06/28/2012 01:24 EDT | Updated 08/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Feds ordered to pay $15M in damages to Nunavut group

A Nunavut judge has ordered the federal government to pay a Nunavut land claims group $14.8 million in damages for failing to properly implement the territory’s land claim.

On Wednesday, Justice Earl Johnson ruled in favour of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI), saying the federal government never created a general monitoring plan, which is required in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

In a release, the acting president of NTI, James Eetoolook, said the ruling is historic.

“The court’s decision shows that it is bad law for the federal government to fail to implement the NLCA and other land claims agreements properly, and that such failure works against building a genuine and constructive partnership with Inuit and all other land claims parties,” he said in a release.

The win is just one part of a lawsuit NTI launched in 2006. NTI has already won four other legal motions related to the lawsuit and it has other motions which are still going through the legal process.

Eetoolook said they launched the lawsuit after negotiations about implementing the land claim were unsuccessful with the government.