Business-oriented leader returns

Kitikmeot Inuit once again elect Charlie Evalik


Former Kitikmeot Inuit Association president Charlie Evalik will lead the KIA again, after winning the organization's Sept. 22 election with 30 per cent of the vote.

Evalik ran a successful campaign by emphasizing his experience as a negotiator and long track record of collaboration with communities, Inuit organizations, industry and government.

Evalik served three terms as KIA president between 1996 and 2005.

During this period, Evalik negotiated several major impact agreements with mining companies in the Kitikmeot as well as a deal with the federal government on the clean-up of all early warning DEW-line sites in Nunavut.

Evalik said he wanted to return to the KIA leadership to put "business" back into the organization and region.

"I am committed to improving KIA's performance in providing services to Inuit, protecting Inuit culture, the land and the wildlife and giving youth choices for their future by increasing Inuit benefits from business and development in the Kitikmeot region," Evalik said during the campaign.

Evalik has served on the Nunavut implementation panel and on various territorial boards responsible for economic development.

Most recently Evalik was active in devolution negotiations between the federal government and Nunavut.

The Sept. 22 election marked the second time this year that beneficiaries in the Kitikmeot voted for a new KIA president.

Joe Otokiak of Cambridge Bay was elected as president March 18, but resigned May 5 due to ongoing controversy surrounding a 12-month suspended sentence he was serving for assault.

Evalik did not run in this earlier election.

Evalik, who lives in Cambridge Bay, received 293 votes, winning by 43 votes over former MLA Joe Allen Evyagotailak of Kugluktuk, who received 250 votes.

Evyagotailak had resigned as MLA for Kugluktuk to run for the KIA's top job.

Joseph Aglukkaq of Gjoa Haven came in third with 190 votes.

Peter Taptuna (Kugluktuk) received 129 votes, Joe Otokiak 36, Noah Siutinnuaq (Gjoa Haven) 29, Paul Ikuallaq (Gjoa Haven) 25, and Jason Ross Koblogina (Cambridge Bay), 11.

Voters in Kugluktuk also selected a new KIA board member among four candidates.

Jack Kaniak won, with 65 votes. Margo Kadlun-Jones received 41 votes, Angela Kuliktana, 49, and and Catherine Kunelok. 56.

Evalik will meet his new board when the KIA holds its annual general meeting next month in Cambridge Bay.

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