They feel intimidated to voice opposition because Areva’s staff of experts provide answers that make them feel stupid for opposing Areva. These experts are well-coached in public speaking and are trained to talk circles around the rest of us. If the interevening groups were allowed to participate more, the conversation may have been quite different. Instead of having community members ask Areva questions, community members could have had a day to discuss their concerns with the intervening groups. They could have had the opportunity to ask these groups if they agree with Areva’s assessment and if the intervening groups though Areva’s promises of jobs and environmental protection were possible. This would have given the community a chance to discuss their concerns with independent parties that reviewed the Areva’s proposal. It would also have resulted in a much more critical discussion of what Areva is proposing. The community has had many opportunities to discuss their concerns directly with Areva. As Areva said in their presentation, they have already held hundreds of “community engagement events” since they came into Baker Lake. In a way, the community round table ended up being another community engagement opportunity for Areva. While community members did have an opportunity to ask questions to the intervener groups during the pre-hearing conference, the pre-hearing conference was very rushed and there was very little time for community questions and concerns to be discussed. Some community members have also become very disheartened because they have shared their concerns and sometimes opposition many times before, but it does not seem to have any effect. Some people feel they’ve been consulted to death on this topic, and that the process will continue to move along no matter what they say. After almost eight years of sharing concerns and opposition, many people are wondering what the point is in speaking out at meetings. Due to these issues, the HTO is concerned that the NIRB got a very inaccurate view of the community’s perspective on Areva’s proposal. Many residents of Baker Lake are still opposed to mining uranium at Kiggavik. As the Baker Lake HTO suggested in our presentation to the pre-hearing conference, a public vote is the only thing that could accurately determine how the majority of the community feels about Areva’s proposal. Hugh Ikoe Chairperson Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organizationwww.nunatsiaqonline.ca 

Nunavut will bring Baffin hunters together to talk about caribou

Nunavut July 18, 2013 Nunavut will bring Baffin hunters together to talk about caribou Gathering follows survey that found dramatic plunge in population NUNATSIAQ NEWS Representatives of hunter and trapper organizations from around the Baffin will gather in Iqaluit July 23 to July 25 to talk about the region’s plunging caribou population. GN officials are not yet using terms like “quota” or “total allowable harvest.” But they do want to talk about conservation, management and “meaningful strategies.” “Potential conservation options surrounding Baffin Island caribou will be sought in this critical workshop, and the possible need for short-term and long-term management actions will be discussed,” a GN news release said. The results of a recent GN survey released this past May, done by airborne researchers and spotters from the communities, showed the caribou population on southern Baffin Island has declined by more than 95 per cent over the past 20 years. That survey estimated that the entire south Baffin regional holds a population of only 1,065 to 2,067 caribou aged one year or older. A different kind of survey, done in the late 1980s by biologist Mike Ferguson using Inuit traditional knowledge, found that south Baffin caribou numbers at that time stood somewhere between 60,000 and 180,000. Survey numbers for North Baffin have not yet been released. But hunters around the island have noticed declining numbers for nearly a decade. James Eetooloolook, a vice president at Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., said Inuit in the communities should contact their local HTOs to discuss the issue prior to the Iqaluit meeting. Along with HTO representatives, people from NTI, the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, an Department of Environment elders advisory committee and other organizations are invited to the Iqaluit meeting also. “The current caribou numbers across Baffin Island are reported to be low. Inuit understand that caribou populations naturally fluctuate, but it is critical that all co-management partners meet and discuss what sort of management measures should be put in place at this time,” Eetoolook said in a statement.www.nunatsiaqonline.ca 

New Baffinland plan submitted

Review process begins again for Mary River Project Lyndsay Herman Northern News Services Published Monday, July 1, 2013MITTIMATALIK/POND INLET The Mary River Project is rolling again now that the project's operators have submitted an updated plan for the mine.

Faroes signs new Arctic fish protection agreement

Fish Update: 17 June, 2013 The Faroe Islands has signed a new agreement to protect Arctic fishing and marine life and to prevent oil pollution.  The Faroese Prime Minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen was a co-signatory to the deal with the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vil

Baffinland lets NIRB look at plan for Mary River lite

NUNATSIAQ NEWS: Nunavut June 17, 2013Scaled back scheme would focus on Milne Inlet, construction for larger projectJANE GEORGE

Baffinland negotiations are confidential, says QIA

June 12, 2013CBC NEWSQIA and mine company working out Inuit Impact and Benefits AgreementThe Qikiqtani Inuit Association is keeping quiet about negotiations it is having with Baffinland Iron Mines about the company’s iron ore mine at Mary River.

Groups, governments weigh in on Nunavut gold project’s draft EIS

Nunavut June 12, 2013 Critics want to see more traditional knowledge, Inuktitut and attention to caribou NUNATSIAQ NEWS The draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Meliadine gold mine project in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region “poorly” and “unclearly” incorporates traditional knowledge or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, says Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., and the Kivalliq Inuit Association. The KIA and NTI were among many groups and government departments that submitted information requests by June 6 to the Nunavut Impact Review Board about the Agnico Eagle’s draft EIS for the gold project, 24 kilometres from Rankin Inlet. Agnico Eagle now has 30 days to respond to those requests. Agnico Eagle Mines gave the NIRB its draft EIS for the project this past January and again in April. The proposed Meliadine mine, to be connected to Rankin Inlet by an all-weather road, would operate for at least 13 years, based on the company’s current estimate of its gold deposits. And it would be a gold mine of its own for jobs in the Kivalliq region: 1,000 workers to be hired on during the mine’s three-year construction period and about 700 workers during production, with about 350 workers on site at any given time. Agnico Eagle plans to extract gold from a series of open pits and will mine one deposit using an underground shaft. Then, an on-site mill will break ore into small particles so they can be rinsed with cyanide to remove the gold, which they’ll refine into gold bars to be transported to the South by air. In their joint submission, the KIA and NTI were lukewarm about the draft EIS, citing a significant amount of duplication in the introduction section of the document, which was then repeated in most of the appendices, figures and supporting documents. “This at times made it difficult to determine the accuracy of the interpretations and conclusions being drawn from the data,” their 38-page joint submission said. The draft EIS also fell short in its sections dealing with caribou, the KIA and NTI said. “There are several references to movement of large numbers of caribou through Rankin Inlet and the project area during [summer 2011], but none of this information was discussed… in the sections related to caribou,” said their joint submission. It also pointed out that caribou may be present near the Meliadine project at any time of the year, and called for more mitigation plans. “Caribou are considered the most important terrestrial species to community members,” the KIA and NTI said. The draft EIS also doesn’t include adequate baseline data for raptors nesting within 10 km of the project, they noted. The KIA and NTI called as well for more information about water quality and contaminants such as copper, cadmium and lead, discharge into Meliadine Lake, and more analysis about how community infrastructure and public services will cope with the mine’s presence. For the Kangiqliniq Hunter’s and Trapper’s Organization, Meliadine’s potential environmental impacts “greatly outweighs the technical and financial resources places at its disposal to take part in the process.” The HTO drew similarities between the Areva Resources Canada’s proposed Kiggavik uranium mine near Baker Lake and Meliadine when it comes to caribou and the impacts of roads, power lines, blasting, waste stockpiles and dust on the animals. The HTO also said it’s worried about low-flying helicopters. “Helicopter usage has not always avoided Inuit harvesters or stopped when caribou were migrating through, despite operating guidelines being in place,” its submission said. And the HTO also wanted to know exactly how IQ has played a role in Agnico Eagle’s decision-making. Its members moreover want to see more Inuktitut translation on sections throughout the draft EIS, instead of just as an overview at the beginning of the lengthy document. “The summary nature of the translated draft EIS contents make it difficult, if not impossible, for the majority of KHTO members to take an in-depth look at issues of concern,” the HTO said. The HTO also wants more information on: effective sewage treatment, on how the tailings storage may be affected by permafrost, additional consultation with the HTO on hunting, with a possible “no shooting zone,” and vehicle access on the all-weather road. The HTO also asked the company to take community members’ drinking water and ice locations into consideration in its study of surface water quality. The GN’s department of community and government services comments mainly focused on how the mine will affect community plans and zoning by-laws. A review and update of the Rankin Inlet Community Plan will begin later in 2013 and be completed in 2014. Agnico Eagle should participate in the public, council and workshops associated with the development of this plan, CGS said, while supporting the project proposal. All submissions are available on the NIRB’s online public registry. After answering the comments and receiving more direction from the NIRB, as part of its ongoing technical review of the project, Agnico Eagle will start on its final EIS, just one of the many steps yet to come in the regulatory process. If all goes well, Agnico Eagle could receive its project certificate by mid-2014 and, if the company decides to move ahead with the project, it could start production in 2017. As for the estimated cost of the proposed mine, Dale Coffin, Agnico Eagle’s corporate director of communications and public affairs, that will only be known after the feasibility study for the project, due at the end of 2014, is finished. The company is expected to make a final construction decision on Meliadine after that.www. nunarsiaqonline.ca  

Russians to Leave Post in Arctic as Floe Melts

The Boston GlobeBy Will EnglundJune 2, 2013MOSCOW — Russia is preparing to evacuate a drifting Arctic research station that was supposed to last until September because the ice it is built on is starting to break up.

Mining in Nunavik leaves alienated Inuit watching from the sidelines

Nunavik May 28, 2013JANE GEORGE“We have been invaded by many different cultures”KANGIQSUJUAQ — As the mining industry moves closer and closer to Nunavik’s communities, there’s a rising sense of anxiety and powerlessness throughout the region.

Arctic ministers sign new agreement to tackle oil spills

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS May 17, 2013 ALEX BOYD KIRUNA, SWEDEN — The member nations of Arctic Council signed their second internationally binding agreement May 15 in Kiruna, Sweden: an agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. “A potential oil spill could have a serious impact on the livelihoods of northerners,” Canada’s Arctic Council minister Leona Aglukkaq said at the meeting. “By acting together, here at the Council, we are enhancing our collective ability to respond.” A guide to tackling potential oil spills in Arctic waters, signed by all eight Arctic ministers at the ministerial, the new agreement requires its signatories to work together to clean up an oil spill, should there ever be one anywhere north of the 66th parallel. But, even if all of the Arctic states respond to the challenge, not everyone says the new agreement goes far enough in avoiding catastrophe in the Arctic. In his address to the ministerial meeting, Michael Stickman, the chair of the Arctic Athabaskan Council, said that “this commitment is important, but the declaration is missing a crucial word: prevention.” Stickman added, “committing to clean up oil spills after they happen is insufficient.” The agreement targets the circumpolar states’ response to an oil spill by establishing guidelines for things like coordinating equipment and personnel and communicating across borders. Countries are also obligated to notify each other in the event of an oil spill. “The prospect of a potential oil spill event in the Arctic is very much on peoples’ minds,” David Balton, an ocean and fisheries expert with the United States Department of State and co-chair of the task force that produced the new agreement, said in a presentation after the May 15 ministerial meeting in Kiruna. The melting of sea ice has lured oil companies north in the hopes of tapping into new sources of energy,  so “we are anticipating, despite what some protesters may say — that there will be increased oil and gas development,” Balton said. Which means, more tanker traffic in a region that is at once environmentally sensitive and exceptionally remote. This is not the first agreement to try to plan for an oil spill in international waters, but Balton said it’s the first “pan-Arctic agreement” that targets the challenges of the circumpolar region. In practical terms, it means all Arctic Council member nations are committing to equip themselves to respond to oil spills, meaning they will need things like equipment and plans for how they will respond. “It’s a compelling issue of our time,” Balton said. “We need to do a better job of being ready for any potential oil spill events in the Arctic.” Which means doing more than just signing the document. Although all ministers have added their signature, each country now has to verify the agreement internally, a process Balton was “confident” would be done with the year. Furthermore, Balton noted that the U.S. was not yet ready to fulfill the commitments required by the agreement. And he noted, referring to the other Arctic nations, “I suspect we’re not alone in this.” It is hoped, he said, that this agreement would act as “a program of work into the future” to spur countries to get ready for an oil spill.www.nunatsiaqonlince.ca  

A Warmer Welcome

THE ECONOMISTArctic diplomacy The Arctic Council admits its first permanent Asian observers May 18th 2013 |From the print edition SINCE its formation in 1996, the Arctic Council’s eight member states have formed a cosy club. Their deliberations on research and conservation attracted little attention outside the frozen North. Relations are so warm that diplomats indulged in a spontaneous group hug on a joint trip to the North Pole in April. Only states with territory in the Arctic can be full members (see map). But as melting polar ice has opened up the region to shipping, fishing, oil, gas and mineral extraction—and even tourism—countries as far away as Singapore are claiming a stake in its ice caps. The Arctic “used to be the last frontier,” said Kuupik Kleist, a former prime minister of Greenland, speaking at a recent conference organised by the Brookings Institution, a think-tank. “Now it seems like we are the centre of the world.” At their biennial meeting on May 15th in the Swedish city of Kiruna, its foreign ministers agreed that China, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Singapore could become permanent observers, joining 26 current ones. But they denied that status to all international groups that applied, including NGOs such as Greenpeace. The EU’s admittance was postponed, pending talks with Canada. China, which describes itself as a “near-Arctic state”, had been vying for a permanent observer’s place since 2006 (it was turned down three times). Admitting new observers now is “politically shrewd”, thinks Mihaela David of the Arctic Institute, a research body. It will prevent big Arctic discussions migrating to fuzzier alternative forums, such as the Arctic Circle, announced in April, which is backed by the president of Iceland. A long-standing gripe marred the EU’s bid, which was obstructed by Inuit (an indigenous Arctic people) who oppose its near-total ban on trading seal products. Inuit groups must be consulted by council ministers. Their sway is greater now that Leona Aglukkaq, an Inuk, has become Canada’s representative and the council’s chair for the next two years. She said the seal ban was “dear” to her. Inuit groups presented a “No Seal No Deal” petition to the meeting. Greenpeace’s hostility to polar-bear hunting and seal-harvesting no doubt hampered its chances, too. Most of the new joiners were already observers on an ad hoc basis. Their clout will continue to be limited: they cannot speak or vote. But with their expertise and money, they could influence decisions in the council’s six working groups. China, for example, has led five marine expeditions in the Arctic since 1999, including one last year. Japan and South Korea own powerful icebreakers, which allow them to conduct their own exploratory ventures and support those by other states and organisations. Observers can also suggest projects and pay for them. The council’s new openness is likely to work in its favour. Members signed a binding agreement on responding to marine oil spills, only the second such deal in its history. More may follow as Asian observers bring new ideas, rather than making meetings unwieldy, as Canada fears. A new permanent secretariat in Tromso, Norway, will help. Stand by for a big, if complicated, group hug in 2015. www.economist.com 

Arctic Council’s indigenous participants eye Arctic Council under Aglukkaq

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS May 17, 2013 ALEX BOYD KIRUNA, SWEDEN — Will Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Arctic Council minister, carry out her determination to “put the interests of the people of the Arctic first” during Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council? That’s the hope of representatives of the Arctic Council’s indigenous permanent participant groups, who attended the May 15 Arctic Council ministerial in Kiruna, Sweden. “We appreciate that Canada from the outset has made a point of involving the Saami in their preparations for the chairmanship,” said Aile Javo, president of the Saami Council, said May 15 at the ministerial gathering. “We trust that this cooperation will continue.” Javo’s statement echoed that of the Inuit Circumpolar Council delegation, led by ICC president Aqqaluk Lynge, who also noted Aglukkaq’s northern roots. “With your close relationship to Inuit and the people of the North, we are sure that you will fulfill your country’s aspirations,” Lynge said. Bill Erasmus, grand chief of the Dene Nation in the Northwest Territories and international vice-chair of the Arctic Athabaskan Council, said, ‘My understanding of the minister’s discussion is that she wanted to look at economies, look at the social factors, look at the health and well-being of people, and we welcome that.” Erasmus, who attended thePeoples Arctic conference before the Arctic Council meeting and signed a Greenpeace-sponsored statement against Arctic oil drilling, said economic talk is probably inevitable as climate change forces people to adapt. The issue may be making sure that all indigenous voices are included. “We all have different views,” he said. “And it’s going to take some time to put that together.” Among the hopes of Arctic indigenous representatives in Kiruna: “more attention to the Indigenous peoples’ cultural heritage, sacred sites and cultural landscapes.” Responding to Canada’s interest in boosting economic development in the Arctic region, the president of the Saami Parliament in Norway Egil Olli, said “management of resources must include protection of the basis for indigenous industries, culture and language.”www.nunatsiaqonline.ca 

Canada’s Resource-Sector Success May Hinge on Aboriginal Ties

The Wall Street JournalBy Paul Vieira First Nations protestors take part in an “Idle No More” demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in January. The success of Canada’s resource sector may hinge on its ability to build ties with the country’s indigenous people. Canada has an abundance of natural resources, but its ability to fully capitalize on them could be in jeopardy if more isn’t done to quell growing unrest among young natives over disenfranchisement, which played out in widespread protests earlier this year, an Ottawa think tank concluded Wednesday. The Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s findings, released in two papers Wednesday, come months after a series of native protests — dubbed the Idle No More movement — blocked rail lines and highways to voice displeasure over government initiatives related to resources development. The groups argue that  some initiatives, while promoting development, water down the environmental laws that protect their communities. The protests were among the most widespread by native groups in recent years. The future of Enbridge Inc.'s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry Alberta crude to the Pacific Coast for Asian-bound tankers, is also uncertain in part due to opposition from native groups which exert control over land the pipeline would be built on. “The demonstrations associated with Idle No More spring from real frustrations and must not be dismissed as the protestations of a small number of radicals or angry people,” say the authors, which include the think tank’s managing director, Brian Lee Crowley. Among the demands native leaders made at the height of the Idle No More protests was a bigger share of riches from resource development, often found adjacent to aboriginal communities. The authors note there are instances where mining companies and oil and gas explorers have struck agreements with local aboriginal leaders, with varying success. More must be done on this front, the think tank says, adding it can build a vital link between indigenous peoples and the rest of Canada. “There is abundant evidence that aboriginal Canadians want fuller, more equitable participation in the country, and are deeply frustrated that the national system has not yet provided the benefits and resources necessary to strengthen and sustain their communities,” the think tank said. www.wsj.com 

Cairn Wasn’t Prepared for Offshore oil Spill

Cairn wasn’t prepared for offshore oil spill near Greenland: report "A significant underestimate of the flow rate of oil into the marine environment in a worst-case blowout scenario"NUNATSIAQ NEWSThe Ocean Rig Corcovado, drilling about 180 kilometres offshore Nuuk, drilled down 4,847 metres in 2011, having encountered “minor hydrocarbon shows.” (FILE PHOTO)Just how prepared was Cairn Energy PLC was for its drilling for oil offshore western Greenland in 2011? That’s what Inuit Circumpolar Council-Greenland and Oceans North Canada hoped to learn in a third-party technical review report they recently commissioned. ICC and Oceans North say their report, released last week, shows there’s a need for stronger independent scrutiny and more public participation in the regulatory process governing offshore drilling. “Although the technical review showed that indeed some best practices were followed, there are still an overall need for strengthening the procedures and practices,” ICC said in an introduction to the report. In the spring of 2012, ICC and Oceans North Canada commissioned the independent third-party technical review of Cairn Energy’s 2011 offshore oil exploration drilling program in western Greenland. In 2011, Cairn completed the second year of its offshore drilling program there. But by the end of that season, Cairn said it had not found commercial quantities of oil and gas, and that they would do no offshore drilling in Greenland waters in 2012. ICC-Greenland concluded that this “pause” in exploratory drilling provided a chance to review aspects of the completed project and to look at strengths and weaknesses in the planning and execution of the project. The resulting report concludes there appeared to be weaknesses in Cairn’s oil spill prevention and contingency plan for 2011, including what seemed to be “a significant underestimate of the flow rate of oil into the marine environment in a worst-case blowout scenario.” The review by investigator, Susan Harvey, who has more than 25 years experience as a petroleum and environmental engineer, also assessed the drilling project in comparison to other Arctic countries. “This report demonstrate that there is a pressing need to open the environmental impact assessment process to third parties (citizens and civil society organizations). When it comes to reducing the risk of environmental damage caused by offshore drilling, a more transparent process can only result in stronger protection of our marine environment,” said ICC. The final report “Project Review: Cairn Energy’s 2011 Offshore Drilling in West Greenland,” now posted online, also provides a detailed account of the information provided to ICC-Greenland by Greenland officials. “More importantly, the report provides a detailed account of what has not been provided,” ICC said. That’s because much of the information needed to review the safety of the offshore drilling program was not made available to the reviewer, ICC said. This lack of information, despite meetings, correspondence and formal requests, frustrated ICC-Greenland’s attempts “to become more informed and to participate in this conversation about the future of renewable and non-renewable natural resources.” Jens-Erik Kirkegaard Greenland’s minister of natural resources defended Cairn in a recent interview in Greenland’s Sermitsiaq AG newspaper. “Cairn Energy had a response that was larger than the worst-case scenario they had described. Aircraft and ships were ready to intervene if the worst should happen,” said Kirkegaard. Although Kirkegaard rejected that part of the criticism, he said welcomed ICC’s initiative to analyze preparedness for an oil spill. “You can always make things better, and so do we, among other things by working together with associations and organizations and talk about how we can make things better. We are a small people, and we need all the strength to make things even better,” he said. Kirkegaard also promised to make things more open and have a better dialogue with the public. To that end, Greenland’s home rule government and ICC have agreed to meet regularly for discussions on environmental issues. www.nunatsisaqonline.ca

Federal Minister Sends Arctic Naval Facility Plans Back to DND

Nunavut Impact Review Board needs more information to do environmental reviewCBC News Apr 19, 2013 The federal minister of Northern Development has sent the plans for the proposed Nanisivik naval facility back to the Department of National Defence for more work.   Minister Bernard Valcourt said the military must clarify parts of the proposal, and then re-submit it to Nunavut regulators.   The Nunavut Impact Review Board said in a January letter to the minister that it didn't have enough information to do a proper environmental review of the proposed project near Arctic Bay, Nunavut.   The NIRB's letter described a series of delays in the project's environmental screening process that began in 2009, two years after plans for the Nanisivik facility were first announced.   The letter says the NIRB has been frustrated in its efforts to get more information from National Defence.   "Despite repeated requests and several opportunities to do so, essential information has not been provided and significant information gaps in the project proposal remain," the letter says.   The original plan was for a large Arctic port and re-fuelling facility at the old Nanisivik mine site on north Baffin Island, but last year National Defence decided to scale the project back to keep costs down.   The federal government has budgeted more than $100 million for the project.   NIRB's letter to the minister   www.cbc.ca 

Asbestos Found at Agnico-Eagle Mine

Asbestos still an issue at Nunavut gold mine: Agnico-EagleSecond-most hazardous form of asbestos found at Meadowbank mineSAMANTHA DAWSON Nunavut April 19, 2013 Amosite asbestos is considered to be one of the more hazardous forms of the material. More than a year after Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. first detected naturally-occurring asbestos found at its Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, the company continues to deal with asbestos at the mine site. Asbestos is often associated with gold-rich rocks. The problem is that asbestos is also linked to a variety of lung ailments and cancers, mainly affecting those who have worked or used asbestos in their everyday jobs for many years, according to the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center. After finding asbestos in samples taken from the mill’s crusher plant, “we took this issue very seriously and immediately notified regulators,” Norm Ladouceur, the mine’s health and safety superintendent, said at the recent Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. But Agnico Eagle was first “caught off guard” when the asbestos was found, he said. Since asbestos was discovered at the Meadowbank mine, 1,400 dust samples have been taken The type of asbestos found is called amosite, the second-most hazardous form of asbestos, the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center says. However, not all samples at the mine show traces of asbestos, Ladouceur said. Drillers and truck drivers at Meadowbank appear to be more at risk to asbestos exposure than anyone else, he said. Now, “dust swipes” are taken from their equipment several times a day. All 1,000 or so workers on site also wear disposable coveralls and slippers over their boots to prevent the spread of any asbestos dust to non-affected areas. Workers in the mill and crusher plant also take off their protective gear before they leave those areas and use specialized “hepa” vacuums to clean their work clothes. That’s because mill remains the place where most of the asbestos has been found. “It’s a constant barrage of dust,” Ladouceur said about the atmosphere there. A full-time industrial hygienist now works at the mine site, and engineering controls have been put in place in the crusher plant to improve airborne dust levels, he said. While dust contamination remains an issue, trying to tell when dust contains asbestos can be a difficult task because “it’s very sporadic — it’s not like we can really pinpoint where it’s coming from,” Ladouceur said. The management plan for asbestos at Meadowbank also includes a medical surveillance program for workers involved in jobs which may bring them into contact with asbestos. That includes medical examinations such as pulmonary function testing and respirator fit testing. Workers also receive information sessions about asbestos, Ladouceur said. Any asbestos that’s found is “disposed in a proper environmentally-friendly way,” he said. Asbestos has been linked to: • asbestosis, where the asbestos fibres scar and damage the lungs; • lung cancer related to the degree of asbestosis in the lungs; • mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung’s lining, and, • cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and larynx. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca 

MMG Halts Review Process for Nunavut Mining Project

MMG halts review process for huge Nunavut mining corridor projectAs commodity prices tumble, zinc-copper project design to be changed JANE GEORGE Nunavut April 17, 2013This map from the 2012 Izok Corridor project proposal shows where the all-weather road would have run to the coast, not far from Kugluktuk. MMG Resources Inc. has put the brakes on its Izok Corridor zinc-copper mine and port project in western Nunavut, which was recently accepted for an environmental review by the Nunavut Impact Review Board. “As there is a strong likelihood that the project design will be adjusted or additional alternatives included, MMG respectfully requests that the NIRB not initiate the scoping process nor issue a scope of project until MMG submits an update to the project description,” Sabha Safavi, MMG’s project manager for Canada, said in an April 16 letter to the NIRB. The NIRB process begins with a scoping of the project that’s up for review, followed by the development of environmental impact statement guidelines. But now, the scope of the project detailed in the 412-page Izok Corridor project proposal submitted to the NIRB in August 2012 will change. MMG’s letter offers no date for submission of a new proposal. But MMG said it’s “recently identified some additional project design options with potential to improve the economic viability of the project.” These include changes to the mining schedule and production rates, improvements to the execution plan, and the possible addition of a new property to the mining resources. “MMG is currently initiating a process to further develop and evaluate these options so that they can be considered for incorporation in the feasibility design,” the company’s letter to the NIRB said. The changes associated with an updated Izok Corridor project design, including the potential addition of another property, will be located within Nunavut, MMG said. After completing the engineering work “necessary to develop and evaluate these options”, MMG said it plans to consult with stakeholders on these potential changes “prior to submitting the project description update to the NIRB.” This scuttles the mining giant’s former timeline, which could have seen construction jobs start flowing to people in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region by 2015, with production starting in 2018. Minmetals Resources, MMG’s parent, a global resources company that explores, develops and mines base metal deposits around the world, is owned 75 per cent by the Chinese government, although MMG is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. It’s one of the world’s largest producers of zinc and also produces significant amounts of copper, lead, gold and silver. The initial proposal for the Izok mine, with an open pit and underground mine under Izok Lake, called for a two-million-tonne per year concentrator, which would also process the ore from the High Lake mine. As for the proposed transportation route, it was to have been a 350-kilometre all-weather road to connect the Izok Lake mine to High Lake, a second zinc-copper mine, with two open pit mines and one underground mine. MMG also proposed building new airstrips at Izok Lake, High Lake and Grays Bay, along with a new port at Grays Bay with the capacity to ship 650,000 tonnes of concentrate per year. During the Izok two-year construction period, 1,140 people were expected to find work, and then 710 would have jobs during the mines’ 12-year lifespan, working on fly-in, fly-out rotations. An indication of MMG’s waning interest in the project surfaced during the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit, where MMG revealed it is planning to spend only $6 million on minimal exploration on its Kitikmeot properties in 2013. In her keynote address to the symposium, Patricia Mohr, an economics and commodity market specialist with Scotiabank, also said mining companies are now examining project development more critically with some reconfiguring to cut costs. www.nunatsiaqonline.ca 

Xstrata and Sabina Want Bathurst Road and Port

Mining companies pin hopes on western Nunavut port and roadXstrata Zinc, Sabina Gold and Silver want Bathurst road and port JANE GEORGE Nunavut April 15, 2013 This map from Sabina Gold and Silver Corp.'s project description report shows the location of its proposed Back River gold mine, located south of Bathurst Inlet. The calm waters of Bathurst Inlet see little traffic: that would change if the planned Bathurst road and port project moves ahead. An ambitious project, which seemed too large, costly, and unimaginable to build just 10 years ago, now appears to be bringing a major transportation hub to one of Nunavut’s most picturesque places. The Bathurst road and port project, which used to be known by its acronym, BIPAR, has now lost an “A” and is called BIPR. But, more importantly, the project has gained two major mining companies as key supporters, who want to see the port and road built for their future mines in western Nunavut. While neither company, Xstrata Zinc Canada, or Sabina Gold and Silver Corp., knows whether their mine projects south of Bathurst Inlet will proceed, they’re progressing with their plans for BIPR — which, by itself, will be a huge undertaking. BIPR’s first stage — which could start as early as 2015 — would see the construction of a wharf to serve giant ice-class vessels (up to 50,000 tonnes), which would deliver fuel and bulk cargo to the port, and eventually serve to transport zinc concentrate to Europe. BIPR would also include a dock to handle barges serving the Kitikmeot communities, a 200-person camp and services, a 220-million-litre diesel fuel tank farm, a 40 MW power plant (producing four times more electricity than the power plants in Kuujjuaq or Iqaluit), and a 1,200-metre airstrip and heliport, which would see 6,400 round-trip flights during the four-year construction period. The first phase of the project would also include the construction of 10-m wide, 83-kilometre road, with as many as 27 bridges. The Nunavut Impact Review Board recently received a new project proposal from the companies, with more details on environmental issues, wildlife protection, marine and road traffic than an earlier version submitted to the regulator last December. That new proposal will determine the guidelines for the project’s future draft environmental impact statement. But the good news for the companies is that they won’t have to reinvent the wheel, but only supplement the lengthy draft EIS with more information, Xstrata Canada’s Denis Hamel told Nunatsiaq News at last week’s Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. That’s despite the mixed reaction from many groups who sent in comments on the BIPR project to the NIRB. This year, the two mining companies plan to continue pre-feasibility studies on the project, continue into the permitting process, and get organized for a big pre-construction year in 2014. They’re also looking for other partners to offset the project’s cost, Hamel sad But Xstrata wants the port built because otherwise its proposed mine won’t make economic sense, he said. “Shipping year-round is still the best economic choice,” he said. That’s because, among other things, year-round shipping — at a frequency of one ship a month — will reduce the number of ships at the port site at any given time. This means you won’t see boats and barges docked up and down the Bathurst Inlet during the late summer, Hamel said. In his presentation at a symposium session, Hamel also showed a video about how a ship plows through the ice in winter. The trace can be crossed by snowmobiles on special bridges within an hour after the ship passes, he said. Spending money to advance BIPR now seems like a good short-term investment, said Hamel, although Xstrata can’t yet make the final decision about the project or the mine until the project goes through all the permitting hoops. For now, Xstrata is pouring $40 million into advanced exploration at the mine project — (much more than the $6 million MMG is spending on its nearby Izok Corridor project in 2013). The four open-pit and two underground mines at Xstrata’s Hackett River project would produce 250,000 tonnes of zinc per year over 15 years, provide 800 jobs during construction and 500 when operating. The zinc would be shipped out through the Northwest Passage, past Resolute Bay and down the west coast of Baffin Island to Europe. Sabina, aiming for a 2016 start-up, also plans to spend more than $60 million in 2013. Sabina’s Back River gold mine, which would take two years to build, operate for 10 to 15 years and then take five years to close down, would hire 1,600 workers during the construction phase and 900 during the mine’s operations. The project, which would produce 300,000 to 400,000 ounces of gold a year, would also include open-pit and underground mines. As for BIPR’s cost, that was estimated at $270 million several years ago, when the project’s first proponents, the Kitikmeot Corp. and Nuna Logistics, unsuccessfully sought federal money to kick-start the port and road complex as a way of encouraging economic development in western Nunavut. In 2008, they ended up shelving the project. People in the Kitikmeot region will have another chance to learn more about BIPR and Sabina’s proposed mine project next week when mine representatives will tour Kitikmeot communities. Meetings, with snacks and door prizes, are scheduled for: April 22, in Kugluktuk at 7 p.m. in the Jimmy Hikok elementary school gym; April 23, in Cambridge at 7.p.m. in the Elders Palace; April 24, in Gjoa Haven at 7 p.m. in the community hall; April 25, in Taloyoak at 7 p.m. in the community hall; and, April 26 in Kugaaruk at 7 p.m. in the community hall.   www.nunatsiaqnewsonline.ca 

Mary River Going Back to Review Stage

Thandiwe Vela Northern News Services Published Monday, April 15, 2013MITTIMATALIK/POND INLETThere will be feelings of deja vu later this year as Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation returns to Nunavut regulators over an amendment to the company's Mary River project.

Nunavut Diamond Mine Owners Owe $2M

Officials unable to contact Shear Diamonds since OctoberCBC News  Apr 16, 2013 The owner of the Jericho mine site in Nunavut has failed to pay millions of dollars to ensure the cleanup of the former site. Shear Diamonds disappeared last fall, after unexpectedly closing up the Jericho site. Jericho was Nunavut's first diamond mine. Shear still hasn't declared bankruptcy, but it now seems the federal government may be stuck with the clean-up and taxpayers stuck with the bill. Under the terms of its water license, Shear Diamonds should have posted a security bond of $3.4 million — that's money held by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to pay for a clean-up in the event the company goes bankrupt. In an email to CBC News, federal government spokesperson Genevieve Guibert said Shear Diamonds still owes more than $2 million. Guibert said they expect the company to live up to its financial obligations. However, that seems increasingly unlikely. A letter from the federal government to the Nunavut Impact Review Board last month said federal officials haven't succeeded in making any contact with Shear Diamonds since October. Ryan Barry, the board's executive director, said the federal government is now in a grey area. "At some point they will have to make a determination whether the company has in fact completely defaulted and can't, you know, the site isn't about to be put back into operation. And they might have to make a call between continued care and maintenance and full closure," said Barry. Guibert said the federal government is monitoring the situation. She said Shear Diamonds is still the mine's operator, and the company remains accountable for safety at the site. A recent report from Nunavut’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development found weaknesses in the way the federal government collects security bonds. It found that three of the 11 mines in Nunavut had security shortfalls totaling almost $11 million.CBC News 

QIA still in talks with Baffinland

QIA still in talks with Baffinland over iron mine benefits: Eegeesiak "This takes time" NUNATSIAQ NEWS : Nunavut April 11, 2013 - 8:47 am The Qikiqtani Inuit Association said April 10 that the organization continues “to work hard” with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp to reach impact benefits and commercial production lease agreements. Baffinland wants to build an iron mine that would produce 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year from the Mary River mine in northern Baffin Island — down from the much larger mine that the company planned to build until this past January when owners announced they would go ahead with a scaled-down project. In an April 10 news release, Okalik Eegeesiak said QIA is happy with the level of progress being made in the negotiations with Baffinland. “While we understand Inuit in the Qikiqtani region are impatient for news, QIA is following the agreed-to process to make sure we get the best agreement possible and this takes time,” she said. “We are working with Baffinland to find a path forward that will provide Inuit with the benefits that economic development can bring while at the same time ensuring that this development is balanced with our cultural and societal values.” Eegeesiak is scheduled talk to delegates at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit April 10 to discuss the importance of community engagement during the development process. www.nunatsiaqsonline.ca

Berlinale: NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema

Starting this year, the Berlinale will devote itself to the cinematic storytelling of Indigenous peoples in a special series entitled “NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema”. In its first year, the series will begin with a territorial focus on films from Oceania, Australia, North America and the Arctic.

Winning iron at the Olympics. Fresh charges of conflict of interest over giant Arctic iron mine

MINING.com, Frik Els | August 9, 2012, Mining Watch Canada, an NPO, tells the CBC that the Qikiqtani Inuit Association needs to adopt a code of conduct to rule out any conflicts of interest because the organization’s president is on a junket at the London Olympics as a guest of ArcelorMittal this week.

Baffinland hosts QIA President on free trip to London Olympics

Mary River project owner bankrolls Olympic trip for three Inuit org reps, DAVID MURPHY, nunatsiaqonline, August 3, 2012. See below with 56 comments. Download PDF version with comments at left.

Final Baffinland hearings wrap up in Nunavut, Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk is in the middle, cbc.ca

The final hearings into Baffinland's project wrapped up on the weekend.... Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk is in the middle of capturing the life and land of Nunavut on film. "What I want to do is record the wildlife, the land, the beauty of the land," he said. "That's the project we're doing right now – to record it now, elders who are living now, and do it again in 10 years" ... Besides documenting the environmental change, Kunuk has hired a human rights lawyer to study the project. See full story at Zacharias Kunuk hires human rights lawyer. 

The mayor of Igloolik, Nunavut, announced he will step down from his position due to a potential conflict of interest, cbc.ca

July 31, 2012, The mayor of Igloolik, Nunavut, announced he will step down from his position due to a potential conflict of interest. Nicolas Arnatsiaq was elected mayor in December. He's also an employee of Baffinland Iron Mines, which is proposing to build a massive iron ore mine at Mary River, and Igloolik will be one of the affected communities if the mine gets approved. Arnatsiaq said he will formally resign next month.See full story at Igloolik Mayor Conflict of Interest

Iqaluit Mayor, Nunavut officials register concerns at Baffinland hearings

Nunavut officials register concerns at Baffinland hearings: Overall, the Nunavut Government says it supports the mega-project, but it has concerns about potential impacts on wildlife and ...see Full StoryMayor says Baffinland mine will have impacts on Iqaluit: Iqaulit Mayor Madeleine Redfern says the Mary River iron mine would bringjobs and income to Nunavut, and more people to the capital, putting astrain on...see Full Story

Baffinland should participate in human rights impact assessment: intervenors Lloyd Lipsett and Zacharias Kunuk on day 1 of Igloolik hearings, baffinlandwitness.com July 24, 2012

Final hearings for the Mary River project continued in Igloolik today—one of the first summery days of the season—in the Attaguttaaluk high school gym. As ice cleared from the bay at the centre of town, hunters and families fuelled up their boats and Mayor Nick Arnatsiaq gave a warm welcome to presenters, saying, “this community feels that the project should go ahead, but again, NIRB will decide on the side of the majority,” full story see baffinlandwitness.com.

**Igloolik Baffinland NIRB Final Public Hearings LIVE Radio Broadcast in INUKTITUT** July 23-24-25 on Nipivut Nunatinnii

 **Igloolik Baffinland NIRB Final Public Hearings LIVE Broadcast** Tune-in to Nipivut Nunatinnii Monday-Wednesday July 23-25 to listen to the INUKTITUT audio LIVE from the Baffinland hearings in Igloolik.

QIA requests more studies, monitoring and discussion in Igloolik on fuel storage at Steensby, baffinlandwitness.com July 18, 2012

In contrast to NTI’s nine-minute contribution to final hearings on the Mary River project (NIRB allotted 20 minutes for its presentation), QIA took a thorough, critical and aggressive stance in its hearing presentation on a number of issues, such as socioeconomics, impacts on land and marine mammals, ballast water, the port at Steensby Inlet, Inuit [...] See full story at     baffinlandwitness.com.

Mary River’s final hearings: Iqaluit, day 1, baffinlandwitness.com July 17, 2012

After over ten hours of presentations and discussions, the first day of Mary River’s final hearings closed at 9:30pm, two items behind schedule, with the intimation of many yet unanswered questions to come. Baffinland president Tom Paddon opened the hearing with a speech, in Inuktitut and English, on the significant, long-term investment that a mine [...] See full story at     baffinlandwitness.com.

Final Baffinland hearings start in Iqaluit

Final Baffinland hearings start in Iqaluit, The Iqaluit hearing begins Monday with a presentation from Baffinland, the company which hopes to build the mine. "I think we've done a lot of goodwork ... See full story cbc.caMary River project good for Nunavut and Inuit, Baffinland boss says, Tom Paddon, president and CEO of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., said on themorning of July 16 that the relationship between Inuit and his company is key to ... See full story nunatsiaqonline

Pond Inlet and the NLCA: Q&A with Malachi Arreak, former IIBA negotiator, baffinlandwitness.com, July 15, 2012

Malachi Arreak worked as a regional land negotiator on the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in the early 1990s and negotiated the Qikiqtani region’s first IIBA, for the Sirmilik National Park, across Eclipse Sound from Pond Inlet. Last week, I talked with him about the NLCA in relation to Mary River, as well a project he’s working on, the Tununiq beneficiaries corporation, to ensure Pond Inletmiut see direct benefits from Baffinland...See full story at baffinlandwitness.com.

IMPORTANT - New show Nipivut Nunatinnii THURSDAY JULY 12 8PM EST. Iqaluit Baffinland community hearings with Lloyd Lipsett

Tune-in tomorrow night Thursday July 12 at 8PM to Nipivut Nunatinnii Igloolik community radio for a live interview with Lloyd Lipsett talking about the Baffinland hearings in Iqaluit. Lloyd will be in Iqaluit for the hearings, before traveling to Igloolik and Pond Inlet.

What’s in Mary River’s IIBA? A plain language summary, baffinlandwitness.com, July 3, 2012

Full story at baffinlandwitness.com. Last Tuesday, QIA negotiator Paul Quassa spoke over Igloolik community radio to summarize the 24-article Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) offer the association made to Baffinland earlier this month. QIA expects to receive an answer from the mining company within the next month. Negotiations on the IIBA must be completed before the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) can make a recommendation on whether the mine should go ahead to the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. Quassa’s summary is translated below.CLICK HERE for the complete summary.

Q&A with Igloolik mayor Nick Arnatsiaq, baffinlandwitness.com, June 28, 2012

Full story at baffinlandwitness.com. BW: You’ve been mayor of Igloolik since January. Can you tell me a little bit about your background? NA: My real profession is interpreter-translator—I had a private business as an interpreter-translator in Iqaluit—but I’ve been many things. I was executive assistant for the Baffin Region Council, I worked in Ottawa as an assistant editor for an Inuktitut magazine and as an interpreter for ITC, also when I lived down south. In Igloolik, I was economic development officer, president of the Co-op and was vice-deputy mayor some years ago. And I’ve been Baffinland’s community liaison officer here for five years now.CLICK HERE for the complete interview.

Nipivut Nunatinnii NEW CALL-IN SHOWS JUNE 26, 27 - QIA, IIBA, NIRB, and Mary River

Tuesday night – The Mary River IIBA and QIA. Get information on what is an IIBA, who is on QIA’s team, what are some of the things that will be in an IIBA and where are negotiations. Call in if you have questions.

“I thought I would grow old there. I even have my gravesite up there.” Michelline Ammaq interview baffinlandwitness.com June 21, 2012

Full story at baffinlandwitness.com. "When I was a child, we would live out on the land. And I grew up on Baffin, where there were always mountains around us. I loved Baffin because it has colour, it has landscape. It has plants you can eat, not just plants you can see, and we picked and ate blueberries and blackberries there all summer."CLICK HERE for the complete interview

AREVA’s Socioeconomic Impact Statement inadequate, confusing, contradictory says Makita - PART 1

AREVA’s Socioeconomic Impact Statement inadequate, confusing, contradictory says Makita - PART 1

Who is Baffinland - A timeline of the Mary River project baffinlandwitness.com June 15th 2012

"A timeline of the Mary River project—and Baffinland Iron Mines’ part in it—from 1962 to present..." CLICK HERE for full article.

Nunavut Government officially endorse uranium mining

More uranium mining planned for Nunavut

NUNATSIAQ NEWS: Nunavut human rights system needs big changes

Nunatsiaq News: Nunavut human rights system needs big changes

Q&A with Zacharias Kunuk baffinlandwitness.com June 13, 2012

Full Story at baffinlandwitness.com. "I want to film the area, I want to film the wildlife, I want to film the port site, Ikpikitturjuaq, which everybody is talking about. Then I came up with a documentary and put a new title on it, My Father’s Land. Just take people out, take them back to the land where they used to live and talk about what they did, what was going on there. So it’s all connected. We’re trying to let people talk; talk about what they think because mining is all around us."CLICK HERE to read the article.

NEXT CALL-IN SHOW - Monday June 11th 8-10pm EST: recordings with protesters

Mark Airut, Igloolik Radio Manager, says:"I have been working and recording with Ashley and Celina with protesters near Northern store and have few recording in english and inuktitut and we will have a phone in show tomorrow monday June 11,at 8pm to 10pm and play those recordings we did and also Simona Arnatsiaq also was protesting in Ottawa will be with us on the phone."

Canada and the EITI – A Call For Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Resource Sector

Canada and the EITI – A Call For Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Resource Sector

NIRB NEWS - Aboriginal Affairs minister rejects re-appointment of NIRB chairman Lucassie Arragutainaq

Aboriginal Affairs minister John Duncan has decided to reject the re-appointment of the NIRB’s chairman Lucassie Arragutainaq. Arragutainaq was considered by many to be an excellent chairman. As chairman, Arragutainaq made the final decision when the eight-person board was split 50/50.

UPDATE TONIGHT JUNE 6 RADIO CALL-IN – Nipivut Nunatinnii Our Voice at Home

UPDATE TONIGHT Wednesday June 6th 8-10pm: Walrus, Wildlife and Baffinland? • What do hunters think about Baffinland’s supertankers and marine mammals?• Will shipping through Foxe Basin damage the wildlife? Is it safe?Thursday June 7th 8-10pm: Have Inuit Had Their Say?• Do you understand Baffinland’s Environmental Impact Statement?• Are you informed? Do your opinions count?Listen at Live Radio  Call-in 1.819-934-8080, or 8082.Get your opinions on the record.Call-in radio shows will be submitted to NIRB July Public Hearings as part of DID’s Formal Intervention led by Zacharias Kunuk and human rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett

Review agencies submit final comments to NIRB before July hearings, baffinlandwitness.com, June 5, 2012

DID News Alert Full story at baffinlandwitness.com June 5, 2012. Review agencies submit final comments to NIRB before July hearings.

“Where they’re building the railway and where the port will be, there’s hunting going on there,” baffinlandwitness.com, June 3, 2012

Full story at baffinlandwitness.com June 3, 2012. “Where they’re building the railway and where the port will be, there’s hunting going on there”David Irngaut can’t say how long he’s been president of Igloolik Hunters and Trappers, but he remembers the first caribou he shot at the Mary River site at 11 years old. “I was with my uncle,” he says, “and when we finished butchering it, he said, ‘let’s eat the bone marrow.’ He told me to [...] See baffinlandwitness.com

QIA shows some support for Steensby Inlet port

In their final intervention to the NIRB, QIA has shown their support for the Mary River project. They stated that, “QIA feels that appropriate mechanisms are in place to effectively monitor and manage the Mary River Project in an acceptable manner.” However they also have concerns.

A public meeting without media presence, baffinlandwitness.com, May 31, 2012

Full story at baffinlandwitness.com May 31, 2012. In early May, Igloolik hamlet councillor Paul Quassa invited me to attend a May 29 public council meeting at which Baffinland president Tom Paddon and the Qiqiktani Inuit Association (QIA) were expected to discuss, among other things, Inuit compensation for the port at Steensby Inlet. QIA and the hamlet council said if Baffinland won’t re-plot its shipping route, they would like to see subsidized housing for the workers, paved roads, in-community training and a fishing boat for the Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO).I confirmed through email and telephone that the meeting was public and on the morning of the 29th, the hamlet made a public announcement on the community radio station, inviting people to attend the meeting. Here is a record of the extent to which the meeting was public.... baffinlandwitness.com

Nunatsiaq News - Are QIA, NIRB and governments ignoring Pangnirtung?

From Nunatsiaq News www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674are_qia_nirb_and_governments_ignoring_pangnirtung/May 30th letter to the editor, written by Andrew Nakashuk and Levi Ishulutak of Pangnirtung:

LISTEN TONIGHT MAY 30th 8PM - Nipivut Nunatinnii live Call-in radio online, QIA report by Zacharias Kunuk

Tune in TONIGHT, May 30, from 8-10 pm EST to listen to the next online call-in radio show in the series Nipivut Nunatinnii Our Voice at Home, broadcast locally and worldwide by Igloolik Community Radio Online at www.isuma.tv/DID/radio/igloolik. Zacharias Kunuk, Igloolik Hamlet Councilor and representative to the Board of Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), will make his first radio report to the community following the recent QIA Board meetings. Two phone lines will be open for call-in questions and comments at +1-867-934-8080 and -8082. Questions and comments also can be submitted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/radiostation.igloolik Let your voices be heard!Nipivut Nunatinnii Our Voice at Home Igloolik Community Radio Online +1.867.934.8080 or 8082 www.facebook.com/radiostation.igloolik or www.facebook.com/isumaTV 

Mining and caribou - What is a "significant impact"

DID News Alert Mining and caribou– What is a “significant impact”?

Baffinland community hearings – Who are the community representatives?

DID News Alert  May 28, 2012. With the July community hearings coming soon, Baffinland presented a document called “"What to Expect When You Are Expecting," on May 3rd in Iqaluit. In this document, the company explains how the public hearings will take place.

“I’m upset about those who are opposed to the mine," baffinlandwitness.com, May 27, 2012

Full story at baffinlandwitness.com May 27, 2012. “I’m upset about those who are opposed to the mine. I want the mine to go ahead so people have money.” From Augustine Taqqaugaq’s new porch, you can see all of Igloolik laid out in a rough chronological order along the shore by date of development from south to north. Taqqaugaq lives in the newest, most northerly house. Looking out over the water, a two-toned canvas; a straight white line demarcates the boundary between the blinding white of the snow from the dull white of the sky. Taqqaugaq moved into government housing only this year after 14 years in a power-less shack on Igloolik point, a camp outside of town.“I’m upset about those who are opposed to the mine,” he says. “I never had money, so that’s important. I want the mine to go ahead so people have money. For me, I’ll never work at the mine—I have no education—but probably through royalties I will see some money.

IMPORTANT BAFFINLAND NEWS – Canadian Transportation Agency demands more clarity from Baffinland for railroad

DID News Alert On May 15th the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), an independent economic regulator under the authority of the Canadian Parliament that regulates air, rail and marine transportation according to the Canada Transport Act, met to discuss the Baffinland Mary River project’s railway and marine transportation plan.

IMPORTANT NEWS – New talks of land and resource devolution

DID News Alert “Nunavut’s lands and natural resources rightfully belong to Nunavummiut to develop and protect…reclaiming the ability to make decisions about how our lands and resources are managed is the next chapter in building self-reliance.” These are Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak’s words concerning

Q&A with international human rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett, baffinlandwitness.com, May 24, 2012

Full story see baffinlandwitness.com. May 24, 2012. Q&A with international human rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett. On May 23, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) granted intervenor status to international human rights lawyer, Lloyd Lipsett, on behalf of IsumaTV’s Zacharias Kunuk. Lipsett will conduct research with stakeholders (the seven affected communities, representative Inuit organizations, territorial and federal government regulators, the companies, Baffinland and ArcelorMittal and environmental and sociological experts) in the [...] see more at baffinlandwitness.com.

Interactive Map of Nunavut Mines Past, Present and Future - baffinlandwitness.com May 22

baffinlandwitness.com/2012/05/22/interactive-map-nunavut-active-mineral-exploration/Baffinland Witness has posted an interactive map of mining projects in Nunavut from past and present projects to future potential explorations.


Listen LIVE online to Igloolik Community Radio Wednesday May 23rd at 8PM for a follow-up show on NIRB and the upcoming Public Hearings in July, with NIRB's Amanda Hanson and human rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett answering questions live online. Follow link here: www.isuma.tv/hi/en/did/radio/igloolik

Plans for a new iron ore mine near Sanikiluaq

The mining company Canadian Orebodies has announced an exploration program this summer to find iron ore at Haig Inlet and the Belcher Islands. They have three different sites they want to open.

"The mine had already started before they started talking about it." baffinlandwitness.com May 21, 2012

DID News Alert “The mine had already started before they started talking about it. So what do you do? The decision has already been made.” see more at baffinlandwitness.com.May 21, 2012. A floor-to-ceiling wall of pelts guards the entrance to the Igloolik Elders’ centre. The air is thick and sour with a mix of curing fish and seal meat, fox fur and a caribou skin stretched out on a wooden frame in front of the hall coat closet. Where the shoes normally go, there’s a slick, [...]

The NIRB Process (Nunavut Impact Review Board). baffinlandwitness.com May 16, 2012

DID News Alert The NIRB Process. see more at baffinlandwitness.comMay 16, 2012. NIRB operates under the principle that public participation is an important element of an open, honest and balanced review process. Effective public participation strengthens the quality of the review process and helps to avoid potentialmisunderstandings and conflict. NIRB has a role to ensure that affected communities are aware of the project and its potential environmental [...] see more at baffinlandwitness.com


DID News Alert May 18, 2012. The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) has sent out a list of the key issues that will be discussed during the final community hearings in July. More ᓂᐲᑦ ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ Inuktitut Audio About NIRB. They are:Alternatives to Steensby Inlet portDestruction of inuksuit along the railwayRisks of accidents, spills, environmental disasters, and rescue response plan.Overwintering of fuel in barges and its environmental risks.Impact of shipping route on marine wildlife (walrus, bowhead, narhwals, belugas)Monitoring of water and soil pollution, risks of contamination of water sources.Environmental impact of railway, effect on caribou population.Follow this link for a complete collection of Baffinland's presentations during the Iqaluit technical meetings: ftp.nirb.ca/02-REVIEWS/ACTIVE%20REVIEWS/08MN053-BAFFINLAND%20MARY%20RIVER/2-REVIEW/08-FINAL%20EIS/05-TECHNICAL%20MEETING/BIMC%20PRESENTATIONS/All the presentations are in PDF files. More news at DID News Alert

IMPORTANT BAFFINLAND NEWS - Baffinland's NEW report on alternatives to Steensby Inlet

DID News Alert May 17, 2012. After Iqaluit technical meetings, Baffinland claim Steensby Inlet still only viable port.

IMPORTANT 8PM TONIGHT- LISTEN LIVE CALL-IN SHOW TONIGHT WEDNESDAY MAY 16TH. Nipivut Nunatinnii show on the NIRB (Nunavut Impact Review Board)

Listen tonight to Episode 4 of Nipivut Nunatinnii Our Voice at Home, the open-line call-in radio series on Baffinland and Inuit rights, on Igloolik Community Radio Online, May 16, 2012, starting at 8 pm EST until approximately 10:30 pm ONLINE at at www.isuma.tv/DID/radio/igloolik.

IMPORTANT BAFFINLAND NEWS - End of technical meetings in Iqaluit

DID News Alert May 14, 2012. This past week, Iqaluit was the stage for Baffinland’s three-day technical meetings regarding the Mary River iron mine and it’s potential impacts.


DID News Alert May 11, 2012. For anyone who is interested in reading the Nunavut Impact Review Board's (NIRB) official policies and standards, particularly relating to the July community hearings, this is their document where all that information is. It is 27 pages. I attached an English version, and their Inuktitut version which is in syllabics.   

PODCAST available, May 9 radio show with Zacharias Kunuk and Human Rights lawyer about Baffinland Iron Mine, NIRB Public Hearings and Inuit Human Rights Part One.

Click on www.isuma.tv/hi/en/did/radio/igloolik/program2 to download or listen to podcast of Zacharias Kunuk and Human Rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett on Igloolik public radio call-in show about the Baffinland Iron Mine, the NIRB Public Hearings and Inuit Human Rights. Part One: May 9, 2012, 2.5 hours in Inuktitut and English. 

Abandoned mines in Canada

Interesting video by Memorial University professors John Sandlos and Arn Keeling talking about the abandoned Pine Point zinc mine, on the south shore of the Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. The mine was opened from 1964 to 1988. This film shows images of the abandoned mine from the summer of 2009, along with reflections from the two professors, who are writing a history of the mine and its impact on local people.    Here is a link to the NICHE website (Network In Canadian History & Environment) from where I took the video http://niche-canada.org/mining/audio-video 


DID News Alert May 10, 2012. I thought I would shed a little light on who the owner of ArcelorMittal is, the company that owns Baffinland. The chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal is Lakshimi Mittal. According to Forbes magazine, he is the 21st richest person in the world and the 47th most powerful. He has a net worth of $20.7 billion dollars.

DID NEWS - Nunatsiaq News article on Nipivut Nunatinni, DID, and Lloyd Lipsett

Good Nunatsiaq News article on Nipivut Nunatinni local radio show, Digital Indigenous Democracy, and Human Right lawyer Lloyd Lipsett.

New website launched for Nunavut uranium-watch organization Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit

Please take a look at Makita's great new website "Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit" makitanunavut.wordpress.com/Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit is Nunavut's uranium-mining watchdog organization. Visit this website for the most up-to-date information about uranium mining in Nunavut! 

MORE LIVE STREAMING, Igloolik Radio Thursday May 10, 8PM EST - Part 2: Zacharias Kunuk talks with Human Rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett

 Click on this link www.isuma.tv/hi/en/did/radio/igloolik to listen AGAIN (Part 2) to Zacharias Kunuk and Human Rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett on Igloolik public radio talk about the Baffinland Iron Mine, the NIRB Public Hearings and Inuit Human Rights.The show goes on air live Thursday, May 10 at 8pm Eastern Time.

ArcelorMittal latest report on corporate responsibility

"ArcelorMittal's status as the world's leading steel and mining company is a source of intense pride, both personally and for our employees," comments Lakshmi N. Mittal, Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal.

Inuksuit on the railroad

DID News Alert May 10, 2012. A new concern has been raised about Baffinland’s proposed 150-kilometre railway from the mine to Steensby Inlet. The railway will run along a chain of roughly 100 inuksuit that extends for over six kilometres near the mouth of Steensby Inlet.

Baffinland Public Hearings To Take Place in July

It’s been over two years since the proposed Baffinland Mary River iron mine has been under review. The verdict from the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s final report comes out in September. Before the final decision by NIRB, there will be public hearings in July in Iqaluit, Igloolik and Pond Inlet.

DID Overview May 5, 2012

Read the updated Fact Sheet and Plain Language Summary of Digital Indigenous Democracy Overview as the project launches in May 2012. Read here or download attached PDF (see link at left).*   *   *   *   *

IMPORTANT- Inuit land claim gets first royalty payment for $2.2 Million

DID News Alert May 1, 2012. Inuit land claim gets first $2.2 million royalty payment

Baffinland urges for more collaboration on Mary River project

As the July hearings approach, it is evident that Baffinland wants to hurry up the process, especially relating to the environmental effects assessment (EIS). Demands for more information by Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) regarding the environmental impact of the proposed mine have been met with some hostility on the part of Baffinland.

Nunavut signs deal with mining company on high school mining curriculum.

In April, Premier Eva Aariak signed a memorandum with mining company Agnico-Eagle, who operate the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, to invest in mining-related curriculum for Nunavut high schools. Aariak has stated that since there are new job opportunities for Nunavummiut in the mining sector, schools should team up with companies to offer training.

Baffinland Revised 2012 Field Work Plan

Baffinland Iron Mine Corp (BIM) revision of 2012 field work plan and withdrawal of new Type B water license application. Download the original March 30, 2012 letter as PDF.

Elimination of the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program (ASEP)

 Interesting article from March 26th, 2012 on the termination of the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program (ASEP). This program ran from 2004 to March of 2012. Over 25 different projects, many which were mining-related, had received funding from this program, which had an annual budget of over $100 million.

Baffinland slashes scope of Nunavut’s Mary River project, January 10, 2013

Baffinland slashes scope of Nunavut's Mary River Project, Company postpones railway, Steensby Inlet port, Foxe Basin shippingNUNATSIAQ NEWS Jan 10/13

Circumpolar Inuit to Global Leaders in Durban: Don’t Abandon Kyoto

Circumpolar Inuit to Global Leaders in Durban: Don’t Abandon Kyoto 

Indigenous Film Conference

Panel Discussion from the Indigenous Film Conference October 27-29, 2011 webcast LIVE on IsumaTV from Kauokeino, Norway. NOTE: Action in this video STARTS at 2:20 minutes into the clip.Hosted by the International Sami Film Centre. 

Sheila Watt-Cloutier LIVE webcast Nov 29 at 7PM (Atlantic)

held on

Indigenous Film Conference archive

Digital Indigenous Democracy and International Sami Film Centre collaborated on IsumaTV's live webcast of the Indigenous Film Conference from Kautokeino, Norway, October 26-30, 2011. Live webcasts now are archived at:http://www.isuma.tv/lo/en/international-sami-film-centre

Digital Indigenous Democracy APPROVED

Canada Media Fund Experimental Stream approved a $1 million investment in IsumaTV's newest initiative, Digital Indigenous Democracy, for 2011-12. For more information, see attached files.

Sami Film Center news

International Sami Film Center announces a brand new program for projects, Please spread this information, through your website and network. We hope that your collagues will apply.For more info, http://indigenousfilmcircle.comhttp://indigenousfilmcircle.com/en-espanol/ contact: Åsa Simma simma@isf.as

World Summit Youth Award

The World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) is an international competition for youth-led projects that encourage the active participation of young people under 30 years of age in the emerging information society.

First Mile Connectivity Consortium (FMCC) Report

The First Mile Connectivity Consortium (FMCC) is a national consortium emerging as an outcome of the collaborative process leading to the First Mile report (Putting the Last-mile First). Although founded by and originally focused on First Mile solutions for First Nations communities in remote and rural Canada, the FMCC welcomes members from anywhere who share its goals and principles. FMCC’s goal is to provide a forum for broadband development organizations to learn from each other, and share practices and results with everyone interested, including those who are involved in the process of crafting broadband policy decisions. The FMCC will meet regularly, disseminate information, nurture community-driven projects, and encourage adoption of its principles by communities, information sector players, and government.Download the complete First Mile Report by clicking on Attached Files. See page 53 for article on NITV on IsumaTV.For more information, see Meeting Place: The First Mile.  

NITV on IsumaTV 3.0 2011-12 - refused and NOW APPROVED

In August, the Government of Nunavut Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (CLEY) overruled its previous refusal and now approved the original funding proposal for NITV on IsumaTV 3.0, NITV's 2011-12 proposal to expand the network of IsumaTV High-speed MediaPlayers to a total of 8 Baffin Island communities: Igloolik, Pangnirtuq and Iqaluit, started in 2010-11, and add

14 Hubs Best-quality PDF

Download in best-quality a sample selection of screens showing how Digital Indigenous Democracy will appear on IsumaTV, as a network of its first 14 communities, or 'hubs.'