Paul Irngaut (top), Clayton Tartak (bottom left), Jack Anawak (bottom right) and Jacopoosie Peter (not pictured) are the official candidates running to be the next vice-president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (Photos courtesy of Paul Irngaut, Clayton Tartak and Jack Anawak)

Four candidates compete to be NTI vice-president

Jack Anawak, Paul Irngaut, Jacopoosie Peter and Clayton Tartak looking to fill former VP’s shoes

By Emma Tranter

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.

It’s a four-way race for one of the top positions at Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

Jack Anawak, Paul Irngaut, Jacopoosie Peter and Clayton Tartak are the candidates for vice-president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

NTI represents Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement to ensure that other parties to the agreement meet their obligations. The organization’s vice-president works closely with regional wildlife boards and other Inuit organizations.

NTI is governed by a board of directors, which includes the president and vice-president. Inuit must be at least 16 years of age to vote in NTI’s election, which takes place Dec. 12.

All four candidates are looking to fill the shoes of James Eetoolook, who held the position for 29 years.

Jack Anawak is no stranger to Nunavut politics. He was the Liberal member of Parliament for what is now Nunavut from 1988 to 1997. He was also a member of Nunavut’s first legislative assembly in 1999. He ran again for federal politics in 2015, this time for the NDP, finishing in second place.

If elected, Anawak said he wants to create more unity among Nunavut’s Inuit organizations and the territorial government.

“I think it’s time Nunavut Tunngavik works very closely with the Government of Nunavut and the three Inuit associations to address the social ills that are in Nunavut today,” he said.

Anawak said those social ills include the need for elders’ facilities, mental health facilities and more housing across the territory.

He also wants NTI to work more closely with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national Inuit organization, to put more pressure on the federal government and to lobby for Inuit needs.

“Nunavut Tunngavik has a lot of influence because it represents Inuit only,” he said. “What can it do to use that influence as a territorial organization?”

Anawak said as vice-president, he also would address the high rates of physical and sexual abuse in the territory.

“We should not shy away from addressing those issues. There is still intergenerational trauma being felt.”

For Paul Irngaut, the vice-president position is one he knows intimately, having worked alongside Eetoolook for the past 20 years as NTI’s director of wildlife and environment.

Irngaut said one of his top priorities would be to protect and promote the use of Inuktut across the territory.

“The language of choice is predominantly English,” he said.

A former reporter with CBC North, Irngaut also said he wants to focus on improving the way NTI communicates with the public.

“Communication is key to Inuit feeling like they’re being represented,” Irngaut said.

“I want to be more open to Inuit, through the media.”

Irngaut said his experience working at NTI has not only helped prepare him to take on the vice-presidential role, it also has made him realize the importance of sharing information between Inuit organizations.

“I know information is critical and very important to Inuit to understand what’s going on at NTI and also with our co-management partners,” he said.

Another candidate who has worked closely with Eetoolook in the wildlife portfolio is Clayton Tartak, the wildlife and environment co-ordinator for the Kivalliq Wildlife Board.

Tartak said he decided to run for the position because of his disappointment with the current system.

He noted social issues like homelessness and low graduation rates in the territory as areas he wants to work on in the role.

“We currently foster a system that forces Inuit to leave to address those issues,” he said.

“I feel we need to engage Inuit outside of Nunavut to see why they’re leaving and figure out how they can be represented at the NTI level.”

As vice-president, Tartak said he wants to finalize Nunavut’s Land Use Plan to ensure caribou-calving grounds are protected, working with the government and regional Inuit associations and increase Inuit recruitment at all levels of mine-related work.

He said he also wants to see a more Inuit-focused education plan that would allow higher recruitment at all levels of government.

“That’s a really high priority for me,” he said.

Jacopoosie Peter is also vying for the vice-presidential position. He has run for territorial, municipal and Inuit association level positions in the past.

Peter did not respond to an interview request from Nunatsiaq News.


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(22) Comments:

  1. Posted by Umingmak on

    Jack needs to give it up and let someone younger take the position. Enough with the white-haired old men. They don’t represent the views of the majority of the population.

    • Posted by Northerner on

      I AGREE !!!!!

    • Posted by Taxpayer on

      But white-haired old men do represent 100% of the views of the 20% of the people that actually vote. Fair is fair. And, it is not like the elderly have cornered the market on (ir)relevence here. The youngest among the candidates talks about homelessness and education, where NTI has no active role or mandate. That would be like electing a pro-gun Hamlet expecting to stop Trudeau from taking away our guns. The only real lever under NTI direct control related to social issues is the subsurface lands they administer. None of the candidates mention a word about how they will use this great power and influence to lift us up out of poverty, except to say that using it should be made more difficult. Not a great deal of vision here, unless pouting loudly in the direction of Ottawa counts.

      • Posted by Inuk on

        NTI just hosted Housing Summit end of November here in town where homelessness was discussed and housing in general, NTI is also very active in Suicide Prevention. They work with the signatories of Nunavut Agreement, which is the Federal Government and our Territorial Government. Clayton Tartak seems to be more informed than most people do.

  2. Posted by Frobisher bay boy on

    No female candidates come on inuit 😔 .

    • Posted by Let’s Go Jack! on

      When Jack Anawak was Member of Parliament he stopped 7 families from being evicted! How a leader should be!
      Please show your support and vote Jack Anawak for NTI Vice-President on December 12, 2022. He still has a lot of good years to get him back into politics! You will not regret! A promise is a promise!

      • Posted by Forever Amazed on

        When Jack was VP at NTI several years ago (2011 I believe), how many meetings did he attend? How many meetings did he miss? Why did he not complete his term?

          • Posted by Truestory on

            This only proves he makes mistakes like the rest of regular folk. We’re only human like Mr. Anawak.

    • Posted by Nelson Muntz on

      I read a quote once from a candidate that said, ..”What matters is between the ears. Not what’s between…”

  3. Posted by voters on

    discussion could be on which one of two candidates with the two others not serious considerations. It could be the top choices Paul I and Clayton T that then split the vote and one of the others gets in. vote well. be strategic.

  4. Posted by Get out what you put in on

    I truly hope Jacopoosie wins.
    He is what we all deserve at this point.

    • Posted by Truestory on

      What are his campaign? What does he say? 3 out of 4 said something. His silence is loud and clear.

  5. Posted by In Rankin on

    I know the wrong person will be voted in because only a few people will vote. So, Everyone Eligible Please Go Vote! Or Shut Up If You Have A Problem with NTI

  6. Posted by Sanimut on

    Enough of jack and Paul, . I don’t know jacopuusi at all but Clayton seems like a decent choice.

    Clayton has my vote in this election. Good luck to all.

  7. Posted by Kivallirmiutak on

    One of these candidates was behind the recent petition trying to remove the KIA president.

    IMO that candidate should own up to what they’ve tried to do in recent months.

    Inuit have a right to know whether the candidate has been or is involved in political coup attempts.

    • Posted by Kivalliqmiutaq on

      The only candidate that I know that was behind such thing is running in the Kivalliq Inuit Association election

  8. Posted by Natchilikmeotaq on

    Clayton made a big commitment to campaign across the territory, he’s vision of NTI moving forward seems to be the best choice.
    Please go vote and support your vote of choice.
    Clayton has my vote.
    Happy holidays Tammafi!

    • Posted by jawbones on

      Where is he? Never saw him once. Made a commitment and no show? What type of Candidate/Leader is he? ONLY for East Nunavut again, no other part of the Territory to worry about?

  9. Posted by Toonik’s Grandfather on

    There are actually two (real) candidates, Clayton and Paul. I wish I can vote for both but, good luck to both of you.

  10. Posted by 867 on

    If the salary for these positions was closer to that of a GN paraprofessional, would these individuals be running? Are they doing it for the money or because they actually care?

    • Posted by jawbones on

      What are you on? Comparing GN to anything is like rocks and apples.


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