Land Management – ISR

Land & Water Management – Inuvialuit Settlement Region

The ISR is a northern region of the territory which runs along the Beaufort Sea. The Inuvialuit Land Administration has the administrative authority for Inuvialuit Private Lands under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation was established to manage the affairs of the Inuvialuit including their private lands. The Inuvialuit have exclusive ownership of surface and subsurface rights. Within the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Inuvialuit Land Administration administers and manages these lands and the Inuvialuit Land and Administration Commission is responsible for making decisions on land use applications.

How are land and water boards organized in the ISR?

The following public co-management bodies were established under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement to enhance environmental and resource co-management in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region:

  • Environmental Impact Screening Committee
  • Environmental Impact Review Board
  • Wildlife Management Advisory Council (NWT)
  • Fisheries Joint Management Committee

Additionally, organizations were established to represent Inuvialuit interests and local community interests in wildlife management:

  • Inuvialuit Game Council
  • Hunters and trappers committees in each community

In addition to the boards formed under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, the NWT Water Board was established by the Northern Inland Waters Act proclaimed in 1972. This Act was replaced by the NWT Waters Act in 1992. The NWT Water Board is an institution of public government in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region responsible for the conservation, development and utilization of the water resources in the region.

Finally, the Joint Secretariat was established as a non-profit organization under the NWT Societies Act to provide technical and administrative support to these committees, boards, and councils.

Land and Water Management in the ISR

Land and water boards are responsible through legislation and regulation to administer the use of land and water and the deposit of waste in each of their respective management areas on both public and private lands.

In the ISR, the NWT Water Board regulates the use of water, and the deposit of waste into water, through the issuing of Water Licenses.

In this region, federal land administration is looked after by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, who are responsible for issuing land use permits in the ISR.

Key legislation

Environmental assessment boards in the ISR

There are two bodies responsible for environmental assessment in the ISR:

  • Environmental Impact Screening Committee
  • Environmental Impact Review Board

Environmental assessments are undertaken in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).

Environmental Impact Screening Committee (ISR)

The Environmental Impact Screening Committee is responsible for environmental screening for all potential developments in the ISR. The committee reviews proposed projects to decide if a development is likely to have significant adverse impacts on the environment or on wildlife harvesting. The Committee can also recommend terms and conditions which mitigate the potential significant impacts of a development.

The Environmental Impact Screening Committee may refer a project for additional environmental review to a governmental development or environmental impact review process, or to the Environmental Impact Review Board.

Environmental Impact Review Board (ISR)

The Environmental Impact Screening Committee may refer a project for additional environmental review to the Environmental Impact Review Board, if it determines that a governmental development or environmental impact review process will not adequately address the assessment and review function necessary for the scope of a particular project.

The Environmental Impact Review Board carries out detailed environmental impact assessments and public reviews of development projects referred to it by the Environmental Impact Screening Committee. The Board decides whether a project should proceed and, if so, under what specific terms and conditions. In making its decision, the Environmental Impact Review Board considers the need for wildlife compensation, mitigation, and remedial measures.

Very few (5-6%) of development proposals make it to this stage. Most get into the regulatory system after the Environmental Impact Screening Committee process.

Renewable resource boards in the ISR

In the ISR, the Inuvialuit Game Council has a renewable resource management responsibility.

Hunters and Trappers Committees have similar responsibilities in individual communities.

Land use planning in the ISR

In the ISR, both community and regional approaches to land use planning have been adopted. Community conservation plans have been developed for the lands surrounding each of the Inuvialuit communities.

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