Members of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association face a choice between two presidential candidates when they vote on Dec. 12. The organization is also holding elections for seven community director positions on Dec. 12. (File image)

2-way race for QIA’s top job

Contests underway for 7 of 8 community director posts to be filled on Dec. 12

By Nunatsiaq News

There’s a two-way race underway for the top job at the presidency of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, with Paul Okalik challenging president Olayuk Akesuk in the Dec. 12 election.

QIA published an unofficial list of candidates for the presidency and eight community director positions Friday, after the nomination period closed.

Akesuk took over the presidency in 2021 after then-president P.J. Akeeagok stepped down from the post so he could run for MLA in the October 2021 territorial election. After winning his seat in Iqaluit, Akeeagok was selected by fellow MLAs to be premier about a year ago.

In addition to the presidential race, there are contests for seven of eight community director positions to be filled in this round of elections.

Sanirajak has the biggest slate of candidates with six people seeking the community director position:

Solomon Allurut, David Curley, Priscilla Curley, Jopie Kaernerk, Mary Kuppaq, Abraham Qammaniq.

In Clyde River, five people are running for community director: Inutiq Iqaqrialu, Mike Jaypoody, Billy Palluq, Neve Paniloo, Jaysie Tigullaraq

In Kinngait, where a by-election is being held, there are four candidates: Martha Jaw, Adamie Nuna, Pitseolak Padluq, and Ejetsiak Zeke Ejetsiak.

In Pond Inlet, Sanikiluaq, Igloolik and Iqaluit, there are two-way races for the community director position.

Pond Inlet’s race is between Joshua Katsak and Katherina Lucy Pudluk.

In Igloolik, the candidates are Peter Ivalu and Louis Tapardjuk.

Iqaluit’s candidates are Steven Polee Lucassie and Madeleine Redfern.

And in Sanikiluaq, Moses Appaqaq and Davidee Qavvik are vying for the community director position.

Kimmirut’s community director job was won by acclamation by Tommy Akavak, the only person to sign up as a candidate.

QIA’s executive positions are elected for four-year term, except for the community director in Kinngait, which is being filled this time as a by-election.

To be eligible to cast a ballot, voters must be at least 16 years old on Dec. 12, be an Inuk enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement and have regularly lived in the Qikiqtani region for more than a year.

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(20) Comments:

  1. Posted by Voter on

    It would seem like a conflict or maybe just bad board governance when running and if elected to QIA President when your better half is also President of NTI, don’t all RIA Presidents sit on the NTI board?
    Some conflicts might arise during the board meetings.

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      No, that is not a conflict. If Paul is elected he would would be sitting on the NTI board together with Aluki, they would be colleagues. That’s not even a conflict in the south, let alone in the north where there is always going to be some connection between people. Also these are elected positions… Hay River’s two MLAs are Father-Son.

      • Posted by Come to think of it look at the GN cabinet on

        Our Premier’s Uncle is his minister, so it seems to work fine there, so what is your problem? QIA is a totally different legal entity from NTI and they do not have board meetings daily at NTI. I am sure they are smart enough to avoid issues. The QIA has had the elected VP and Sectary Treasurer on the NTI board for the past year without issue and that is one example of how they can attend the odd NTI board meeting.

        • Posted by Aunty on

          Uncle vs Wife/husband common law, I think there is a difference, two Presidents who are common law I think would be a bit too close to each other.
          Seems like a conflict.

      • Posted by Observer on

        The NTI president is answerable to the board. I know it was a while back, but Paul Quassa was suspended by the board when he was president in 2000, and they did the same to Paul Kaludjak in 2010, then voted to fire him at the following AGM.

        Furthermore, QIA funding comes in large part through budget decisions voted on at the NTI Board meeting. The two KIAs would justifiably be suspicious if there was any preference shown to QIA.

        So yes, there is absolutely a conflict of interest. Both of them would have to abstain from any vote that involved the other.

  2. Posted by Nunavumiu on

    That’s scary thought, Aluki and Paul anti development people leading eastern Nunavut!

    • Posted by Inuk on

      Aluki has been anti everything without any solutions to help. We need a better leader for NTI.

    • Posted by Qikiqtani on

      Hard working and intelligent Inuit that will work for the greater good. Perhaps that is only a scary thought to non-Inuit that take advantage of Nunavummiut, or those up against them.

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      Is Paul anti-development? He’s territorial governments weren’t.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      No need to worry he’s only running for the paycheque. If he gets in he won’t do anything that jeopardizes that.

  3. Posted by YCO on

    those 2 are the only option?????

    • Posted by Only two? on

      Which two? There are four communities with two running for Director.

  4. Posted by Bob Lee on

    If Okalik is elected, Baffin is in $hit load of trouble! Baffinland and other developments will go to a grinding halt.

    • Posted by Inuit will be stronger with a strong leader for a change on

      Okalik has the education and the leadership experience to represent us. He will represent Inuit and work with a board from all the Baffin communities. Go Paul Go!

  5. Posted by Uumannaaq on

    I agree that there would be a ,conflict, if that happened. I also agree that we need leaders who can look at all options to make Nunavut and our region prosperous.

  6. Posted by Inuk on

    If Olayuk wins this presidency, qallunaat will run the qia. He only relies on them sadly.

    I believe Okalik will be there to represent Inuit and has proper tools to do so. Its non Inuit who are scared if he gets elected in my mind.

    • Posted by I see Dumb People EVERYWHERE on

      It’s always the ever scary boogeyman from the south hey. What a bunch of dingoes.

      • Posted by snapshot on

        For a good reason. The world is littered with millions of stories. The last 100 years the main perpetrators for aboriginals have been….

  7. Posted by My vote on

    My vote is with Olayuk Akesuk, he’s the better choice between the two, Paul has shown us in the past it’s all about himself and nothing else, it’s why he can never get elected for anything anymore, he burnt too many bridges. Also the thought of Paul and Aluki working together is a scary thought, NTI is already such a shell of itself and so ineffective today, those two would bring QIA and NTI down further.

    Vote strategically and vote Olayuk Akesuk.

  8. Posted by Eskimo on

    I was around when Paul was the first premier of Nunavut and I also been around when he represented WWF for the last 10 years. We all know he’s anti- development and anti- wildlife..why do think Nunavut is how it is today, low % of inuit employee in government, inuit businesses almost wiped out, we can’t harvest tuktuu anymore that’s all his doing..question you want a lawyer as a leader? QiA will be in court all the time if he doesn’t get his way, just like he’s partner is doing at NTI

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