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New Nunavut Wildlife Act passes third reading

NR 03-31 WLA ENG Wildlife Act Passes.doc

(December 5, 2003 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. today offered its congratulations to the Government of Nunavut and the Legislative Assembly for passing the new Nunavut Wildlife Act.

The new legislation will take effect as soon as it receives Royal Assent from Nunavut Commissioner Peter Irniq.

We were very pleased when the MLAs passed the Wildlife Act, making it law for Nunavummiut. Before this Act passed, Nunavummiut were following legislation created by the Government of the Northwest Territories in 1978. That Act was outdated and conflicted with the fundamental harvesting rights of Inuit outlined in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. We knew this had to be changed and now it is, said NTI 2nd Vice-President Raymond Ningeocheak.

NTI worked closely with the GN and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board during the consultations that were conducted on the Act. Many people attended these meetings and much of their input incorporated into it.

The result is that Inuit now have a piece of legislation in place that we actually contributed to and helped develop. And, this legislation is compliant with the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. That is a real milestone for Inuit, said Ningeocheak.

NTI is also pleased with the 13 different Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit guiding principles included in the Nunavut Wildlife Act. These guiding principles provide direction for decision-makers when they are working in the area of wildlife. This is the first time that laws in Nunavut have truly incorporated Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.

NTI will continue to work with the GN and the NWMB over the next year to develop the Regulations through which the Wildlife Act will be implemented. This is another opportunity for Inuit to have a direct say in how wildlife is managed in Nunavut.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Cell: (867) 975-1337