With a federal infusion of $216,000, the Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat will be able to develop new governance tools to increase and enhance capacity for the territory’s hunters and trappers organizations (HTOs).
“The training and materials HTOs will receive from this funding will have a significant impact on communities,” stated executive director for the secretariat Jason Mikki.
“Once completed hunters and trappers in communities across Nunavut will have more information and better access to resources to help them, leading to new opportunities.”
The funding comes from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), and the secretariat will add $54,000 of its own money to the governance project.
The secretariat is a body tasked with coordinating the responsibilities of the hunters and trappers organizations and the regional wildlife organizations.
Deb Schulte, parliamentary secretary for the Minister of National Revenue, in Iqaluit Feb. 11 to make a variety of federal announcements, acknowledged the organizations are important for providing food and support to their communities.
“The work that HTOs do is often not appreciated enough as they support their members in 25 communities across Nunavut,” said Schulte.
“They also help regulate harvest practices and techniques, and their respect for the land and the North is immense. However, they do face obstacles. There’s a lack of easily accessible financial programs, computer programs, training manuals, human resource information, and governance policy and procedure documents.”
In addition, the secretariat will upgrade its website.
Schulte said these tools will open the potential for economic development and job creation in communities, as well as help them apply for more funding they currently don’t have access to.
But what does this mean on a practical level for HTOs?
“They have access to (funding), but to be able to access it you have to be able to show that you have accounted for any funding that you had before and that you have good financial practice. So your accounts and your finances need to be in good working order, and be able to be shown,” she said.
“Many of these organizations don’t have that structure, or that ability to show that. They don’t have the structures to show they can manage that money properly, therefore they don’t get it.”
The training modules, including templates and tools, will be interactive and available in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun. A component of the training will include the potential for HTO representatives to travel to the secretariat’s headquarters in Rankin Inlet.
The project has been in the works for several months.