This article after a brief introduction which describes the Inuit of Canada and their administrative segmentation by the territorial and provincial boundaries of the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory, Nunavut Territory, Province of Quebec and the Province of Labrador. While arguably the Inuit are also considered to have traditionally used the northern regions of other provinces this study will focus on the present governance organizational framework assigned via Inuit Land Claims with Canada. The formation of Canada in 1867 and the subsequent partitioning of the Yukon and Nunavut from the Northwest Territory, and the addition of the Northern Quebec (Ungava Bay Peninsula) in 1912 to Quebec, and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Canadian Confederation in 1949 delineated the Inuit within these provincial and territorial jurisdictions in what had once been considered by the Inuit one large all inclusive contiguous land and sea home area they refer to as Nunangat.
And, so it is that as the Inuit were brought in (or ordered) of the land from their nomadic and semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer existence, they came under the administration of federal and respective territorial and provincial governments and divided from their fellow Inuit across these boundaries. Thus, as Inuit have become more organized and schooled in the ways of the colonial/post-colonial administration they have begun through a process of devolution to seek the autonomy of governance requisite to pursue self-governance and self-determination. And to this the Government of Canada has been responding through consultations and negotiations, entering into Land Claims Agreements with each of the four respective sub-groups of the Nunangat. The land claims are with Nunavik (1975), Inuvialuit (1984), Nunavut (1993) and Nunatsiavut (2005).
The Inuit Land Claims are preliminarily identified in Section 2. However, they are only one component on the Inuit devolutionary path to self-governance and self-determination, and this section also further provides a review of the process and progress of devolution within each of the respective territories and regions within the Inuit Nunangat of Canada. In Section 3, the Inuit Nunangat as a whole is examined with respect to harvesting and wildlife management which is inextricably linked to the culture and survival of Inuit people. It commences in Section 3(A) with a review of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement 1975 (JBNQA) was the first major and landmark agreement between the Government of Canada and indigenous peoples in Canada. The JBNQA created a series of governance mechanisms proving the signatories, i.e. Inuit, Cree, and in 1978 the Naskapi (under the NEQA), the governance tools to continue their subsistence practices. Central to these mechanisms were commitments to create a co-management regime between neighboring indigenous claims settlements for the area's wildlife, but it was not until the other neighboring Inuit regions signed their respective land claims agreements that overlap clauses and agreements intra-Inuit and intra-indigenous began to be formalized. These are reviewed and discussed in Section 3 (B). As will be seen it is a complex system of multiple levels of government and Inuit organizations tailored together in a fashion of co-management that the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the national voice of the Inuit Nunangat, must navigate inter-regionally within the respective Inuit land claims, federal departments and agencies, along with provincial, territorial and other indigenous entities composite in the harvesting and wildlife management governance framework.
Macneill, Christopher M.
"Inuit Nunangat Regional Overlaps: Reciprocal Harvesting & Wildlife Management Agreements,"
American Indian Law Journal: Vol. 9
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/ailj/vol9/iss2/5
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