Robert Greenley, seen here, from Cambridge Bay, is one of five candidates running for president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association. Other candidates that are running, but did not respond to interview requests by Nunatsiaq News, are David Akoak from Iqaluit, David Nivingalok from Kugluktuk, Simon Komangat from Gjoa Haven, and Simon Qingnaqtuq from Taloyoak. (Photo courtesy of Robert Greenley)

Five candidates running for Kitikmeot Inuit Association presidency

Robert Greenley wants to address poverty and homelessness; other candidates did not respond to Nunatsiaq News

By David Lochead

Leading up to the Dec. 12 elections for Nunavut’s regional Inuit associations, Nunatsiaq News will publish profiles of candidates vying for the executive positions on each association’s board of directors.

One thing is for certain at Kitikmeot Inuit Association — there will be a new president at the helm in less than a week.

The association is holding elections for president, vice-president of social and cultural development, and a number of community board members, on Dec. 12. The KIA represents Inuit of the Kitikmeot region with a goal to help provide them employment, education and business opportunities.

Its president serves a four-year term.

The association’s former president, Stanley Anablak, resigned Oct. 3, about two months before his term was set to end.

Five candidates are running for the position: David Akoak, from Iqaluit; Robert Greenley, from Cambridge Bay; Simon Komangat, from Gjoa Haven; David Nivingalok, from Kugluktuk; and Simon Qingnaqtuq, from Taloyoak.

Nunatsiaq News attempted to contact all the candidates. Greenley was the only one to respond.

In an interview, Greenley, 52, explained why he decided to put his hat in the ring.

“Mostly family helped decide ,” Greenley said.

“I was asked by a few other community members but it was family that convinced me to run.”

His immediate family includes his wife, two grown sons and a 13-year-old daughter.

For the past eight years, Greenley has chaired the Ekaluktutiak Hunters & Trappers Organization in Cambridge Bay. It’s a part-time job but it takes up much more time than that, he said.

Greenley’s full-time job is with the Government of Nunavut as a regional facility manager, looking over the five communities in the Kitikmeot region.

He said he is running for the KIA presidency because he wants to address issues such as poverty and homelessness.

Greenley said he it feels like the region can be divided between its east and west sides at times, and he wants to “get everybody back on track where we’re one region and we can start working together.”

During his time as HTO chairperson in Cambridge Bay, Greenley lists accomplishments such as getting a new office building for his organization in 2019.

He also points to a social protection program that was supposed to run for two to three years but has now gone for a total of nine years. Other projects include monitoring shoreline erosion in the Cambridge Bay area as well as a notice to mariners of caribou crossings in the sea ice season.

Greenley said his ability to speak up, to speak for everybody and get tasks finished will help him as president.

If issues arise at the association, Greenley said, he will “try to work with them through so we can move forward.”

Very little information is publicly available about the other four candidates for president.

David Akoak lists Iqaluit as his residency but also has residency in Cambridge Bay which he has maintained for more than 25 years, according to Andrea Spitzer, a spokesperson for Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

If Akoak were to become president, he would have to live in Cambridge Bay full-time, she said.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by S on

    For those of us who know some or all of the candidates in this or any other election in Nunavut – or elsewhere – the concepts and outcomes of democracy-by-elected-representation become increasingly demoralizing

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    • Posted by Face the facts folks on

      Great observation, you are absolutely right about it.

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  2. Posted by 867 on

    The fact that only one in 5 candidates could be reached by NN speaks volumes. Do you want a president who will be easy to reach or one that will ignore your calls and emails? I think the choice is clear.

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  3. Posted by Umingmak on

    Anyone but David would be a good pick. David was completely absent throughout his short stint as mayor in Kugluktuk. Nice guy, terrible leader.

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