Polar Bear quota challenged

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Makivik Corporation has filed judicial review applications related to Polar Bear Quota decisions made by the Governments of Nunavut and Canada affecting the Total Allowable Take (TAT), and Non-Quota Limitations (NQLs) for the Southern Hudson Bay Polar Bear Subpopulation in the Nunavik Marine Region.

The wildlife management boards in Nunavik and James Bay submitted a final quota of 28 to be shared by Inuit and Cree in Nunavik and around James Bay. However, both boards received notice from Nunavut and Ottawa, rejecting the quota. Makivik disagrees with the revised quota of 25.

Makivik Executive Vice-President Adamie Delisle Alaku said, “Both the Nunavut and Canadian Ministers had an obligation to give “full regard” to the extensive body of Inuit traditional knowledge in making their decisions, which they failed to fulfill. They also did not respect the spirit of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement (NILCA) in making their decision on Total Allowable Take, and Non-Quota Limitations.”

“The fewer polar bear that are harvested, the less chance Nunavik Inuit have to experience and pass on to the next generation key aspects of their culture, such as survival skills and life skills, feelings of fulfillment gained from sharing the meat, and the pride of completing an important coming-of-age experience associated with being a good hunter.”

“Limiting the polar bear harvest also reduces the extensive social and economic benefits that the polar bear harvest provides the Inuit,” and reduces access to “inexpensive and healthy country food in an area where food costs are extremely high,” Makivik said.