Kuujjuaq, QC – The federal government has announced funding of more than $382,000 between now and 2008 for research projects designed to benefit Inuit communities in northern Quebec’s Nunavik region. The money will be provided through the Northern Ecosystems Initiative (NEI) program. This national program, which was established in 1998, promotes synergy between the scientific communities and the inhabitants of the North and combines local, traditional and scientific forms of knowledge.
The Kativik Regional Authority (KRA) will receive $135,000 for a study of the impact of climate change in the eastern Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada. It will also be given a grant of $152,000 to complete projects relating to the characterization of mining exploration sites. Finally the KRA can expect to receive a contribution of $15,000 from the NEI to identify plants and vegetation around the Inuit communities in Nunavik.
The Makivik Corporation, for its part, will receive $25,000 to complete a study of the feasibility of creating a computerized database relating to contaminated sites in northern Quebec. In addition, the Makivik Corporation, in conjunction with the Quebec Region of the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada will be given $55,000 to complete a study of the ecology and dynamics of the population of eider ducks in Ungava Bay.
The Northern Ecosystems Initiative is a national partnership program administered by Environment Canada. In Quebec, a regional steering committee has developed an environmental action plan for northern Quebec. The members of this committee include Aboriginal representatives (Cree, Inuit, Naskapi and Innu) and representatives of government as well as research centres and Hydro- Qubec.
The work of the NEI focuses on five priorities: climate change, contaminants, activities linked to resource exploitation, monitoring and skills development.