Nunavik communities elect new school board council

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq’s council will elect a new president in December

Kativik Ilisarniliriq’s head office in Kuujjuaq is seen here. Nunavik communities elected KI’s new council of commissioners Nov. 18. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

Melinda Hickey is the new Kativik Ilisarniliriniq commissioner for Kuujjuaq. (Submitted photo)

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq has a new council of commissioners, following council elections held in Nunavik communities on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

And the council’s first task will be to elect a new president of the school board in early December.

That’s because KI’s current president, Robbie Watt, was not re-elected as a commissioner for Kuujjuaq.

In a two-way race in Kuujjuaq, Melinda Hickey was elected as new KI commissioner with 80 votes, while Watt received 64.

“Change is good,” said Watt, who served as president over the council’s last three-year term.

“Education is key to success. I can only encourage [Nunavimmiut] to embrace the challenges that go with it,” he said.

Hickey is a former employee of KI who has also served on Kuujjuaq’s local education committee. The mother of four said she plans to focus on improving the delivery of education to students as well as creating more equity among KI staff.

“Teacher shortages, lacking substitute teachers, and starting an after-school program are some challenges we face,” Hickey said.

“I have a strong vision and I want to bring new and fresh ideas to the table. Having a good curriculum while keeping the language and culture strong is so important.”

The following commissioners were elected for other Nunavik communities:

  • Kangisualujjuaq: Jean Leduc
  • Aupaluk: Martin Scott
  • Tasiujaq: Tommy Cain Jr.
  • Kangirsuk: Betsy Annahatak
  • Quaqtaq: Sarah Aloupa
  • Kangiqsujuaq: Pasha Arngak
  • Salluit: Patsy Cameron
  • Ivujivik: Evie Kalingo
  • Puvirnituq: Sarah Beaulne
  • Inukjuak: Adamie Padlayat
  • Umiujaq: Noah Inukpuk
  • Kuujjuaraapik: Jeannie Atagutak

Elections were postponed in Akulivik, though KI has not set a new election date for the community.

The elected commissioners will serve a three-year term as members of KI’s council. The council will meet next from Dec. 7-10, when it will elect a new president and members of its executive committee.

Watt will remain in his function as immediate past president until that time, KI said.

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