Hunters in High Arctic communities are set to receive funds for marine stewardship

“Our goal with this agreement was also to provide opportunities for our communities.”

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The Nauttiqsuqtiit of Arctic Bay pose on the cover of a recent Qikiqtani Inuit Association report that says this group needs more support to help monitor the new national conservation area in Lancaster Sound. The HTO in Arctic Bay and four other nearby communities will start to receive $100,000 a year for monitoring and other related activities. (QIA via Nunatsiaq News)

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association will be handing out $100,000 checks to hunters and trappers organizations in five High Arctic communities this summer.

The money flows from the Tallurutiup Imanga Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement, negotiated in 2019 when the new national marine conservation area of the same name was created.

Tallurutiup Imanga, or Lancaster Sound, is a 110,000 square-kilometer expanse of biologically rich Arctic ecosystem located between Devon Island and Baffin Island.

The IIBA provides over $200 million to protect Inuit stewardship and build marine harbours, food-processing facilities and a training centre in the five closest communities: Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet and Clyde River.

Those are the same five communities whose local HTOs will receive $100,000 through the Qikiqtani Inuit Association this summer, the organization announced in a July 7 release.

That money is meant to help communities respond to their increased duties under the Nunavut Agreement in helping establish the new conservation area, the QIA said.

“Our goal with this agreement was not only to protect our waters but also to provide opportunities for our communities,” said QIA president P.J. Akeeagok in a news release on Tuesday, July 7.

“Hunters and trappers organizations are at the heart of Qikiqtani communities; they play a central role in keeping our traditional skills alive, monitoring our environment and feeding our communities.”

Under the Tallurutiup Imanga IIBA, the HTOs will each receive $100,000 each fiscal year.

The QIA has already held consultations with each of the recipient HTOs to hear their needs and plans for the new funding.

Many hope to use the money to expand their office space, buy new equipment, conduct research and host community events, the QIA said.