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Welcome to Nunavut Planning Commission

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Recent News

Land use Plan blueprint for Nunavut one step close

(June 20, 2023. Iqaluit, Nunavut.) The Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) has submitted its 2023 Recommended Nunavut Land Use Plan for the territory. It’s an enormous plan that sets out requirements for how 3.3 million square kilometres of Nunavut’s land and marine areas will be used.

The submission letter, along with the 2023 RNLUP and supporting documents, are now available on NPC website at , and on the NPC public registry at

Following the fifth and final comprehensive round of public hearings last fall, the Commissioners and staff carefully considered substantive issues and options to determine balanced and appropriate  revisions to the 2021 Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan. Key issues in the deliberations included the treatment of Inuit Owned Lands, caribou habitat, the balance of land use designations, existing rights, roads, and marine shipping.

Nunavut Planning Commission Chair Andrew Nakashuk says “we are confident the NPC has submitted a balanced, responsible and approvable 2023 Land Use Plan that reflects the vision of Inuit.”

The final plan now goes  before the Federal and Nunavut governments and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, for approval. (NTI represents Inuit in the territory)

NPC Director of Policy and Planning Jonathan Savoy says the process has been incredibly inclusive. “This plan would not be possible without the active and informed participation of all our planning partners.

The Commission has been the beneficiary of the expertise of Inuit traditional knowledge, of best-available scientific research,  along with views of government, Inuit organizations, transboundary Indigenous peoples, industry, and non-governmental groups.

“Balancing diverse and competing interests has been the overarching challenge “ says NPC  Executive Director Sharon Ehaloak.  She says this marks  the end of one process and, once approved, the beginning of another, namely shared responsibilities for implementation.  Ehaloak stresses “the really hard work lies ahead, and it's crucial everyone understands the Plan is a living document that will be monitored, reviewed and amended  to reflect changing needs, circumstances and opportunities."

An approved Land Use Plan would help further advance Inuit self-determination, provide certainty for all land users, and could significantly contribute to  Canada’s conservation targets.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Parliament’s passing of the  Nunavut Agreement. The Land Use Plan is a legal requirement under the deal between the Nunavut /Inuit and the Crown.

For contact /interviews:  Sharon Ehaloak, NPC Executive Director:

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The Commission has now completed all five regional public hearings on the 2021 DNLUP on the following dates:

Cambridge Bay, NU: September 12-15, 2022

Rankin Inlet, NU: September 19-23, 2022

Thompson, MB: September 26-27, 2022

Pond Inlet, NU: October 24-27, 2022

Iqaluit, NU: November 14-19, 2022.

The Commission thanks everyone for their active participation in these important hearings. Video recordings of the hearings are available on our webpage at .


The Commission has committed to providing a 2023 Recommended Nunavut Land Use Plan to the Government of Canada, Government of Nunavut, and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. for their consideration. The Commission acknowledges the requests for an extension of time to provide final written comments on the 2021 DNLUP. Recognizing the importance of the issues and knowing that many participants wish to provide additional information, the Commissioners have agreed that an extension is beneficial to the overall process.

As a result,

  1. the Commission has agreed to extend the date for FINAL written comments to February 10th, 2023. This date will not be extended further, and any submissions that are received after that date may not be incorporated into the deliberation by the Commissioners in considering the 2023 Recommended Nunavut Land Use Plan.
  2. Further, the Commissioners have agreed that all participants should have an additional 2-week period following the February 10th date for the SOLE purpose of providing comments on any written submissions received by February 10th. The deadline for these responses/comments is February 24, 2023. Please note that this is not an extension of written submissions - only a period to respond or provide comments to submissions received by February 10th.  Responses/Comments to any written submission must be provided using the attached template (Appendix I).

Written submissions on the 2021 DNLUP must be submitted by email at , by fax at 867-979-3443, or by mail at Box 1797, Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0. Participants with capacity are encouraged to provide translated copies of their submissions. Click on "Read More" below to download the full notice and Appendix I-Template for responses or comments to written submissions. 

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NPC DNLUP Public Hearings Broadcast Information

The Regional Public Hearings on the 2021 Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan will be available to watch through Uvugut TV on channels 240 or 267 or through the link below. It will also be available on our NPC YouTube channels in both English and Inuktitut in the links below. The previous daily sessions are also saved in the chosen language in the YouTube links below.


Uvagut TV: Click Here


Youtube: Click Here for English.  Click Here for Inuktitut. 



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Regional Public Hearing In Iqaluit

Location: Cadet Hall

Dates: November 14 - 19

Morning Sessions: 9 am to 11:45 am

Afternoon Sessions: 1:15 pm to 4:30 pm

Evening Sessions (if necessary): 6 pm to 9 pm

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Nunavut’s ambitious land use plan is vital for the future of the territory



Published in The Hill Times

Nunavut is nearing the end of a long territory-wide land use planning process with broad implications for Canada and the world. It is vital that we complete it.

After 15 years, the Nunavut Planning Commission has started final public hearings and will submit a recommended draft plan early next year to the three entities that will consider it for approval: the federal and Nunavut governments, as well as Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., which ensures the Nunavut Agreement is implemented.

Across Canada, land use planning has been challenged by diverse interests and a vast range of environmental, economic, and social conditions. Our experience in Nunavut can be even more challenging because of its sheer size—it is one-fifth of Canada’s land mass—and its varied interests.

No other jurisdiction in the world has attempted this exercise on such a scale.

We often have different views on the scope and content of this first-generation plan. Emotions can run high. Regardless of the challenges, land use planning is essential to Inuit, our communities, governments, organizations and industry; it matters to the land and all living things; it matters to all of us as we seek to protect the environment and develop resources responsibly and sustainably in the short term and for future generations.

Land use planning is much more than drawing lines on a map. It is about setting and achieving goals, identifying and living within limits of acceptable economic, environmental and social change. We must ensure the future is more than the result of a series of decisions about individual projects and activities. This plan provides an opportunity through an inclusive process to have essential conversations about difficult things.

An approved land use plan will support decision making with respect to environmental stewardship, sustainable resource and economic opportunities, and social benefits. It will serve as a filter and the entry point into the Nunavut regulatory system, avoiding single project-by-project reviews in the absence of a regional context. It will provide a structure and process to identify what is truly important. It will set out the framework for public and private investment, resource and environmental management, and progress as Inuit define it. 

Planning needs to be understood as a continual process that must be monitored and reconsidered over time as circumstances, needs, and opportunities change, and when new information becomes available. 

There is no magic formula for creating a land use plan. It is always a question of achieving an acceptable balance among differing views, values and visions. Compromise by all parties is essential. No one party will get everything it wants, but all parties should achieve enough to be satisfied with the outcome. 

The planning process is both a challenge and an opportunity. We are challenged to see and understand different views, values and priorities from all perspectives. This gives us the opportunity to build a bridge and reach a consensus, find balance, and adapt and improve the plan over time to meet changing circumstances and events. Such events include community population changes, wildlife population and habitat changes, mineral and hydrocarbon demand and supply, and the impacts of climate change on the land and its use. 

The last decade and a half of plan development has consumed resources and placed many demands on communities, regional organizations and other planning partners. 

Now is the time for our collective efforts to come together and complete the Nunavut Land Use Plan. It is time for us to understand and commit to the necessary compromises that will finalize a plan for Nunavut reflecting the vision of Inuit and our communities. 

Andrew Nakashuk, a former law enforcement officer who has lived in the communities of Iqaluit and Kimmirut, has been the chairperson of the Nunavut Planning Commission since 2016. 

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