Kitikmeot Inuit president resigns less than one month into mandate

Beneficiaries in western Nunavut head back to the polls March 30


Inuit beneficiaries in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region will head back to the voting booths in March, following the resignation of their Inuit organization’s recently elected president this past week.

Peter Akkikungnaq was elected as the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s new head Dec. 18, a job he was meant to do until December 2018.

But the 69-year-old resigned this week, saying he’s leaving for personal reasons.

“Our board of directors has met and accepted his resignation, which is effective Jan. 31, 2015, so he’ll stay in the role until then,” said the KIA’s executive director Paul Emingmak.

Between Feb. 1 and Mar. 31, the board appointed Dr. Charlie Evalik — the KIA’s last sitting president — to serve as interim president, Emingmak said.

A by-election will be hosted in communities across that region Mar. 30 to elect a new president.

Akkikungnaq, who is from Gjoa Haven, served as president for less than a month before deciding to step down.

Emingmak said Akkikungnaq “expresses deep regrets” about his resignation, citing his age and the demands of the job as factors behind the decision to leave.

On Dec, 18, Akkikungnaq faced off against contenders Stanley Anablak, Joe Ohokannoak and Jeannie Ehaloak for the position of president.

Akkikungnaq finished the night with 29 per cent of the vote, just 19 votes ahead of Anablak.

Emingmak said a by-election notice will go out to beneficiaries in the Kitikmeot during the first week of February and then nominations will open the following week.

Following a three-day board governance and orientation workshop last week, the KIA also welcomed the newest members to its board of directors at a Jan. 9 swearing-in ceremony.

Newly-elected vice-president David Nivingalok of Kugluktuk and community representative board members Tars Angutingunirk (Kugaaruk), James Aiyout (Taloyoak), Simon Komangat (Gjoa Haven) and Darlene Elias (Kugluktuk) will serve on the board until Dec. 31, 2018.

The new members will join currently sitting KIA vice-presidents Bob Aknavigak and Attima Hadlari, and community representative Jeannie Evalik (Cambridge Bay.)

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