COVID-19 relief announced for Nunavut hunters
Each hunters and trappers association to receive $25,000 to distribute food to communities
The COVID-19 relief cheques the Nunavut government will write for hunters across the territory are going to be a big help, says the chairperson of Kugaaruk’s hunters and trappers association.
The money is going to help buy fuel and ammunition, and will also pay the hunters for the food they bring back for the community, said Kurtairujuark Hunters and Trappers Association chairperson Canute Krejunark.
“We need the country food in our community,” he said.
The Government of Nunavut will give a total of $625,000 to hunters associations in the territory, with each association receiving $25,000, Premier P.J. Akeeagok announced during a Thursday news conference.
Krejunark said his association’s board will meet and decide on what food they want to buy with the money — whether it be fish, muskox, caribou or seal — then give it to community members for free when the hunters return.
This benefits the whole community, he said.
“Some of them don’t have a snowmobile or ATV to go out, so that’s how we help the community,” Krejunark said.
Environment Minister David Akeeagok, whose department is funding this program, said the funds could be used to hold community harvests, or to purchase country food from another community.
He said the only thing that the department asks is that the food gets distributed throughout the community.
The Nunavut government has announced more than $9 million in COVID-19 relief this month.
Earlier in the week, the government announced $8.5 million for food hampers for people isolating, municipalities to operate critical services, small businesses and artisans.