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Baffinland phase two proposal before NIRB not 'adequately developed,' Akeeagok says

1307QIA and Baffinland agreement
"I have heard from hunters that the project needs to slow down. I have heard impacted communities speak strongly about their concerns regarding phase two," says .P.J. Akeeagok, president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. photo courtesy of the QIA

Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) President P.J. Akeeagok on Tuesday addressed the controversy over the regulatory hearings for Baffinland's proposal for expansion at its Mary River iron mine.

“At QIA’s January board meeting and during the NIRB (Nunavut Impact Review Board) hearings in Pond Inlet, I heard concerns from Qikiqtani Inuit and Mittimatalingmiut that Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (traditional knowledge) was not being honoured throughout this process,” Akeeagok stated in a news release.  “I heard from Elders that we should speak about what we see and experience. I have heard from hunters that the project needs to slow down. I have heard impacted communities speak strongly about their concerns regarding phase two.

“It is abundantly clear to me that the phase two proposal before the Nunavut Impact Review Board has not been adequately developed. QIA believes success can be achieved when parties have time to work together to advance a common vision,” said Akeeagok.

The news release added that QIA continues to support the extension of NIRB’s community round table and anticipates further open engagement with impacted communities, especially oral questions, and comments vital to Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.