Invites are out for big Nunavut bash

Though it may not be clear who’s organizing Nunavut’s 1999 celebrations, an Iqaluit business group has already gone ahead to invite Jean Chretien and Romeo Leblanc.


Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT Invitations are in the mail for the April 1, 1999, Nunavut celebration.

Colleen Dupuis, the exective director of the Iqaluit Trade and Promotion Office (ITAPO), said invitations have been sent to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Governor General Romeo Leblanc.

“We have to get them on board because they have to invite the Queen,” Dupuis said of the protocol involved in the invitation process.

Dupuis added that getting invitations out to other dignitaries will be one of the main priorities for organizers during the next few months. Dignitaries, such as foreign ministers and heads of state, need to be contacted as early as possible, because their calendars are booked months, even years, in advance.

Who else may be on the guest list and what the Nunavut celebrations will consist of have yet to be decided.

No organizing committee yet

That hasn’t happened yet because there isn’t an organizing committee. Dupuis said ITAPO took the lead in getting some invitations out, but added the group won’t be making the decisions about the celebration.

“There was some groundwork that had to be done,” Dupuis said. “These invitations had to go out.”

Dupuis was scheduled to meet with Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, to discuss setting up an organizing committee.

This committee is expected to include, among others, representatives from the Inuit landclaim organizations, the territorial government, the interim commissioner’s office, ITAPO and members of communities outside the capital. Dupuis pointed out that April 1, 1999, will be territorial-wide celebration.

“This isn’t something that’s going to be put on for the dignitaries,” she said. “It’s for the people of Nunavut.

“The capital will be the focus of the celebration, but it won’t be the only place something occurs.”

With less than 18 months to go before the big day, Dupuis says that’s lots of time to get the bash organized.

“I think if we have a good game plan, there won’t be a problem with the timeline,” she said.

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