The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) received $300,000 in federal funding for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) Marine Program Coordinator project, which is an initiative of Transport Canada’s nation-wide Oceans Protection Plan.
The funding came from Transport Canada’s Local Communities Engagement and Partnership Program (ILCEPP), which offers funding to long-term projects or initiatives of the Oceans Protection Plan.
The announcement was made on Aug. 1 by NWT Member of Parliament Michael McLeod, who said programs such as the ILCEPP help bring NWT communities together.
“Through the Oceans Protection Plan we will continue to encourage Indigenous participation in engagement activities,” McLeod stated in a Transport Canada news release.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the funding will not only allow communities within the ISR to build capacity, but will also enable them to be active participants in the marine safety system and the marine sector.
“This program demonstrates our government’s commitment to reconciliation and a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous communities,” Garneau stated.
A total of 21 Indigenous organizations across the nation have received funding from the ILCEPP, with most groups located in British Columbia and Quebec.
It’s also noted in the news release that the funding for the IRC’s project will have two objectives:
building local capacity and expertise to help Indigenous communities take a greater role in the design and implementation of aspects of the transportation system and environmental protection measures; and fostering federal-Indigenous and multilateral partnerships that will lead to greater participation in engagement of marine safety and environmental protection activities.
Among the current responsibilities of the ISR Marine Program Coordinator project include supporting marine safety and environmental protection programs in the ISR, preparing and sharing recommendations with federal departments to improve marine safety in the ISR.
The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan was launched in November 2016 and is designed to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways.
Since the program’s inception, over 50 initiatives and projects along the nation’s coasts have been announced in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection, according to the news release.
In May, the Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committee received more than $500,000 from the federal government to participate in a nation-wide pilot project to develop, test and evaluate a new maritime awareness information system.
This national system is a component of the Oceans Protection Plan’s Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative, and the Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committee is one of 10 Indigenous organizations participating in the project.
The project was launched in the spring, and it displays a range near real-time maritime information that includes data on vessel traffic, weather, and marine protected areas.