Mandate of the Eeyou Marine Region Impact Review Board
The Eeyou Marine Region Impact Review Board is an Institution of Public Government established under the Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (EMRLCA). The Agreement was signed by the Governments of Canada and Nunavut, and by the Grand Council of the Crees on behalf of the Crees of Eeyou Istchee. It was signed on July 7, 2010 and came into effect on February 15, 2012. The EMRLCA is a treaty recognized under the Constitution Act, 1982.
The primary objectives of the EMRIRB shall be at all times to protect and promote the existing and future well-being of the residents in the EMR and of the coastal Cree communities of Eeyou Istchee. The EMRIRB is also directed to protect the ecosystemic integrity of the EMR, as well as to consider the well-being of all residents of Canada outside the EMR. (EMRLCA s. 18.2.5)
Principles that Guide the EMRIRB
The EMRIRB builds credibility with its partners, including Cree organizations, government, industry, and the public, through its sound decisions and actions with a view to fulfil its mandate as set out in the EMRCLA.
Within its mandated powers, the EMRIRB exercises due respect for the culture, values, and interests of all Cree communities.
The EMRIRB makes every effort to carry out its mandate with fairness to all Parties. In making its determinations, the EMRIRB's members are, at all times, guided by impartiality and due process. Over time, the EMRIRB’s prior decisions may provide a useful benchmark to indicate how the Board will view particular types of proposals. However, while the EMRIRB will generally try to evaluate similar project proposals in a consistent manner, as a matter of law, the Board must evaluate each proposal on its own merits and with respect to its own context.
The EMRIRB operates under the principle that public participation is an important element of an open, honest, and balanced impact assessment process. Effective public participation strengthens the quality of the screening and review processes and helps to avoid potential misunderstandings and conflict. By promoting public participation, the EMRIRB helps to ensure that affected communities are aware of projects and their potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE CREES OF EEYOU ISTCHEE
The EMRIRB utilizes both Traditional Cree Knowledge and recognized scientific methods to gauge and monitor potential impacts of project proposals. In doing so, the EMRIRB gives due weight to Cree knowledge of wildlife and the environment, and takes into account the social, cultural, and economic importance of wildlife to the Crees. The recognition and use of Traditional Knowledge is a guiding principle for the EMRIRB as the Crees are traditional and current users of wildlife and other resources of the EMR and have therefore developed particular knowledge and understanding of the region.