Government of Canada and Kitikmeot Inuit Association to develop Franklin visitor and field research centre
GATINEAU, QC, March 17, 2016 /CNW/ - Parks Canada will work collaboratively with Inuit of the Kitikmeot region to establish a facility in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut that will support the conservation, research and presentation of the Franklin Expedition's history and artefacts. The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced $16.9 million over five years to support the ongoing investigation of HMS Erebus and the continuing search for HMS Terror, and for the development of multi-purpose infrastructure. The funding will also contribute to economic development in the Kitikmeot region, and create employment opportunities in local Inuit communities.
Parks Canada will continue to work closely with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association to negotiate an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement as required under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. This will be the first agreement between the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and Parks Canada. The agreement will support Parks Canada's commitment to recognize the invaluable contributions of Inuit to establishing and conserving Canada's heritage places.
Minister McKenna and the President of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, Stanley Anablak also announced the establishment of an Interim Advisory Committee with membership from local communities, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, the Government of Nunavut, Inuit Heritage Trust, Nunavut Tourism and Parks Canada. The committee will advise Parks Canada on the management of the national historic site until the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement is finalized. The committee will also explore facility options for Gjoa Haven which may include a visitor centre, conservation labs, administrative offices, and staff housing.
- The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site will be the first cooperatively-managed national historic site in Nunavut.
- Planning for the Government of Canada's 2016 Franklin research expedition is on-going and will build on the success of the multi-lateral partnership to date, which is a collaboration with the Government of Nunavut, Inuit communities and other public, private and non-profit partners.
"Our national historic sites tell the stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous Peoples. The Government is committed to working respectfully with Inuit and honouring their contributions to Canada's protected places. Today's announcement recognizes the primary role that Inuit will have in the development and co-operative management of The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site, and sharing this unique and fascinating episode of our nation's history with Canadians and the world."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"The recent discovery of HMS Erebus would not have been possible without Inuit knowledge and this is something I am very proud of. The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site is the first cooperatively-managed national historic site in Nunavut and the funding announced today will create economic development and employment opportunities for the Kitikmeot region. The collaboration between the Government of Canada and Inuit will guide the development of this site and allow the story of the Franklin Expedition, along with Inuit oral history and cultural traditions, to be shared in new and exciting ways."
The Honourable Hunter Tootoo
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Member of Parliament for Nunavut
"Incorporation of Inuit knowledge was important for the discovery of HMS Erebus and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association is confident that the collaboration between Inuit, associated communities, government, and tourism organizations will lead to appropriate development and ongoing management of The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site into the future. I look forward to working with Parks Canada and to the completion of the negotiation of an Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement."
President, Kitikmeot Inuit Association
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Contacts: Caitlin Workman, Office of the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9436, [email protected]; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, [email protected]