IN DEPTH: ABORIGINAL CANADIANS|
Nunatsiavut: Our beautiful land
CBC News Online | July 02, 2004
What is it?
Home for Labrador's Inuit. The road to Nunatsiavut began in 1977 when the Labrador Inuit filed a claim to 72,500 square kilometres of northern Labrador. Negotiations with the federal and provincial governments began 11 years later, culminating in a deal in June 2001.
The agreement-in-principle defined the relationship between the Labrador Inuit and their ancestral lands and paved the way for self-government over a region larger than Ireland. On May 26, 2004, more than three-quarters of eligible voters ratified the deal.
It's the last land claim agreement covering Inuit in Canada.
What's in the agreement?
The deal allows Labrador's Inuit to protect their traditional use of the entire Labrador Inuit Settlement Area the 72,500 square kilometres covered by the deal. They will also maintain economic and self-government rights.
Inuit will "own" most of Labrador's coastline and will have co-management rights in a much larger area of land and ocean. They will receive $140 million from the federal government over the next 15 years as well as $156 million to help implement the deal.
Under the deal, the Inuit will still be subject to federal and provincial taxes.
The Labrador Inuit will receive a share of future development within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area as they do with the $2.9-billion Voisey's Bay nickel mine currently under construction.
Within the 15,800 square kilometres the Inuit will own outright, they will receive 25 per cent of provincial revenues from future development projects. They will receive a five per cent share from projects in the rest of the area.
As well, Nunatsiavut will have co-management rights out to 20 kilometres off shore from Labrador's headlands and islands. A commercial fishery is also part of the deal.
As part of the self-government provisions of the agreement, Inuit will gain the right to pass their own laws, control health, education and justice.
There are five major communities in Nunatsiavut Hopedale, Nain, Makkovik, Rigolet and Postville. The legislature will be located in Hopedale with the administration in Nain. The legislature will be made up of 16 members, including some who live outside the settlement area.
Who benefits from the deal?
Approximately 5,300 members of the Labrador Inuit Association. That includes Inuit and Kablunāngajuit the Inuit designation for people of mixed Labrador Inuit and European ancestry. Most of the membership lives in the land claim area, but more than 2,000 Inuit who live outside the area in Northwest River and Goose Bay also share in the benefits of the deal.
What is the geography of the region?
The land features three distinct sub-Arctic zones.
In the south, it's boreal forest with a mix of woodlands of spruce and tamarack and some deciduous trees such as aspen.
Moving north, the boreal forest gives way to taiga, a transition zone of spruce forest interspersed with rocky outcrops and barren ground shrubs and plants.
Still farther north, trees give way to tundra that supports deciduous shrubs, such as willow, and a diversity of alpine plant species.
The area is also home to the world's largest caribou herd. The coastal areas include large populations of seals and whales.
Inuit say 'Yes' to Labrador land claim deal
Inuit land claim a big step closer
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Labrador Inuit land claim agreement
Total population of Canada: 31,414,000|
Total people of aboriginal origin: 1,319,890
North American Indian:
More than one aboriginal origin:
People of aboriginal origin living on reserve: 285,625
People of aboriginal origin living off reserve: 1,034,260
People of non-aboriginal origin living on reserve: 36,230
(Source: 2001 Census, Statistics Canada)
*includes people of a single aboriginal origin and those of a mix of one aboriginal origin with non-aboriginal origins