Nunavut Parks & Special Places is the lead Territorial agency responsible for the protection and promotion of natural and cultural heritage landscapes and recreation opportunities in Nunavut. Its legislative mandate is the Territorial Parks Act and it participates in other key statutes such as the Nunavut Wildlife Act, and the Travel and Tourism Act. The Division is also obligated under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (primarily Article 8 and Article 9) and the Umbrella Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement for Territorial Parks; and is directed by GN policies such as Iqqanijaqatigiit and Pinasuaqtavut.
Currently, the division is headquartered in Iqaluit with staff in each of the three regions (Baffin - Iqaluit, Kivalliq – Rankin Inlet, and Kitikmeot - Kugluktuk) and Kimmirut. The Division is overseen by the Director, Parks and Special Places who, as Superintendent of Nunavut Parks, is responsible for overall establishment, planning and management of Parks and Special Places, operations and promotion of Park and related Visitor Services Facilities, and the Division’s Land Claim responsibilities.
Though overlaps and interactions exist, there are currently three main program areas in the Parks and Special Places division: program development; park operations and planning; and land claims and geospatial information. The Department has also supported Parks and Special Places having a greater, future, role in a fourth program area: coordinating conservation initiatives. This will become more important as Nunavut gets increasingly involved in meeting its national and international commitments related to the development of conservation areas strategies, marine protected areas, and biodiversity.
- Program Development. Developing the Nunavut Parks and Special Places program, System Plan, legislation and regulations; communications and promotions/marketing; advising on park feasibility, design, planning and management; coordinating divisional research needs;
- Park Operations and Planning. Operating park and park visitor services facilities and equipment; developing park registration systems and emergency response; and coordinating capital planning and park planning and development;
- Land Claims and Geospatial Information. Facilitating the implementation of the NLCA, managing and administering the implementation of the Territorial Parks IIBA; representing GN on Federal and other IIBA obligations; and coordinating geospatial information and the division’s land use planning responsibilities;
- Conservation. Coordinating conservation initiatives including Conservation Areas Strategy, Biodiversity Strategy, and other national and international obligations