Iqaluit’s Joe Kunuk gets top admin job with ICC-Canada

Veteran civil servant to start Jan. 28

Joe Kunuk of Iqaluit is the executive director of the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Canada. (FILE PHOTO)

By Beth Brown

The Canadian wing of the Inuit Circumpolar Council has a new executive director: Joe Adla Kunuk, a veteran administrator with many years of service at public governments and Inuit organizations.

Kunuk will step in to the top administrative role at ICC-Canada on Jan. 28.

He replaces Corinne Gray, who served as executive director of ICC Canada for 35 years.

“We are delighted to announce that Joe Adla Kunuk will join ICC Canada as the new executive director,” the organization said in an announcement posted on Facebook.

“We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Corinne Gray for her 35 years of service. Her hard work and remarkable contributions to the advancement of Inuit will especially be remembered.”

Kunuk has served as a mayor and councillor in Iqaluit, and in 2016, ran for the presidency of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., losing to Aluki Kotierk.

He served, at various times, as president of Nunavut Arctic College, deputy minister of the Government of Nunavut’s former Department of Human Resources and chief executive officer at Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

He also served as deputy minister of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs within the office of the Nunavut interim commissioner between 1997 and 1999, as part of the team that set up the Nunavut government on April 1, 1999.

Last year, Kunuk worked as principal secretary within the office of the former premier, Paul Quassa, but left that post when Joe Savikataaq replaced Quassa as premier.

Kunuk also served, at different times, as principal secretary for former premiers Eva Aariak and Paul Okalik.

There are four member groups within the ICC—from Canada, Russia, Alaska and Greenland.

In July 2018, Iqaluit’s Monica Ell-Kanayuk, a former Nunavut cabinet minister, became president of ICC-Canada. That position runs on a four-year term.

The international chairmanship of the ICC rotates among Canada, Alaska and Greenland every four years.

Right now, Dalee Sambo Dorough of Alaska serves as international chair. At last summer’s general assembly in Utqiaġvik, previously called Barrow, she replaced Okalik Eegeesiak of Canada.

ICC is currently working to protect waters and wildlife in the Pikialasorsuaq, an ecologically rich and culturally important high Arctic area between Canada and Greenland.

The organization represents Inuit at many international forums, including the United Nations, and is a permanent participant of the Arctic Council.

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