Nunavut came into being on April 1, 1999, following the comprehensive land claims settlement of the Inuit of the Northwest Territories in 1993. Among other responsibilities, the federal government undertook to provide Nunavut with geoscience services. This was fulfilled with the set-up of the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office (C-NGO) in Iqaluit. Its mandate was to establish a geoscience capacity in Nunavut, and to collect and distribute geoscience information to support sustainable development.
C-NGO was designed to fill the geological survey role in Nunavut similar to the Yukon Geology Program and the Northwest Territories Geology Program. However, unlike its counterparts in those territories, which comprised co-located staff of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the territorial government, C-NGO was established as part of the Geological Survey of Canada. Although the Survey was accountable for day-to-day operations, a federal-territorial management board set the C-NGO science program.
Survey geologist, David Scott was named C-NGO’s first Chief Geologist. He moved to Iqaluit in April 1999, and worked quickly to ensure that facilities, staff, and equipment were in place so that full field operations could commence in the summer of 2000.
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