Nunavik beneficiaries to elect Makivik treasurer and vice president of renewable resources

Two top Makivik jobs up for grabs April 4


Inuit beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement will soon chose two executive members for Makivik Corp. – a treasurer and a vice-president for renewable resources.

The vote, scheduled for April 4, takes place on the final day of a week-long annual general meeting to be held in Quaqtaq.

The Makivik treasurer oversees the financial operations of the corporation, including the management of its investment portfolio and funds from the 2002 Sanarrutik agreement on social and economic development in Nunavik.

Here are the candidates running for the treasurer's job:

  • Sarah Airo, originally from Kangirsuk, now lives in Kuujjuaq, where she is the Kativik School Board's coordinator of schools.
  • Marc Carrier of Kangirsuk, a consultant who graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree from Montreal's Concordia University, is former secretary-treasurer for Kangirsuk and organizer of the Nunavik Trade Show. In October 1998, Carrier went on a one-night vandalism spree at Kangirsuk's municipal office. He destroyed the building's equipment, broke several windows and damaged the council's truck and the community's only police truck in the incident. He was later convicted of breaking and entering and assault.
  • Anthony Ittoshat, the incumbent, was first elected treasurer in March 1999, following his appointment to the position in 1998. He was re-elected in 2002 and again in 2005. A former mayor and Makivik board member representing his home community of Kuujjuaraapik, Ittoshat served as vice-chairman of the Kativik Regional Government before his appointment as Makivik treasurer.
  • Eliasie Nowkawalk of Inukjuak, a long-time employee with the Kativik Regional Development Council, has run for election to the executive of Makivik in the past because he says he wants the organization to pay more attention to ordinary people.
  • Senator Charlie Watt Sr. of Kuujjuaq and Ottawa was the founding president of Makivik Corp., where he served as treasurer and then president until 1994, when he lost amidst allegations of excessive spending and conflicts of interest within the organization. Since then, Watt has run unsuccessfully for elected positions within Makivik. An Officer of the National Order of Quebec, Watt received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1997. Watt was appointed to the Senate in 1984 by Pierre Trudeau where he has been outspoken on issues, such as fisheries and self-government. Over the past year, Watt has spoken out against the Nunavik offshore agreement, saying it represents an illegal surrender of Inuit aboriginal rights.

Makivik's vice-president for renewable resources oversees activities related to wildlife issues in Nunavik and represents the region on provincial, federal and international regulatory bodies.

Here are the candidates running for vice-president of renewable resources job:

  • Henry Alayco of Akulivik, one of the negotiators of the Nunavik offshore agreement, has also been active in various organizations, including the KRG, where he was a councillor;
  • Aloupa Kulula of Quaqtaq has worked for the Nunavik regional board of health and social services. More recently, he worked as assistant to Johnny Peters at Makivik Corp. in Kuujjuaq;
  • Paulusie Novalinga, a hunter and former mayor of Puvirnituq, is the long-time head of Nunavik's hunters and trappers association, where he has tried to balance conservation concerns with Nunavik's beluga-hunting traditions. "For the first time in ­history, we have been ­prose­cuted for harvesting an animal we have always used for food and survival. We are shocked, since we have been using the beluga whale since we have existed. I have to be strong for my people. I see, as being part of my mission, to keep the peace and harmony," he told Nunatsiaq News last year.
  • Johnny Peters, the incumbent, was re-elected as Makivik's vice-president for renewable resources in March 1996, having served in this position from 198o to 1987. Peters, who was born in Kangirsuk in 1939, spent his youth learning the traditional skills of a hunter and fisherman. In 1972, Peters became a member of the Northern Quebec Inuit Association, and was hired as a field worker for the organization.
  • George Pilurtuut of Kangiqsujuaq is well-known as a soapstone ­carver and artist.
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