Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic August 10, 2017 - 8:00 am

Parks Canada, Inuit org to open new Nunavut national park

Qausuittuq National Park has legally existed since 2015

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the federal minister responsible for Parks Canada, and P.J. Akeeagok, the president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, will celebrate the opening of Qausuittuq National Park at a ceremony Aug. 10 in Resolute Bay. The park has actually existed since 2015. (PARKS CANADA IMAGE)
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the federal minister responsible for Parks Canada, and P.J. Akeeagok, the president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, will celebrate the opening of Qausuittuq National Park at a ceremony Aug. 10 in Resolute Bay. The park has actually existed since 2015. (PARKS CANADA IMAGE)

The federal minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, and the president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, P.J. Akeeagok, will mark the creation of Nunavut’s newest national park at a ceremony to be held 2 p.m. today, Aug. 10, in Resolute Bay.

Qausuittuq National Park, about 11,008 square kilometres in size, is located on and around Bathurst Island west of Resolute Bay.

The federal government created the protected area, which lies north of the existing Polar Bear Pass Wildlife Area, primarily to protect the habitat of the Peary caribou.

But one spot adjacent to Bathurst Island, Cameron Island, where small commercial quantities of crude oil were extracted in the 1980s and early 1990s, and which still holds significant potential for development, is excluded from the national park.

The national park was actually created in June 2015, when the former Conservative MP for Nunavut, Leona Aglukkaq, still served as environment minister, responsible for Parks Canada.

After Aglukkaq introduced a bill to legally create the park, all parties in the House of Commons gave it speedy passage and the park legally came into existence on Sept. 1, 2015.

Also in June 2015, the federal government negotiated an Inuit impact and benefit agreement with the QIA to compensate Inuit for use of the land.

Under it, Inuit will continue to exercise their right to hunt, set up outpost camps and remove carving stone from within the park’s boundaries.

Each party to the agreement will name three people, one of whom must be a member of Resolute Bay’s hunters and trappers organization, to serve on a six-person park management committee.

The park will create four full-time jobs:

• the term job of park manager;

• an indeterminate job for the park manager trainee;

• an indeterminate job for a resource management and public safety specialist; and,

• an indeterminate job for an administrative assistant.

In addition, there may be up to half a dozen seasonal jobs.

Ottawa also committed to setting up a visitor and interpretation centre in Resolute Bay and supplying necessary staff housing.

Peary caribou on Bathurst Island. Qausuittuq National Park, created by legislation passed in June 2015, is intended to protect the habitat of the Peary caribou. (FILE PHOTO)
Peary caribou on Bathurst Island. Qausuittuq National Park, created by legislation passed in June 2015, is intended to protect the habitat of the Peary caribou. (FILE PHOTO)
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(3) Comments:

#1. Posted by Richard popko on August 10, 2017

Stuart D. McDonalds vision from the sixties led to the creation of Canada’s first National Wildlife Area ,Polar Bear Pass , national Museum Of Natural Scienes High Arctic Research Station, and Seymour Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary . Bravo to the Inuit leadership to expand the protected area across the proposed pipeline route from Cameron Island. there is little we can do to prevent early winter freezing rains that devastated the Pearys caribou population since 74. Inuit hunters voluntary hunting restraints helped herd recovery after those freezing rain winter kill events. This land use protection measure boosts my hope that these caribou Have a chance at survival and provide hunting opportunity for future generations of Inuit.

#2. Posted by Esqueemo on August 11, 2017

White man say protect this for animal, NTI and RIA say “yes” protect it.  Esquimoo say “protect this” me hunt here and camp here. NTI and RIA say no because white man say no.

#3. Posted by Inuk on August 15, 2017

Give it a rest #2! You need to put your positive energy glasses on instead of the negative ones you have on.

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