Nunavik’s youth association promises action in 2013
Saputiit plans “to gain momentum once again rather than just paying outstanding bills”
The president of Nunavik’s Saputiit youth association says the moribund organization will come to life again.
Elizabeth Annahatak, elected to head the Saputiit in a contested election November 2011, said she wants to “offer my sincere apologies to the youth of Nunavik for the lack of services in the past year” in an April 26 news release.
“We have not been able to move forward with our regular activities because of our financial limitations and governance issues, where reaching a quorum to conduct meeting was a challenge,” she said.
Annahatak calls the period from April 1, 2012 up to March 31, 2013 “a time of great challenge. “
“It has been a combination of reviewing, updating, analyzing, fixing, and waiting. A great deal of time and energy was spent on trying to retrieve important information which would help us complete overdue reports and analyze how Saputiit ended up in such a unstable position,” she said.
A forensic audit was necessary to meet the requirements of the association’s major funding agency, Quebec’s youth secretariat, le Secrétariat à la Jeunesse.
“In dealing with the challenges, we did not have the full functioning board and executive members in place and no staff. Normally, there should be 15 board members, four executive members, and three staff members, and most positions were not filled for the past several months. ”
Saputiit gets money from two sources, Makivik Corp. and the Quebec government which pays for the general operations of Saputiit and community projects.
However Quebec wouldn’t give any money for the past three fiscal years “due to incomplete and missing reports from the previous administration, concerns about the audit report of 2010-2011 and current governance issues.”
Saputiit also gets from Makivik under the Sanarrutik agreement for socio-economic development.
But that money was were only enough to cover previous debts and keep Saputiit at a minimal operating level, Annahatak said.
“At this time, all financial transactions had to cease so that we could focus on recovering,” she said.
Since February, Makivik has been managing money on behalf of Saputiit.
And that money from Makivik will now allow Saputiit, “to gain momentum once again rather than just paying outstanding bills,” Annahatak said.
Saputiit plans to hold elections for board directors and executive members positions, and hire staff, she said.
“With a new board, executive and staff, with training programs we plan to offer, Saputiit will have an improved governance and administrative structure. Saputiit’s credibility will be gained back and hopefully we will retrieve the accumulated funds” from Quebec, she said.