Media Centre

NTI Calls on DIAND to Fill Vacant NWMB Appointments

NR 05-26 APP ENG Vacant Appointments.doc

(July 21, 2005 – Rankin Inlet, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak today called for Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Andy Scott to appoint a chairperson to the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. The position has been vacant for eight months.

The delay is especially problematic because a second NWMB position filled by a DIAND representative has been vacant since January 2003.

The NWMB has recommended names of individuals to be appointed to the positions, but no appointments have been made to date and no explanations have been offered to explain the delay.

The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board is mandated by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to be the main instrument of wildlife management, and the main regulator of access to wildlife in our territory, said Kaludjak. Minister Scott’s lack of action to appoint these two representatives could soon mean the NWMB will not be able to function.

Kaludjak said the unnecessary delay further concerns NTI given the pending expiration of two other federal government appointments in December 2005 and February 2006.

If it takes this long to reappoint the remaining two Board members to the NWMB, the organization will not have enough members for a quorum, and it will not be able to make the important decisions it is required to make. Access to wildlife is critical to Inuit and I urge Minister Scott to rectify this situation before it further negatively impacts Inuit, he said.

Kaludjak said important decisions the NWMB will be expected to make this fall and winter concern regulations in the new Nunavut Wildlife Act, the new Nunavut Fisheries Regulations, designations for several species under the Species At Risk Act, allocations for offshore commercial fishing quotas, review of wildlife research proposals and allocation of research funding, and review of polar bear management in Nunavut.

The NWMB is composed of eight board members and a chairperson.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Cell: (867) 975-1337
Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006