N-CAMP IN KUGLUKTUK
Kugluktuk residents have offered overwhelming support for N-CAMP. Our first visit to the community in March, 2012 coincided with the Frolics festival. We were able to present the program to many stakeholders in the community, including the Mayor and members of the local Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO). A further visit in April, 2013 allowed for further consultations with hamlet council staff, the principal of the high school, members of the HTO, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, and other stakeholders.
Our team members heard a clear message from Kugluktuk residents. They are concerned about the quality of their water and fish, and some of these concerns are due to the presence of mining operations near the headwaters of the Coppermine River. Residents would welcome greater partnership with industry in monitoring and protecting these natural resources, not only fish but also caribou and other wildlife.
Kugluktuk residents stressed the importance of the river and fish to the community, and they offered suggestions concerning potential ways of maintaining these natural resources. In their advice, they named possible partnerships that could work towards these goals – for instance, the local HTO has water testing equipment and experience in training individuals in their use. Some individuals stressed the importance of fieldwork and sharing traditional knowledge about the region and its different kinds of animals and marine life. They also contributed ideas concerning who would benefit from participation in the program, and how this might serve the goals of strengthening the community. Overall, there was substantial support for the idea that local residents would be trained to take part in these tasks.
Kugluktuk residents had clear ideas of how N-CAMP could benefit their community, and we have incorporated their feedback into the content of the program and the way in which it will be delivered. Through this cooperation, N-CAMP can become an effective program that serves community goals and benefits Nunavummiut in general.
How does N-CAMP address community concerns regarding fish and water quality?
As residents of Kugluktuk depend on the Coppermine River for drinking water and food, many expressed deep concerns about preserving the water quality of the river and monitoring the health of its fish stocks. There is a moderate amount of commercial fishing already in Kugluktuk, and there is some interest in expanding the commercial fish harvest. However, Kugluktuk residents have also expressed concerns about the potential to over-fish the river. In response they have set up a system of self-regulation – they are the first community in Nunavut to take this step. They placed restrictions on private fishing and stopped commercial fishing altogether in order to ensure that the fish stocks, especially char, would continue to thrive in the Coppermine River. N-CAMP is intended to further enable the community to set up an effective system that can help them to monitor the river and sustainably manage the fish population.