Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik April 09, 2018 - 9:46 am

Nunavik Inuit debate future of development corporation

“Inuit are losing control over their own instrument"

Makivik Corp. treasurer Andy Pirti, left, with Nuvviti Development Corp. chair Tommy Palliser at the opening of the corporation's new Montreal office March 14. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAKIVIK CORP)
Makivik Corp. treasurer Andy Pirti, left, with Nuvviti Development Corp. chair Tommy Palliser at the opening of the corporation's new Montreal office March 14. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAKIVIK CORP)

The future of Makivik Corp.’s new business development corporation is up for debate.

Nunavik Inuit raised concerns about the newly launched Nuvviti Development Corp. at Makivik’s recent annual general meeting in Puvirnituq, suggesting Nuvviti is moving business development out of the hands of the region’s Inuit leadership.

In March 2017, the board of directors of Nunavik’s Inuit birthright organization, under then-president Jobie Tukkiapik, voted unanimously to create an arms-length body to manage Makivik’s subsidiary companies and joint ventures.

The goal of Nuvviti Development Corp. was to help develop those businesses and avoid any conflicts of interests, given Makivik’s quasi-political role.

But the new entity only duplicates what Makivik was already doing, said its president, Charlie Watt, who was elected in January after the development corp. had already been created.

“They are supposed to be subsidiaries of Makivik Corp. and managed by Makivik,” he said. “The big part of the complaint was the fact that appointed people will become directors of this new instrument, overriding the elected executive of Makivik Corp.”

Since last July, Inukjuak’s Tommy Palliser serves as chair of Nuvviti.

Its board of directors include former Salluit mayor and warden Michael Cameron and Kuujjuaq businessman Sammy Duncan; its other members include Quebec engineer Steve Roussel, former Tourism Commission CEO Michele Mackenzie and former Air Canada COO Duncan Dee.

Dee now serves as Nuvviti’s CEO—one of three who staff the corporation’s Montreal office.

Nuvviti has not yet responded to Nunatsiaq News’ request for an interview.

Watt said the corporation has too much direction from outside the region, meaning “Inuit are losing control over their own instrument.”

“This discussion is still ongoing,” Watt said. “We hope to be able to rectify this in the next few days.”

When Nuvviti was established last year, Makivik was the last of the four Inuit land claim groups in Canada to launch a business arm.

Makivik oversees three joint ventures and six subsidiaries, including First Air and Air Inuit, though the two airlines continue to operate under their own boards.

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(18) Comments:

#1. Posted by Hungry for Power? on April 09, 2018

Nuvuti was founded for ethical reasons. The goal is to prevent abuse of power.  Clearly, the new president doesn’t like this.  Why?  It’s healthy to have arms-length bodies to avoid all too common conflicts of interest. The fact that the incoming president is singlehandedly spearheading an effort to abolish this safety measure is cause for worry. Why can’t the new president work with this type of framework?

#2. Posted by tell us about this same here in Nunavut on April 09, 2018

I see as leaders are taking care of them self, First of this and not having to report the full scope of the Business to the full board is totally WRONG , Conflict of Interest comes to play , appointed Rep’s making there own call’s how the Business is running without letting the Arm of the business knowing simple questions asked on and been told sorry we can’t disclose your questions or report back to our Arm for confidential reasons ,

This tells me our Inuit business are owned by the appointed Rep’s and running every call of the Business Nature all the way to the Top NTI/QIA/QC/QWB/HTO, poor runner businesses with some , they will be seen sooner or later and will not be a happy ending with some , Need a Lawyer with the Business to show up at the Meetings soon,

Who are they representing Inuit or them self’s .

Eye’s and Ear’s

#3. Posted by I really don't think it was the right decision. on April 09, 2018

I think it was wrong to make Nuvviti business enterprise, we should wait until we get our self-government, more jobs will be open for the nunavik people, so I think the new Nuvviti was not well received by the signatories, I think we need to tackle self government before we make any moves, I am with Charlie Watt on this issue.

#4. Posted by NUNAVIK VOTER on April 09, 2018


#5. Posted by Mini Powers on April 09, 2018

Actually I am very glad to hear these kinds of concerns.  We have to second guess or take 2nd opinion on these important questions.  Nunavik business community is tiny and could easily self serving. 
I am very happy Mr. Watt is asking tough questions.

#6. Posted by Unbelievable on April 09, 2018

Wow! Someone wants to do some conflict of interest once again! Ruthless truly ruthless president.

Read this article! He is trying to do the same! We must stop him!!

#7. Posted by Beneficiary on April 09, 2018

Now. we will never know how our airlines are doing profit wise. More bonuses for the Boards from each now separate businesses all owned by one Co. (Makivik). meaning more give aways for each many board memebers and some of ‘em aren’t even beneficiaries. All for $$$$$ they must have been the ones who encouraged to separate each org for the sake of their own pocket(s). Damn. Go Charlie, fix it up. We’re behind you.

#8. Posted by money on April 09, 2018

At least this will keep some of the finances in Nunavik rather than employing unknown outsiders to push paper in circles

#9. Posted by KUUJJUAQ on April 09, 2018

WHat is needed at Makivik is a ethics commissioner, able to operate with out interfernce. politics and business usually leave a sour taste.

#10. Posted by Nunavik 2 on April 09, 2018

Andy Moorhouse explained at the Annual General Meeting in Puvirnituqq that a 2-year study was conducted by a third party before Nuvviti was created. He stated that he was unsure of the creation of Nuvviti Development Corporation before it was established. He was afraid that the creation of Nuvviti Development Corporation was going to stop Air Inuit and First Air from providing assistance to the beneficiaries of Nunavik. Since the creation he has reviewed the operation, the rights and how it has been structured to move forward. He explained that he has understood that although there is a budget of $1.5 million but it has opened up more opportunities in the business field. He stated that the Board of Directors are responsible for some files that were under the executives and have made changes such as the restructuring of NEAS. He noted that changes have not been made to the services that have been provided by First Air and Air Inuit over the years.

#11. Posted by Nunavik 2 - Pt. 2 on April 09, 2018

CONUATION OF COMMENT BY NUNAVIK 2 - He also explained that as elected members of Makivik Corporation they too have a Code of Conduct just like any other organization. He noted that Makivik Corporation is responsible for the Economic Development in Nunavik and Nuvviti Development is responsible for the subsidiaries that already exist and make sure that they are profitable. The Economic Development Department works closely with Nuvviti Development Corporation on opportunities that could be beneficial for the Corporation. He explained that the work that is being done by each department is not duplicated.

#12. Posted by Unbelievable on April 09, 2018

are you seriously buying Watt’s crap??? seriously! He is just working hard for his family, so much conflict of interest within him has blindsided him. Already two or more of his immediate family members on payroll since the election. Heard he wants to hire consultants rather than hire permanent employees so they don’t give their opinions just suggestions. 

#7 before Nuvviti we had no idea where the money was going, after Nuvviti they started finally announcing the amount of money given to Makivik.

If you can read, please read this article

Nuvviti is a great initiative to combat conflict of interest, unnecessary bonuses, nepotism, politics messing with businesses, etc.

#13. Posted by Puv member on April 09, 2018

Muncy Novalinga explained that Nuvviti Development Corporation was created so that the executive members of Makivik Corporation can focus on their mandate. He stated that the Board of Directors of Makivik will be reviewing the structure of Nuvviti and make changes if need be from time to time. He noted that the budget approved was $1.5 million which will be returned when revenues are brought back to Makivik from the subsidiaries.

#14. Posted by Concerned on April 09, 2018

A separate business arm that holds all of the voting shares in Makivik’s wholly owned subsidiaries and with Power of Attorney to represent Makivik in non-wholly owned subsidiaries and joint ventures.
“Development Corporation”, wholly owned by Makivik Corporation, is consistent with the political and business models in the three other Inuit land claim regions of Canada. The Inuvialuit have the “Inuvialuit Development Corporation”, Nunavut has “Nunasi Corporation”, and the Nunatsiavut region has the “Nunatsiavut Group of Companies”.
As in the other Arctic regions, the creation of a separate business entity from Makivik is intended to improve the decision-making process.
The Inuvialuit have the “Inuvialuit Development Corporation”, Nunavut has “Nunasi Corporation”, and the Nunatsiavut region has the “Nunatsiavut Group of Companies”.
Improve the decision-making process as well as to improve Makivik’s ability to take advantage of business opportunities.

#15. Posted by Tommy Palliser on April 09, 2018

There are many benefits of having business professionals managing the subsidiaries of Makivik Corporation, some are large corporations that need to be managed well, to help compete against new competitors, but most of all, to allow the politicians to have more time to work much closer with the communities and their needs. This also allows for capacity building of the Inuit members, to learn from some of the best in the business industry. This is in line with other Inuit orgs in the other regions, who have their own business experts working on the management of their subsidiaries and also to capitalize on new business opportunities.

I will be available for an interview later this week, and would be glad to share our work to date, to show that we are doing our very best to provide as much revenues for the executives and the board of Makivik to use for the benefit of the Inuit. This is our goal, to help best manage the subs and to generate as much revenue as possible for Makivik period.

#16. Posted by eskimo joe on April 10, 2018

it has been cited over the years; “when absolute power corrupts, it corrupts absolutely”. good luck nunavik.

#17. Posted by Beneficiary on April 10, 2018

There’s a reason Jobie lost a big election. So, let us not rush what is yet to come with the new man on the hot seat with many issues to be looked and taken of, which Jobie didn’t do. Let us work together to make our Nunavik better for all. Fighting each other won’t help. The election is already lost and won. Let us move forward with so much potential to gain in each of us.

#18. Posted by Oh my on April 10, 2018

The majority of Nunavimiut do not know or understand what Nuvviti is and the reason for it’s creation, more outreach is needed, there is a general suspicion towards organizations,nepotism and conflicts of interest are rampant,unless there is an effort to increase transparency and meaningful participation,Nunavik governance remains fragemented and ,non- representative ,finally it would be refreshing if ideas rather then people could be debated

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