(July 21, 2005 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak today said he was pleased that federal Environment Minister Stephane Dion reversed his recommendation to list the Peary Caribou herd as endangered under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
NTI was relieved that Minister Dion made this decision. When he first announced he intended to list Peary Caribou as an endangered species in May, we were very concerned because his actions disregarded the process for making such designations as set out in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. At that time, we asked him to reverse his recommendation and he has done so, said Kaludjak.
Minister Dion was aware of the proper procedures for making SARA designations in Nunavut because the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB) sent a letter to him outlining the necessary steps required by Article 5 of the NLCA. In a press release issued by his department yesterday, Minister Dion said he chose not to list the Peary Caribou at this time in order to give Environment Canada time to further consult with the NWMB.
Minister Dion and his officials were listening and we truly appreciate this. We hope Environment Canada’s future consultations with NWMB and Inuit will give them a better understanding of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, said Kaludjak.
Minister Dion also said the responsible wildlife management practices of Inuit resulted in large populations of many species in the North. He said his department plans to work with Inuit groups to develop management plans to ensure the Peary Caribou population remained healthy.
Yesterday’s press release also indicated that polar bears would not be listed as a species of special concern under SARA, as previously recommended. This decision also stemmed from Environment Canada’s plan to consult further with the NWMB and to give the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) more time to analyze the polar bear population.
For further information:
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Cell: (867) 975-1337