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Nunavut Wildlife Management Board to Continue Special Meeting

NR 06-20 NWM ENG Special Meeting.doc

(October 31, 2006 – Rankin Inlet, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. 2nd Vice-President Raymond Ningeocheak said today he was pleased the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board has decided to continue their special meeting on the Wildlife Act regulations. The NWMB began the meeting in September, reconvened it last week, and said they planned to continue the discussion on the regulations at a later date. When the session wrapped up Friday, Oct. 27 at the Navigator Inn in Iqaluit, a date for the continuation of the meeting had not yet been set.

Though the Wildlife Act came into force July 9, 2005, the regulations which govern the Act are still in development. The regulations are the detailed rules included in the Act. The Act does not set quotas, seasons or other detailed rules. The regulations set these rules, and must be in place for the Act to function. NTI, the Regional Wildlife Organizations (RWOs), the Government of Nunavut, the NWMB and Inuit Elders have worked together for several years to develop these regulations.

The regulations are critical because they will establish limitations on Inuit harvesting in accordance with the constitutionally protected rights of Inuit set out in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA).

On behalf of Inuit, NTI wants to ensure that the Wildlife Act regulations respect the principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit included in the legislation, while implementing Inuit harvesting rights, said Ningeocheak. Our goal is to use Inuit knowledge and respect the principles of conservation.

Of equal importance is the need to ensure the Wildlife Act and regulations recognize Inuit systems of wildlife management, and the role of Nunavut’s Hunters and Trappers Organizations and the RWOs in the co-management of wildlife.

Through the NLCA and the Wildlife Act, the Hunters and Trappers Organizations and the Regional Wildlife Organizations will regulate the harvesting practices and techniques of Inuit, while ensuring their rights are not infringed upon, said Ningeocheak.

The special meeting is taking longer than originally expected due to the large amount of information being presented to the NWMB for their consideration.

For further information:

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