Kivalliq beneficiaries give Paul Kaludjak another term

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

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QALUIT – Paul Kaludjak has kept his seat as president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association by a large margin, according to unofficial election results.

A preliminary ballot count this week which showed Kaludjak with 48 per cent of the 2,161 votes cast, put him well ahead of his nearest rival, Louis Pilakapsi.

Pilakapsi, a former KIA president, managed to attract just 31 per cent of the vote, while candidate Mike Gibbons placed third with 21 per cent.

“You shouldn’t have any doubt that my confidence level is regenerated,” Kaludjak said this week. “I’ve been given another mandate to lead the organization, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

Kaludjak’s re-election to another three-year term with the regional Inuit association follows the KIA’s very vocal criticism of the territorial government’s reorganization of health services in the Keewatin.

With the creation of the first Nunavut government just 18 months away, Kaludjak said the KIA must continue to ensure that Inuit in the Keewatin have a say in the public policies and practices that determine the shape of the new territorial administration.

In particular, beneficiaries have indicated they want changes to the justice system that will reflect and respect Inuit culture, Kaludjak said.

Members would also like the first Nunavut legislature to be more”social-oriented” than the GNWT, he said.

“We’re going to have to have the strongest voice possible to make those changes we want to see in the new government.”

In addition to a president, Keewatin beneficiaries have also elected a new secretary-treasurer, an unofficial ballot count showed this week. Robert Seeteenak took 52 per cent of the vote, closely beating out his sole rival candidate, Annie Tattuinee.

Community representatives were also elected in four hamlets. Paul Kablutsiak took 40 per cent of the vote to win in Arviat; Edwin Evo was elected in Baker Lake with 45 per cent of the vote; Joe Issaluk of Chesterfield Inlet won with 40 per cent of the vote; and Erksuktok Eetuk was elected community director for Coral Harbor with 42 per cent of the vote.

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