Baffinland negotiations are confidential, says QIA
QIA and mine company working out Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is keeping quiet about negotiations it is having with Baffinland Iron Mines about the company’s iron ore mine at Mary River.
The two are negotiating an Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement.
QIA’s board recently got an update on the negotiations. President Okalik Egeesiak said the negotiations are not for public knowledge, including beneficiaries.
"We do not want to negotiate through the media and be all over the place with regards to what they want and what we want. So we do have confidence that the final IIBA will be right for Inuit," she said.
Egeesiak said the negotiators are mindful of the concerns of Inuit, but a confidentiality agreement was signed with Baffinland in 2009.
She said some areas still need to be worked out.
"We do not have a resource policy yet, so we have to discuss that with the communities as to how the resources and the benefits we get from the Mary River Project and how the funds will be allocated to the communities and any programs that the communities want."
Egeesiak said once an agreement is reached, communities that will be most impacted will be consulted on how the benefits will be implemented.
The QIA’s next annual general meeting is scheduled for October, when the public will be updated on the status of the talks.