Makivik AGM 2002


Tasiujaq — Nunavik’s Makivik Corporation held its annual general meeting in Tasiujaq from April 9 to 12. The main event of the year’s AGM was the signing of a billion-dollar development deal with Quebec premier Bernard Landry.

But delegates from every community and organization in the region also discussed many other aspects of their birthright organization’s recent activities with Makivik’s executive and board members.

Air Inuit announces grant to Avataq

Air Inuit announced it will be give $200,000 a year from its profits to Avataq as a way of helping the cash-strapped cultural institute with its work.

George Berthe, Makivik’s corporate secretary and chairman of Air Inuit’s board, outlined how the beneficiary-owned regional airline assists Nunavimmiut in many other ways.

These include occasional 75 per cent discounts for beneficiaries through its Ilaujuq program, as well as other discounts to attendees to various festivals and events, an elders’ discount, a “honeymooners” discount to newlyweds, and free transport of country food to Montreal for the Montreal Inuit Association events.

While some delegates complained about the frequency of lost baggage on certain routes and the high cost of tickets, many applauded the airline for its record of community involvement.

“The respect and love that they show to people is not comparable to anywhere else in the world,” said Tikile Kleist. “We have an airline we can be proud of.”

In May 2003, the airline will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Nunavimmiut honoured for their bravery

Eight Nunavimmiut were honoured for their bravery:

Jessie Kaitak, Salluit — Last July Jessie saved her cousin from drowning. She found him unconscious in a river near Akulivik, pulled him out and revived him.

Peter Annahatak, Kangirsuk — Five years ago Peter saved his son when he grabbed him after they were thrown out of a canoe into a river.

Lasa Kotaq, Kangirsuk — Three years ago Lasa found a man stranded on an island and rescued him.

Sammy Airo, Jean-Guy Carrier — Sammy and Jean-Guy saved Michael Carrier from being mauled by a caged wolf seven years ago.

Davidee Pootoogee, Kangirsuk — Ten years ago he rescued a man who had fallen into the water. At another time, he also saved the life of a man who had fallen into the water on his snowmachine.

Peter Matte, Simon Makimark, Akulivik Their parents, Mathewsie Manukiuk and Lizzie Audlaluk saved Josie P. Tullaugak and his family from starvation.

At the time, Peter was a little boy and Simon a baby in his mother’s amautik.

During a severe shortage of food in the spring of 1940, Josie’s family was buried in snow, but due to lack of food, they were weak and unable to move.

Then, a dog team arrived, and its dogs alerted Peter and Simon’s parents, who had been checking their traps, to the family’s presence. Their parents gave them food, and Josie lived to tell the story.

Other Nunavimmiut who were honoured at the AGM included Johnny May of Kuujjuaq for his many years of aviation service to the region and Davidee Okpik of Quaqtaq for his contribution to heritage activities.

Equity up by $7 million

During the financial year ending Sept. 30, 2001, beneficiaries’ equity increased overall by $7 million. That’s an increase that is $5 million less than Makivik showed from 1999 to 2000.

From September 2000 to September 2001, Makivik’s various investments made about $21.9 million, around $2 million less than during the previous financial year.

But Makivik’s operating expenses rose by 29 per cent, or by $3 million dollars, from $10 million to $13 million.

Some of this increase results from a $1 million increase in the amount of money paid in the form of salaries by Makivik. These rose from $7.6 to $8.6 million.

Makivik also made more donations to communities. These went up by 158 per cent, from $1.3 million to $3.6 million.

During this financial period, Makivik cashed in about $8 million in bonds and increased its holdings in its subsidiary and affiliated companies.

At the end of September, 2001, the beneficiaries’ equity stood at $189,831,151.

Polar Commission members appointed

Guy St-Julien, Nunavik’s MP, announced the appointment of four new members to the Canadian Polar Commission:

• Jocelyn Barrett of Kuujjuaq, a legal advisor to the Makivik Corporation.

• Leah Aksaajuq Otak of Igloolik, the director of culture and heritage for the government of Nunavut since 1999.

• Gordon Miles of Iqaluit, the manager of business services for the Kakivak Association in Iqaluit.

• Michael Robinson, past executive director of the Arctic Institute of North America and currently the president and CEO of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, served as chairperson of the Polar Commission from 1999 to 2002.

The new appointees will serve a three-year mandate.

The Canadian Polar Commission promotes knowledge of the polar region and makes recommendations on polar science policy to the federal government.

New eligibility proposal for Nunavik beneficiaries

The AGM delegates were asked to approve a final draft that calls for changes in the criteria for determining who is a beneficiary in Nunavik.

The proposal was modelled on the section pertaining to eligibility in the Nunavut land claim.

The proposed amendments allow Nunavimmiut more discretion in deciding who is eligible to become a beneficiary.

A person would be eligible to be enrolled if she or she is alive, is a Canadian citizen, is an Inuk “as determined in accordance with Inuit customs and traditions,” identifies herself or himself as an Inuk, and is associated with a community in Nunavik or the Nunavik region.

The amendments would allow Nunavimmiut who have lived more than 10 years outside the region to remain as beneficiaries if they meet certain conditions.

But non-beneficiaries who marry beneficiaries would no longer receive automatic beneficiary status through marriage. Those who have become beneficiaries through marriage would have their status reviewed if they became divorced or separated from their partner.

The new rules would not apply retroactively to approximately 200 Qallunaat married to beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

The amendments would allow communities to have the right to recognize a person of Inuit ancestry, born outside of Quebec, as a beneficiary if they have lived in Nunavik for a number of years.

One example frequently raised to illustrate the inadequacies of the current rules is the situation of Inuit Anglican ministers from Nunavut who came to live in Nunavik after 1974, but can’t be recognized as beneficiaries in the communities where they conduct their ministries.

The amendments also propose transferring the existing Inuk register from Quebec City to Nunavik-based enrolment committees. A Nunavik enrolment office would be established in Kuujjuaq.

However, the federal government has not agreed to fund these committees, although Quebec is willing to pay for part of the expense of running the committees.

Nunavik Arctic Foods concentrates on pâté

In 2001, Nunavik Arctic Foods harvested no caribou in Nunavik, producing only what was required from its existing inventory, saving the corporation about $1 million dollars.

As of September 2000, Makivik had sunk $5.8 million in the commercialization of caribou, in ventures that included building slaughterhouses in four Nunavik communities.

In 1999, Nunavik Arctic Foods reported a loss of $1 million.

However, Makivik reports that due to the “great success” of the Nunavik brand caribou pâté, Nunavik Arctic Foods has maintained its sales schedule and reduced its meat inventory by producing the pâté. It’s forecasting sales of 450,000 units for 2002.

The pâté is also to be marketed on a new Web site for a wide range of Nunavik-made products, such as clothing and crafts at

Ittoshat re-elected as treasurer

On the final day of the AGM, Makivik treasurer Anthony Ittoshat received a strong mandate to continue his work, winning 61 per cent of the vote in a three-way race for the position.

Ittoshat won over Larry Watt and Mary Mesher in every polling location but Quaqtaq, Kangirsuk, Aupaluk, Kuujjuaq and Montreal. Watt came in second with 23 per cent of the vote. Mesher received 17 per cent of the vote.

Only 38 per cent of the 5,068 eligible beneficiaries voted in polls organized in every Nunavik community, Chisasibi, Montreal and the Raglan mine. Turnout ranged from an apathetic 14 per cent in Ivujivik to 100 per cent in Montreal.

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