Q 3. Does the NWMB set harvesting quotas?
Part of our responsibilities under the NLCA is to establish, modify or remove total allowable harvest (TAH) in Nunavut – either by setting new TAHs, removing those that are no longer needed, or changing existing TAHs. The NWMB also sets other, non-quota limitations on harvest, if necessary, which include such things as hunting seasons and restrictions on the type of gear that may be used to harvest a particular wildlife species.
Q 7. How are decisions made by the NWMB?
Issues are brought to the NWMB for decision from federal and territorial governments, Regional Wildlife Organizations, Hunters and Trappers Organizations, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. Through scientific research, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, consultations, and public and written hearings the best available information surrounding any particular information is presented to the Board, and is normally accompanied by a management recommendation, or proposed solution. This information is given thorough consideration by Board members before they make their decision. The decision of the Board is then forwarded to the appropriate federal or territorial Minister for approval. If the Board’s decision is accepted, it is implemented by the responsible department: it is the government that carries out NWMB decisions, once they are made. If the decision is rejected, the NWMB has to reconsider their decision in light of the reasons provided in the Minister’s response letter. Click here to see a diagram of the decision process.
Q 8. What is meant by the terms Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)?
TEK refers to Inuit knowledge about wildlife and the environment, learned through personal experiences and those of others, often including traditions handed down through the generations (Usher 1999). Usher (1999) proposes four categories of TEK:
- Factual knowledge about the natural world, including weather, sea and ice conditions, animal behaviour and biology.
- Factual knowledge about current and historic use of the natural world, including land use patterns, and harvest levels.
- Culturally based statements about how things should be, including moral or ethical accounts about how to behave with respect to wildlife and the environment.
- The knowledge system underlying the first three categories, providing explanations and guidance as to why things are the way they are, providing context for the outcomes of the first two categories.
IQ has been defined as encompassing “…all aspects of traditional Inuit culture including values, world-view, language, social organization, knowledge, life skills, perceptions, and expectations” (NSDC, 1998). Wenzel et al. (2008) clarify that IQ comprises not only the components of TEK, but also includes knowledge concerning “how the world works and how to behave so that practical knowledge can translate into successful ecological activity”. As such, IQ can be said to include world views, values, information on social organization, perceptions, languages, and life skills. A simple way of defining the relationship between TEK and IQ, as explained by Wenzel et al. (2008) is that TEK is part of IQ, but not all of it – the whole of IQ is greater than the sum of its TEK parts. For a more complete picture of the guiding principles of IQ, and how it relates to the management of wildlife in Nunavut, refer to the Nunavut Wildlife Act.
- Nunavut Social Development Council (NSDC). 1998. Report of the Nunavut Traditional Knowledge Conference. Igloolik. March 20-24.
- Usher, P. 1999. Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Environmental Assessment and Management. Arctic. 53:2.
- Wenzel, G., F. Weihs, G. Rigby. 2008. The Use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in the Management of Wildlife in Nunvaut: A Critical Review. A report for the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.
Q 9. How does the NWMB incorporate TEK/IQ in wildlife management?
The NWMB is mandated, under the Nunavut Wildlife Act, to incorporate the principles of IQ when carrying out its functions as indicated in the NLCA. Concerning the decision making process, gathering the best available information on a wildlife management issue often involves conducting community consultations or holding public hearings. The local Hunters’ and Trappers’ Associations are also asked for their input, and to provide a letter of support to the agency or organization submitting an issue to the NWMB for decision. In this way, Inuit hunters, elders, and other community members are given the opportunity to provide traditional knowledge and personal observations about the subject at hand for consideration by the Board.
Q 10. How does the NWMB incorporate western science into wildlife management?
Any available western scientific information, often in the form of output from ecological models and statistical analyses produced by government agencies, is included in the information presented to the Board for consideration when making their decision.
Q 11. What role does the NWMB play in federal species-at-risk act listings?
Any movement, territorial or federal, to list or modify a current listing of a species or population of wildlife found within Nunavut must be approved through a decision by the NWMB. As with the other facets of the NWMB’s decision process, all the best available information is presented to the Board for consideration and the decision is forwarded to the appropriate Minister for approval. The process is conducted in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding to Harmonize the Designation of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the listing of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act.