Tlicho government weighs in on development on caribou calving grounds
'We trust our partners in Nunavut, on their own lands,' a news release says
The Tlicho Government says it trusts its partners in Nunavut when it comes to managing mineral exploration in caribou calving grounds.
In a news release Friday, the Tlicho Government said it was pleased with the outcome of the review process for a Tundra Copper exploration project on the calving grounds of the Bluenose East herd.
In April of last year, the Tlicho Government wrote to the Nunavut Impact Review Board saying that the proposed project could have "catastrophic effects" on the Bluenose East herd. The letter also expressed outrage at learning about the project by chance, rather than through an official notice.
In Friday's news release, the Tlicho Government said it was pleased with the outcome of the review process for a project it says is "small scale." It notes that Tundra Copper shifted its schedule so as to avoid the crucial calving months, and hunters from Kugluktuk monitored the work.
"We trust our partners in Nunavut, on their own lands," the release reads. "They want the same thing, protection of the caribou."
However, that doesn't necessarily mean the Tlicho Government supports exploration in the calving grounds.
"Tlicho Government continues to support the complete protection of the caribou calving and post calving grounds and has made submissions to the Nunavut Land Use Planning Commission calling for measures that will ensure the protection of the critically important calving and post calving grounds," the release said.
That stands in contrast to the Nunavut government position, made public this week, that mineral exploration on the calving grounds should be assessed on a case by case basis.
The Tlicho Government said it will continue monitoring any proposed projects in caribou calving grounds and take actions needed to protect the herds.
"The Tlicho Government respects the jurisdictions of Nunavut, and is working with, listening to, and providing advice to all our partners in Nunavut, including and especially the Kitikmeot Inuit Association," the release said.
"We share common goals, protecting our resources; the caribou, the water, while identifying sustainable opportunities for the employment of our people, the people of Nunavut and the N.W.T."