Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated’s Uranium Policy

The following documents, presented in chronological order, are related to Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated’s (NTI) uranium policy.

Following the approval of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in 1993, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) initially did not issue permits for the exploration or mining of uranium on lands to which the Inuit organizations held rights.

Uranium mining giant Cameco pulls out of Nunavut (March 5, 1999) Nunatsiaq News

In 1999, NTI’s Board of Directors passed a resolution calling for NTI’s Lands Department to develop a discussion paper outlining issues related to the possibility of uranium mining in Nunavut. A copy of this resolution, as well as further background on the development of the discussion paper, can be found in the following briefing notes.

NTI Briefing Note: Draft Policy Concerning Uranium Mining in Nunavut (June 24, 2004)

NTI Briefing Note: Uranium Policy (Sept 2, 2004)

The discussion paper was completed in 2005, and recommended that NTI release a policy which supports uranium mining.

NTI Discussion Paper: Policy Concerning Uranium Mining in Nunavut — Volume 1 (February, 2005)

NTI Discussion Paper: Policy Concerning Uranium Mining in Nunavut — Volume 2 (February, 2005)

At the request of NTI, a review of the discussion paper was undertaken in 2005. The reviewer noted serious shortcomings in the discussion papers, including no serious analysis of the benefits Inuit would receive from uranium mining and no serious analysis of whether or not uranium mining could be conducted safely in an Arctic environment.

Policy Concerning Uranium Mining in Nunavut: A Review of February 2005 Discussion Paper (May, 2005)

Also in 2005, an NTI memorandum discussed the possibility of Nunavut being considered as a potential long-term storage site for radioactive waste from nuclear generators.

NTI Memorandum: Nuclear Waste Management (June, 2005)

In 2006, NTI approved the discussion paper, created a draft uranium policy supporting uranium mining in Nunavut and circulated draft consultation materials.

NTI Resolution: Approval of Uranium Consultation Documents (March 4, 2006)

NTI Cover Letter: Uranium Consultation Documents (March 5, 2006)

NTI Cover Letter: Uranium Consultation Documents (March 5, 2006)

NTI Draft Consultation Document: Uranium Exploration and Mining in Nunavut (March 5, 2006)

NTI Presentation: Draft Uranium Policy (March 5, 2006)

NTI Presentation to DIAND: Uranium Consultation Documents (April 6, 2006)

NTI Uranium Policy — Communication Notes (March 4, 2006)

NTI endorses uranium mining on Inuit Owned Lands (May 5, 2006) Nunatsiaq News

NTI Media Release: NTI and RIAs drafting uranium mining policy (May 15, 2006)

The Hamlet of Kugluktuk HTO and Hamlet Council responded to the consultation documents, indicating that they were not able to comment on them because they lacked knowledge about uranium mining.

Kuluktuk HTO and Hamlet Letter to NTI: Draft Uranium Policy (April 10, 2006)

The Nunavut Planning Commission requested that NTI revise the draft policy to respect the authority of the NPC in areas of land use planning.

NPC Letter to NTI: Draft Consultation Document and Draft Uranium Policy (April 26, 2006)

The Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board and members of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association responded to the documents with criticism.

BQCMB Letter to NTI:Draft Consultation Document and Draft Uranium Policy (April 13, 2006)

BQCMB Letter to NTI: Comments on Draft Uranium Policy and Draft Consultation Document (May 1, 2006)

Caribou left out of uranium talks (May 5, 2006) Nunatsiaq News

BQCMB Caribou News in Brief, Vol 10, No. 1 (July 2006)

QIA delegates question NTI uranium policy (October 20, 2006) Nunatsiaq News

NTI responded to some of these concerns by releasing a background document on their uranium policy in November of 2006.

Background Paper on NTI Uranium Policy

In late May of 2007, NTI held consultation meetings in Baker Lake and Kugluktuk. NTI’s Lands Policy Advisory Committee was in each community for less than one day for consultations.

Schedule of Events: Uranium Policy Meetings in Baker Lake and Kugluktuk

Only 27 people from Baker Lake and 45 people from Kugluktuk attended the consultation meetings. Late May is one of the busiest hunting/fishing seasons for Inuit in Nunavut, and perhaps the worst possible time to hold a consultation meeting and expect a serious turnout.

Baker Lake Participants List

Kugluktuk Participants List

Each meeting consisted of presentations by NTI staff, the uranium mining firm AREVA Resources, the consulting firm SENES (which has taken contracts from both AREVA and Urangesellschaft), and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

During the meeting in Baker Lake, one participant complained that the meetings were dominated by long presentations, and gave relatively little time for community feedback. Indeed, only three members of the community are on record giving any feedback whatsoever. One community member complained that the presentations were too fast.

Baker Lake Uranium Policy Meeting Minutes

The Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization submitted written commentary. They requested that the uranium policy include a chapter that indicates areas in which uranium mining would be prohibited, to be selected by hunters and trappers from Baker Lake.

Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Uranium Policy Meeting Written Submission

During the meeting in Kugluktuk, a participant complained about the timing of the meeting and the brief nature of the consultation. Numerous participants expressed concern and apprehension about uranium mining. Only 7 members of the community are on record giving any feedback.

Kugluktuk Uranium Policy Meeting Minutes

In 2007, NTI Board of Directors approved a policy supporting uranium mining.

NTI Policy Concerning Uranium Mining in Nunavut (September 11, 2007)

NTI Press Release: NTI Board of Directors Approves Uranium Policy (September 18, 2007)

NTI reverses itself on uranium mining of Inuit Owned Lands (September 28, 2007) Nunatsiaq News

In 2008, NTI entered into business agreements with uranium exploration companies.

NTI Press Release: NTI Grants Uranium Rights to Kaminak Gold (February 7, 2008)

NTI gets a stake in uranium business (February 8, 2008) Nunatsiaq News

Welcome to the Kivalliq Energy Corp (May 16, 2008) Nunatsiaq News

NTI Press Release: NTI and Forum Uranium Corp. Sign MOU (December 8, 2008)

Also in 2008, the Kivalliq Inuit Association (which shares uranium policies with NTI and also collects revenue from Inuit Owned Lands) spoke out in favour of AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik uranium mine.

Proposed uranium mine wins KIA plaudits (November 7, 2008) Nunatsiaq News

in 2010 and 2011 a substantial amount of public controversy regarding uranium mining in Nunavut was generated, in part, by Makita’s call for a public inquiry into uranium mining (see our page of documents related to the Government of Nunavut’s uranium policy). In response, in February of 2011, NTI President Cathy Towtongie announced that she wanted to review the organization’s uranium policy.

Nunavut Tunngavik to take second look at uranium miningNunatsiaq News (February 24, 2011)

Nunavut Inuit group puts uranium policy on holdCBC News North (February 24, 2011)

In March, NTI announced that it would review its uranium policy, but would “take into account existing legal obligations” (seemingly a reference to the business agreements they entered into in 2008)

NTI Press Release: Review of Uranium Policy (March 18, 2011)

Nunavut Tunngavik to review 2007 uranium policy (March 20, 2011) Nunatsiaq News

However, at NTI’s annual general meeting in November of 2011, it was announced that NTI had no plans to change its policy regarding uranium mining.

Rosy Financial Future Lies Ahead for NTI: TowtongieNunatsiaq News (November 28, 2011)