(July 26, 2017 – Iqaluit, NU) – The Qikiqtani Inuit Association applauds the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada confirming the right of Inuit to meaningful consultation and congratulates the Hamlet of Clyde River and the local Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) on the successful challenge of the June 2014 decision of the National Energy Board (NEB) which had permitted seismic testing by industry for oil and gas reserves.
The Supreme Court of Canada decision overturns the 2015 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal which had dismissed the Hamlet and HTO application challenging the NEB decision. In overturning that 2015 decision, Canada’s highest court has taken the opportunity to clarify the legal standard and requirements for consultation with indigenous communities.
“This decision of Canada’s highest court confirms what QIA has maintained all along, that Inuit should have been fully consulted before seismic surveying takes place in our backyards,” says QIA president P.J. Akeeagok.
QIA has repeatedly objected to the National Energy Board, to industry and to government officials concerning the lack of proper and meaningful consultation with Inuit to address Inuit concerns related to seismic testing.
From providing financial assistance towards legal fees for Clyde River to submitting comments throughout the legal process on the need for adequate consultation, QIA has continued to support the hamlet and HTO in this process.
In addition, QIA conducted tours and workshops in affected communities to gather insights from Inuit on the impact of seismic testing on their lives and environment.
Currently, QIA is working with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Nunavut Impact Review Board as the lead to conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait. QIA’s role will be to continue to work with communities to identify and gather Inuit traditional Knowledge (IQ) which will be integrated into the Strategic Environmental Assessment in part to identify areas that are considered environmentally sensitive to Inuit.
For more information please Contact:
Sima Sahar Zerehi
Director of Communications
Qikiqtani Inuit Association