FCNQ reorganizes to meet Nunavik concerns

Nunavik’s co-op organization now has a new manager — and a new way of operating.


BAIE D’URFE, QUE. — The rumblings of discontent within the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec never quite faded away, even following the retirement two years ago of its longtime — and controversial — general manager Peter Murdoch.

Many Nunavimmiut said they still feel further away than ever from the Qallunaat management hired to look after their cooperative federation, while some who work closely with the FCNQ felt there wasn’t enough of an Inuit presence at the main office in Baie d’Urfé near Montreal.

As the result of this dissatisfaction, the FCNQ now has a new general manager to look after its affairs as well as a new way of working.

In October the FCNQ’s board of directors asked Georges Filotas to step aside as general manager. Filotas, known for his drive, his fluency in French, English, and Inuttitut, and for his testiness, had been with the FCNQ for 22 years.

Filotas was replaced by Rob Collins, who has worked with Nunavik’s cooperative federation for 12 years.

As acting general manager, Collins is working with a staff committee made up of three other FCNQ employees based in Baie d’Urfé — assistant general manager Yves Michaud, fuel distribution head Claude Savage and accountant Heng Kun.

Before making any major decisions, Collins plans to meet formally or informally with these three.

“We’re working by consensus,” Collins said.

Collins said decisions will also be made in closer collaboration with members of the FCNQ’s executive board and members of a new broader management committee who will spend at least a month every year at the FCNQ office in Baie d’Urfé.

“We want them knowing what’s going on and providing input,” Collins said.

The executive committee members include the FCNQ’s president, Paulusi Kasudluak, vice-president Peter Ittukallak, Mark Amamatuak, Peter Morgan, Danieli Qinuajuak, and secretary Elijah Grey.

The management committee will include members involved with local cooperative associations in Nunavik.

“They’ll be the liaison between the North and the South to ensure good communication,” Collins said.

Collins said the intent behind these changes is to have Inuit in the North more involved in the hands-on operation of the FCNQ.

“We’re making use of the change [in management] to do things which were already in our minds,” Collins said.

The FCNQ leadership also wants to work more closely with other Nunavik organizations, including the Kativik School Board and the Kativik Regional Government.

A new joint committee has also been struck between Makivik Corporation and the FCNQ. The two organizations have had a history of non-communication and even hostility dating back to the 1970s when the cooperative movement’s supporters were in revolt against the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

“The differences will also stay there,” said assistant general manager Michaud. “In some aspects we will not agree, but we will learn to work together.”

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