Nunavik’s Saputiit youth association remains penniless, in disarray
KRG wants committee to consider org’s future
(Updated, 11 a.m.)
KANGIQSUJUAQ — Nunavik’s Saputiit youth association continues to struggle and hasn’t yet found its way out of its financial mess, said its president Elizabeth Annahatak May 27 at the Kativik Regional Government council meeting in Kangiqsujuaq.
That’s basically the same message that Annahatak has delivered to KRG council meetings since her election in November 2011.
On May 27 a discouraged Annahatak admitted that had she known how bad the association’s finances were and how little she would accomplish during her two-year term, she probably never would have run. As it stands now, the association’s paralysis since her election makes “me look like a failure,” Annahatak told the council (although later she told Nunatsiaq News that she didn’t feel like a failure, because she has been able to start the association’s clean-up).
Annahatak’s latest update comes after she vowed just last month in an optimistic statement that the moribund organization would come to life again and that Saputiit would hold elections for its board of directors executive members positions, and hire staff.
That’s something Annahatak still says she wants to move ahead with.
But in a nutshell, here’s the problem: the auditor remains unable to verify the financial statements for the association’s 2010-11 and 2011-12 fiscal years.
So the Quebec government refuses to give the association any more money and may even penalize the association for its poor bookkeeping when or if it decides to give Saputiit more money.
Accountant Hani Ackad from Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton told KRG councillors in Kangiqsujuaq that he couldn’t complete an audit of the association’s finances because he was unable to say whether or not there was a deficit or a surplus or where the money received by Saputiit went.
Annahatak urged the KRG to “treat this situation with urgency” and actively assist Saputiit.
Makivik Corp. has already committed to giving the penniless youth association enough money to hire a consultant who will help organize the National Inuit Youth Summit.
That gathering, Aug. 16 to 31 in Kuujjuaq, will attract more than 100 youth, 15 to 30, from 53 communities across Canada’s Arctic.
From the councillors around the table, Annahatak garnered some sympathy.
“Ever since you’ve been in [your] position, you’be just been doing housekeeping. You still haven’t been able to show what you can do,” said Charlie Arngak, regional councillor for Kangiqsujuaq, whose sympathy prompted Annahatak to reach for tissues.