Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 222

222 Arctic Yearbook 2015 concerns over marine development (Varga 2014). Meanwhile, the federal government has started a public comment period to gather experiences and learn the views of Aboriginal groups, federal, provincial and territorial officials and industry stakeholders about the duty to consult to help Canada improve the way the federal government manages consultation processes (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada 2014). A multi-level governance setting can create the conditions for legal pluralism. This is the case in regions where the devolution of power is granted to accommodate indigenous people rights. Under the Act on Greenland Self-Government, a number of policy areas have been transferred from the Kingdom of Denmark to the government of Greenland. The Act also lays down which matters can be taken over by the Greenlandic authorities (Mortensen 2013). This is the case in the area of mineral resources, which was taken over when the Self-Governmental Act was passed. As Greenland has been granted self-government pursuant to the people’s right to self-determination, it is nevertheless a public government. Anyone born in Greenland is considered a Greenlander. The regulations related to mineral (including oil) resources do not contain any specific provision or protection of indigenous rights: “With the authorities of the Greenland Self-Government having assumed full responsibility for mineral resources, there is no longer any need to have special rules concerning the right of indigenous peoples” (Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment 2011: 18). In Greenland, where the land cannot be considered an individual property, this comes with some challenges. Aqqaluk Lynge, former President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, emphasised in 2009 the growing gulf between the political discourse of Greenland leaders and the social and environmental realities (Lynge 2009). He invoked the founding texts of international law in this area, starting with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), and continuing to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) in order to hold the government to its duty to obtain a free agreement from the affected communities concerning all initiatives and projects for development. Offshore exploration can take place in areas where the hunters are of the opinion that customary rights exist, areas with hunting or fishing rights held by specific individuals whose identity they know thanks to oral accounts (Olsen 2014; Brøsted 1986). These customary rights have not been translated into law and they are not accepted by the acts passed by the Greenlandic government. In addition, the Western conception of land property relying on a strict delineation of a geographical area is at odds with the traditional Inuit conception of ownership which is rather a user right and custodianship that comes with social responsibilities, and is very often flexible depending on the resources move, e.g. mammals or fish (Dahl 1998). Until Home Rule, management of the land followed customary rules of the community, a situation that changed dramatically with the introduction of Home Rule, and a centralised (Nuuk-based) authority disconnected from territorial social control (Dahl 1998). Various legal orders are at stake in Greenland: the indigenous legal order (which is not necessarily monolithic, and which is made of social norms and relies on a community-based control), and the self-rule legal order which borrows some features both from a former colonial order (a centralised authority) and from Inuit culture (no individual property). As Usher writes, “there is a crucial distinction between common property in the state system and communal property in the indigenous Governance of Arctic Offshore Oil & Gas Activities