Plan would save $256,000

NTI seeks to trim &#39de;legates; at annual meeting

By JANE GEORGE

CAMBRIDGE BAY – Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. wants to cut costs by trimming the size of its annual general meeting to 22 delegates from 47.

The organization's 2008 annual general meeting is to take place in Cambridge Bay next month, with 47 delegates in attendance.

But this may be the last time so many attend an NTI annual general meeting, if all Inuit regional associations agree to change NTI's bylaws.

A plan that would see $256,266 sliced off the average $481,776 price tag of an NTI annual general meeting received support from delegates at last week's annual general meeting of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association in Cambridge Bay.

NTI is eager to save money because the Nunavut Trust, which invests the compensation money that Ottawa gave Inuit under the Nunavut land claims agreement, received its last compensation payment of $33.9 million from the federal government in 2007.

The money which beneficiary organizations received from the Nunavut Trust in 2008 came only from investment earnings.

Nunavut Trust did not table a report at the KIA, but its investments have likely suffered from current global upheavals in the stock market.

In 2002, 2003 and 2004, the trust's investment earnings fell sharply.

Because there were little earnings to distribute, the trust made loans to NTI instead, depleting its capital. This scenario could happen again, despite the trust's healthy cash reserves.

"Looking at the future, we can't afford to spend

any money," vice-president James Eetoolook said.

The favoured option for a smaller annual general meeting would see delegates restricted to the NTI president, its first vice-president, its vice-president for finances, and five executives, including the president and vice-president, from each of the three regional Inuit associations, along with a single representative each for women, elders youth and Nunavut Trust.

Reducing the number of delegates will cut costs without affecting NTI's ability to operate and produce benefits to beneficiaries, Eetoolook told the KIA meeting.

"We want to be accountable to our beneficiaries and save money because NTI can supply more programs for youth and elders if we can reduce costs," he said.

When too many delegates are present at an AGM, it's moreover hard to make decisions, said Eetoolook.

If NTI holds smaller annual general meetings, the meetings may also be held in smaller regional communities, rather than alternating only between the larger centres, like Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit.

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