Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Canada, Northwest Territories and Yukon sign historic Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord
August 10, 2023 – Inuvik, Northwest Territories — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Today, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Chair and Chief Executive Officer Duane Ningaqsiq Smith; the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor; the Honourable Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories; and the Honourable Ranj Pillai, Premier of Yukon, signed the Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord on behalf of their respective governments.
This agreement, the first of its kind with an Indigenous government as a full party, assures shared decision making concerning oil and gas rights in Canada’s Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore). The Accord ensures that Inuvialuit, along with residents of Yukon and the Northwest Territories, are the primary beneficiaries of economic activity from any oil and gas development in their regions.
Once implemented in legislation, the Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord will establish an oil and gas co-management and revenue-sharing arrangement with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Government of Yukon, for the Accord area. Recognizing the climate leadership of Indigenous and territorial governments in the North and their commitments to develop cleaner, renewable energy, this historic agreement provides a blueprint for responsible clean energy cooperation in the future.
The Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord advances Canada’s implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by supporting the meaningful participation by Indigenous peoples in decision-making over lands, territories, resources, and inclusive economic development.
The Government of Canada will collaborate with the parties to implement the Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord in federal legislation at the earliest opportunity.
“Inuvialuit have long been sidelined from participation in the management of offshore oil and gas exploration and development in the Western Arctic. Today, this comes to an end. Under this Accord, Inuvialuit are now equal partners in decision-making about resource development in the offshore areas of our homeland. This Accord recognizes the paramountcy of our Inuvialuit rights under the IFA and ensures that a share of resource revenues, opportunities and benefits rightfully flow to Inuvialuit communities. This is an important step in our continuing journey toward self-determination and reconciliation.”
Duane Ningaqsiq Smith, Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
“Indigenous Peoples and Northerners must have a voice in deciding how resource development should be permitted and managed where they live. This historic Accord provides for full partnership in decision-making, which is essential as we all move forward with economic reconciliation. I am truly honoured today to join with partners in Inuvik to sign the Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor
“Northerners need to be full partners and decision-makers in the Arctic offshore. This accord is a positive step towards ensuring that the Northwest Territories will have direct involvement in important decisions that affect the Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) alongside Canada, the Yukon and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.”
The Honourable Caroline Cochrane
Premier of the Northwest Territories
“The Government of Yukon supports a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and the protection of the Arctic’s ecosystem. I am pleased that with our partners today, we have finalized shared responsibilities in managing resource development and environmental protection matters in waters off our northern coast. Northerners must be involved in decision-making matters about the North.”
The Honourable Ranj Pillai
Premier of the Yukon
The signing of the Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord fulfills commitments by the Government of Canada on lands and resources devolution, as well as under the 1993 Canada-Yukon Oil and Gas Accord to negotiate an offshore oil and gas co-management and revenue sharing agreement with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Government of Yukon.
The Accord establishes a full and equal role for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to participate in, and directly benefit from, any Arctic offshore oil and gas development in the offshore Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The Accord is a major milestone for offshore oil and gas co-management in Canada’s offshore areas.
Budget 2022 has provided $2.5 million over 5 years for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to participate in the implementation and administration of the Accord.
For more information, media may contact:
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, and the Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Tel: 1 (867) 777-7000
Government of the Northwest Territories
Government of the Yukon
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