The Mary River annual review forum in Arctic Bay on May 9 and 10 was a success thanks to the participation of community representatives from Hall Beach, Igloolik, Clyde River, Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay – the five hamlets impacted by the mine.
The annual review forum is a requirement of Article 14 of the Mary River Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) between QIA and Baffinland. The forum was an opportunity to review the impacts and plans for improvement related to the mine. The forum also provided a chance for the public to ask questions and develop recommendations for improvements regarding the Mary River project.
The forum included senior representatives from QIA and Baffinland as well as an elder and youth representative from each of the five effected communities. Five QIA Community Directors from Hall Beach, Igloolik, Clyde River, Pond Inlet & Arctic Bay were also delegates at the meeting
Many of the issues raised at the forum had to do with Inuit employment including the need for more work on strategies to recruit and retain Inuit employees and assist them to advance into higher positions. Other topics raised were related to improving communications with Inuit and protection of the environment.
Following the Annual Project Review Forum, QIA and Baffinland will be preparing a report including recommendations that stem from the issues and concerns raised at the meeting. QIA and Baffinland must present a response for how they will work to address each recommendation made at the annual project review forum. This report will be sent back to participants, and made public, 90 days following the end of the meetings.
QIA believes the majority of the recommendations presented at the Annual Project Review Forum will be addressed through the implementation of an Inuit Human Resource Strategy.
While in Arctic Bay, QIA and Baffinland also approved the first comprehensive annual work plan for the IIBA at a Joint IIBA Executive Committee meeting.
Key activities included in the 2017 IIBA Work Plan:
- Completion of an Inuit Human Resource Strategy,
- Completion of an Inuit Procurement and Contracting Strategy,
- Approval of a Minimum Inuit Employment Plan,
- Approval of an Employment and Training Plan,
- Development and completion of Workplace Conditions Surveys.
The overall objective of the 2017 IIBA Work Plan is to increase Inuit employment and training.
QIA looks forward to collaborating with Baffinland and Inuit on the execution of the 2017 IIBA Work Plan.
In the interim QIA has been doing its part to address Inuit employment though a number of initiatives including developing an Inuit employment database. There will be more updates on this project in the coming months.
QIA has also been working on creating an Inuit firm database that will make it easier to identify Inuit businesses that can be employed to carry our contracts for the Mary River project.
QIA has also filed a number of funding applications related to Inuit Employment to access more resources related to training Inuit for jobs.
Most recently QIA was awarded funding from the Government of Nunavut’s Mine Training Round Table to deliver financial literacy courses in various communities – to bolster Inuit skills for Mary River related contracts and jobs.