The Inuit Heritage Trust(IHT) is dedicated to the preservation, enrichment and protection of Inuit heritage and identity embodied in Nunavut's archaeological sites, ethnographic resources, and traditional place names.
IHT receives its mandate directly from the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), Articles 33 and 34. Core funding for IHT comes from Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), the parent land claim organization whose role it is to advance and protect Inuit interests in Nunavut by assuring that the terms of the Nunavut Political Accord are lived up to. IHT was established through a Trust Deed in 1994 and incorporated in September 1995 through the Canadian Corporations Act.
The role of IHT includes:
- assuming increasing responsibilities for supporting, encouraging, and facilitating the conservation, maintenance, restoration and display of archaeological sites and specimens
- the development of a Nunavut Heritage Sector Strategy to help guide the strategic development of Nunavut's heritage sector
- development of a heritage sector training plan resulting in tools for those in the heritage sector to gain capacity in heritage programming
- participation in a working group comprised of the Government of Nunavut (GN), NTI and IHT to advance the goal of setting up a Nunavut Heritage Centre. This facility will house the repatriated Nunavut artifacts currently scattered in museums around the world
- participating in the development of government policy and legislation on archaeology, place names, and archives in Nunavut
- joint ownership, with the GN, of all archaeological specimens found in the Nunavut Settlement Area
- reviewing applications for permits for archaeological activity, including visits to sites, and investigations of archaeological sites and/or removal of archaeological specimens.
- recording the traditional place names for geographical features in Nunavut in order that these may appear on official maps of the territory