The Inuit Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Support Program is administered pursuant to the Act respecting the Support Program for Inuit Beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement for their Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Activities, based on the provisions of Section 29 of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. The basic objectives of the Support Program are to favour Inuit harvesting activities as a way of life, to ensure a supply of country food for the region’s Inuit communities and to maintain harvesting equipment such as community freezers and boats.
Traditional Activity Support Initiatives
The Inulirtait Project promotes the production of traditional equipment and tools, including sleds, harpoons, knives and tents by subsidizing the purchase of locally made items for resale to Inuit. A second, complementary initiative is known as the Fur Harvesting, Clothing and Access Initiative. It is funded in part by the Makivik Corporation. The first component of the Initiative helps hunters who do not have regular employment to purchase the fuel necessary to reach their hunting grounds. The second and third components of the Initiative are modelled on the Inulirtait Project. In this manner, the purchase of harvested furs and locally made clothing are subsidized for resale to Inuit. The types of furs harvested include fox, marten, wolf, as well as ring, harp and bearded seal, and the articles of clothing produced include traditional parkas, caribou pants, boots and mittens. Over ten years, the Inulirtait Project and the Fur Harvesting, Clothing and Access Initiative have stimulated the quantity and quality of fur, clothing and equipment production in all communities.
Support for Inuit Harvesting Activities
A portion of the Québec-government funding received by the KRG to help reduce the region’s high cost of living is allocated to increase the availability of country foods in the communities. Specifically, the subsidy is used to reduce the cost of essential safety and camping items, as well as the purchase and transportation of country food. The subsidy, which is the only exclusively ethnic cost-of-living measure, is paid to each Northern village according to the size of its Inuit population. Each Northern village manages the subsidy through its hunter support program.
Harvesting Safety and Equipment
As part of their harvesting activities, Nunavik Inuit travel regularly along more than 2 500 km of coastline and across much of the region’s 507 000 km2. However, extreme weather conditions and equipment failure can threaten the lives of harvesters. In this context, the Department coordinates services aimed at improving harvesting activity safety and conditions.
For more information on these and other Support Program activities, the Department publishes an annual report in Inuktitut, French and English.