The European Union (EU) has recognized the Inuvialuit qualify for an exemption to its ban on the importing of seal products. The EU’s realization that Inuvialuit are harvesting seals on a sustainable basis, primarily for food and to maintain their culture, re-opens a market of at least 400 million people.
The territorial government will market Inuvialuit fur products as part of its Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur (GMVF) marketing program. The GMVF Program provides Northwest Territories trappers with “one window” access to the international fur auction market for fur harvested in the NWT. In addition, the Program actively markets and promotes fur at international venues through partnerships with other harvesting jurisdictions and the private sector.
The territorial government is also developing a certification program for Inuvialuit seal products to give European visitors confidence they can take home any seal fur products they purchase in the Northwest Territories. The certification program is being developed with increasing cruise ship tourism in mind.
Any fur product bought in the NWT that carries the distinctive label, depicting a traditional Dene snowshoe, guarantees the buyer a single source of high quality authentic NWT-harvested fur. The GMVF label is only available to documented buyers of exclusive GMVF fur bundles.