Akulivik mayor frustrated over lack of snowmobile stock at co-op

Federation general manager cites supply issues, says effort has started to ship them north

Akulivik’s co-op store hasn’t had a stock of snowmobiles since they didn’t show up on the sealift last summer. Co-op officials say the problem was with the store’s supplier and snowmobiles will be arriving to communities soon via cargo flights. (File photo)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The mayor of Akulivik is frustrated over a lack of snowmobiles for sale at the community’s co-op store.

Like other northern communities, the people of Akulivik need snowmobiles in the winter for transportation, fishing and hunting, said Mayor Eli Angiyou.

Last summer, though, the Akulivik Co-op did not receive a shipment of snowmobiles during the sealift.

“Everybody should know that we’re not being treated very well right now,” Angiyou said.

Part of the reason he’s upset over the lack of snowmobiles relates to profit sharing, co-op members benefit from after a year of good business at the co-op.

Co-op members receive an end-of-year dividend based on good sales throughout the year. Without a stock, people needing new snowmobiles will have to buy elsewhere and profits from the sales won’t be returned to the community.

“Instead of buying snowmobiles from the co-op, which has not had stock since last year, [people] have bought from other companies such as Northern [Store], who received several snowmobiles by sealift,” Anigyou said.

“I was upset, because the money that would have gone to the co-op store has just gone up to Northern.”

The community’s hunters need snowmobiles, Angiyou said, and he wants his community to benefit economically from this essential purchase.

“Being a mayor, looking at my friends and fellow hunters, this is not how we want to be represented,” Angiyou said.

“If I demand something, I expect that guy to aggressively look for what I want; that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

Angiyou said he was told by the co-op federation that there have been supply chain issues affecting its stock — an explanation he said he’s not fully buying. He said he heard co-ops in other communities did get shipments.

Co-op federation general manager Mark Blair told Nunatsiaq News all of Nunavik is affected by delays in snowmobile shipments, not just Akulivik.

In an email, Blair explained that delays from the co-op’s supplier meant the co-op federation was not able to complete its sealift shipment of snowmobiles this past summer.

But central supply is up to where it should be now and the federation is working to send snowmobiles to Nunavik co-op stores by cargo flight.

“We are doing the best we can to get the machines delivered,” Blair said.

“We know the situation is not ideal and we apologize for the delays.”

The flights are going ahead, however, poor winter flying conditions may cause more delays.

“We have received all the machines and have been working closely with Air Inuit to ship them to our member co-op stores,” Blair said.

“Air Inuit is doing their best, but with bad weather and other delays, shipments haven’t been going as quickly as we hoped.”

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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by SLAJFITK on

    Sounds like a job for ITK. If it’s good enough for science it should be good enough to put food on the table.

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  2. Posted by jim craimer of nbc on

    why is it that , majority of northern communities allow a monopoly and instead open your own store? if there is high demand for product , such as snowmobiles, its a good opportunity to start a business.

    a huge issue in Nunavut is Monopolies and the sheer reliance on Government to provide.

    Nunavut needs a stronger private sector and the GN needs to stop the Monoplies that reside in Nunavut, major ones being Coop and Northern! , airlines (so called inuit owned airlines) , internet infrastructure ..to just name few! .

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    • Posted by It’s no quality on

      A major set back to progress in Nunavik, not money, lots of funds available to get a business going. It’s all about low quality services which is born out of people with a poor connection to other people ! Like customers relations, treatment of people fairly. There a major disconnect to that type of character in Nunavik. If a business do start , it’s just another monopoly within the benefit of Nunavik, as by keeping anything non Nunavik benefiting out of the market. No freedom to capitalize and compete.It’s just poor quality from poor character. Just take a good look at what we got . It’s the worst of the worst. Coop, northern, and a few other half open half closed excuses for services.

    • Posted by oh ima on

      I agree we need more business and competition; unfortunately, the market in the Arctic is small compared to the rest of Canada and the world. There are some good business ideas, but many businesses are unsustainable due to the small market. GN and Makivak should consider subsidizing products and services as they do in Greenland. That’s why in Greenland, products and essentials are at the same prices all over Greenland.

  3. Posted by tour on

    I spoke to an agent and was told that there are or were about 250 snowmobiles sitting at LaGrande cargo airport. With only one aircraft able to transport a snowmobile. So Eli ? Expect yours, say in a about ..year.. maybe.. We want to receive ours too.

    • Posted by Northerner on

      That would be a dash 8 with a special door. can only fit 4-5 machines at a time. Yep , i think its going to be a while before get their machines.

  4. Posted by Taxpayer on

    Skidoo and Polaris have been upfront that the lack of parts has reduced their production run of snowmobiles this winter. Yamaha has announced limited production runs also. Arctic Cat has been less transparent, but has also seen massive delays due to supply chain issues. The problems are everywhere, from no chips for the electronics, to a lack of sea containers.

    However ill treated a particular Mayor, retailer or community may feel, it is quite certain this situation is not directed at them. Covid and the War in Ukraine could care less about the needs of harvesters in tiny, isolated Arctic communities. These are global issues, the same as current food and fuel prices. The demand for snowmobiles everywhere is higher than supply.

    It could be always be worse. At least market supply and demand pressures have been muted. Snowmobilers use preset, albeit higher prices for their machines and allocate dealers minimum quotas of machines. Northern harvesters would be ill served if it ever came down to actively bidding for machines against more affluent southern riders.

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  5. Posted by Get the dog teams up and running on

    A great opportunity to get the dogs working. Now is your time to show us how you can do without the snowmobile. Also should be time to think of education for more mechanics to fix up the broken ones, many of which need a few parts, and the knowledge and investment to get that business on the go. Yes, plus why not someone start a business to sell snowmobile and parts with mechanical shop attached ? Lots of funds out there. Much more can be done, or complain about the lacks. Up to you akulivik.

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  6. Posted by People are wasteful on

    You talk about stuff, and more stuff, on top of the stuff that’s already there. People are too wasteful. You go around the communities and all you see is junk piled on junk. All the old skidoos and cars and trucks , all prematurely beat up, neglected and no appreciation. I’m not sure if everyone sympathizes with wanting more stuff to piled more junk on the side of houses , land fills and just deplorable looking stuff neglected. We’re talking here about people out not walking the talk, just gab about traditional life, yea right!

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  7. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    that’s whats going on across the continent. it’s not just your community, good luck finding anything anywhere. and the ones you find are priced insanely high. just look at all the lottery expectant people on facebook sell swap. people trying to sell 5 year old machines for more than they bought them for with 6000 to 8000 kilometers.

  8. Posted by Old timer on

    Guess I’m not the only person that hate the northern store 👍

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  9. Posted by The real price of things on

    Maybe more people should have learned about using dog teams. The price of things are going up up, and no going down. If you think the price is high in Nunavik now, just wait for the new and improved, these new machine prices are going to have us all walking.

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  10. Posted by I don’t get it on

    Doesn’t he have more important things to take care of other than picking on the co-op issues?

    Besides, he was the co-op manager before being acclamated to Mayor position so he had plenty of opportunity to order as many machinery as they want.

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  11. Posted by Kugmiut on

    Good luck with your co-op
    Ski-doo is the most widely distributed snowmobile in North America and the most popular brand here in Nunavut right to the tip of Northern Canada you don’t see much of any other brand beside the ski-doo except for the lynx – most popular Nowadays in our region with everyone snatching up any available units .

  12. Posted by Playing in the snowboy on

    To the mayor: don’t you have anything better to be concerned about for your community? Lots of issues with social and mental. Get on board with your priorities. Weren’t you the coop manager before ? Nunavik is full of snow boys, want to play rather than real effort to work on improving life. Mostly what is seen today with skidoo, are kids, and adult kids too, driving them to abuse the hell out of them, then ! Look for more funding to buy more to abuse.

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