Signed in 1984, the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) was the first comprehensive land claim agreement signed north of the 60th parallel and, at the time, was only the second in Canada. The basic goals of the IFA, as expressed by the Inuvialuit and recognized by Canada, are to:
The 2002 Final Report of the public review of IFA Section 16 (Economic Measures), found that the economic objectives of the Agreement had not been adequately met, and recommended that the Parties to the IFA develop an effective system for measuring the social and economic conditions in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
Inuvialuit Indicators was launched in 2007, to track the socio-economic well-being of the Inuvialuit in the Western Arctic. The timing of its launch coincided with discussions and planning for the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project, a nearly 2000-kilometer natural gas pipeline system across the Mackenzie Valley connecting to anchor fields in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The IRC determined that this major infrastructure could substantially exacerbate existing social problems in the region. As a result, the Inuvialuit Indicators was intended both to help monitor the impacts of oil and gas development on the socio-economic conditions in the region, and to create a database in order to show historical trends in the years to come. Mitigation measures were also developed for the Mackenzie Gas Project Impact Fund and the Inuvialuit indicators could also be used to see whether the mitigation measures would reduce impacts and improve the benefits of this oil and gas development.
The current Inuvialuit Indicators database has been funded by the Beaufort Regional Strategic Environment Assessment (RSEA), which provides an opportunity to ensure continuity and continued interest in the outcomes of the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment. RSEA objectives are to promote engagement, education, monitoring, and research projects in the Western Arctic (i.e. the Canadian Beaufort Sea and Inuvialuit Settlement Region) to support informed decision-making around possible future resource development and management, environmental conservation programs, community sustainable and subsistence activities, and other complementary commercial activities. Co-chaired by Canada and the Inuvialuit, this 4-year initiative will contribute to, and take into consideration, recommendations from other complimentary processes.
Data sources for this database include the Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics, Beaufort Delta Education Council, other GNWT Departments, Boards and Agencies and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.