Nunavik municipal elections produce surprises


MONTREAL — Who says municipal elections have to be dull?

When Nunavimmiut went to the polls on November 3, they managed to wrest some surprises out of their municipal electoral process.

In Inukjuak, incumbent mayor Siasi Smiler held her breath as the municipal secretary-treasurer got ready to pull a name from a box and break a tie in the election for the mayoralty.

Smiler and Shaomik Inukpuk each received 201 votes. According to the Kativik Act, the tie would be decided by the draw of one of two names from a box.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” said Smiler who watched the proceedings with some of her supporters as her name was drawn from the box. “What a way to do it! It was so strange, but I’m happy.”

In Kangiqsujuaq, meanwhile, the election produced a new mayor, the youngest in Nunavik.

Charlie Alaku, 24, won a surprising victory over Kangiqsujuaq’s long-time mayor, Charlie Arngak. Alaku received 107 votes, beating Arngak’s tally of 73.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Alaku said on his first day in Kangiqsujuaq’s municipal office as mayor.

Alaku had just begun working for the Kativik School Board in Kuujjuaq as their first Inuk animator when he was asked to run for mayor.

But Alaku couldn’t believe his ears when the police reached him on election night to deliver the good news.

The next day, the young mayor hopped a plane back home to Kangiqsujuaq.

Alaku attributes his win to his good contacts in the community as a former recreation director. “But I think I can help, not just through sports,” Alaku said.

During his campaign Alaku promised to pay more attention to the needs of local hunters and youth. He also wants to start up a restaurant for the community.

He said that he’s looking forward to the next two years as mayor. “I’m going to do my best,” Alaku said. “I’m not doing this for the money.”

Tasiujaq also has a new mayor, Willie Cain, who won over Tommy Cain Jr.

In Aupaluk and Ivujivik, not enough nominations for councilors were received, so the election process was re-started. New elections were scheduled for November 12.

Nunavik’s new municipal leaders are as follows:

Akulivik — Mayor: Adamie Alayco; Councilors: Timothy Aliqu, Louisa Qaqutuk, Maggie Qullialuk, Jusipio Qaqutuk, Peter Anautak, Henry Quissa;

Aupaluk — Mayor: Johnny Akpahatak;

Inukjuak — Mayor: Siasi Smiler; Councilors: Eli Elijassiapik, Pauloosie J. Kasudluak, Johnny Naktialuk, Josephi Nalukturuk, Mary Palliser, Qautsiaq Weetaluktuk;

Ivujivik — Mayor: Adamie Analik;

Kangirsuk — Mayor: Joseph Annahatak; Councilors: Tommy Kudluk, Willie Thomassie Jr., Peter Nassak, Aloupa Eetook, David Pinguapik, Peter T. Airo;

Kangiqsualujjuuaq — Mayor: Maggie Emudluk; Councilors: Willie Emudluk, Edward Snowball, Johnny Sam Annanack, Daniel Annanack, Bobby Baron, Willie Annanack;

Kangirsujuaq — Mayor: Charlie Alaku; Councilors: Minnie Nappaaluk, Tuumasi Kiatainaq, Amaamak Jaaka, Mark Tertiluk, Maggir Jaaka Qisiiq, Jaaka Jaaka;

Kuujjuaq — Mayor: Michael Gordon; Councilors: Johnny N. Adams, Sammy Duncan, Jean Dupuis, Allen Gordon, Kitty Gordon-Pearson, George Peters;

Kuujjuaraapik — Mayor: Lucassie Inukpuk; Councilors: Mary H. Angatookalook, Silas Cookie, Lydia Esperon, Louisa Fleming, Willie Tooktoo, Li ie Weetaltuk;

Puvirnituq — Mayor: Aisara Kenuajuak; Councilors: Muncy Novalinga, Paulusi Novalinga, Josie E. Tullaujak, Menda Kanayuk, Simon Novalinga, Robert Putugu;

Quartaq — Mayor: Eva Deer; Councilors: Charlie Tukkiapik, Eva Tukkiapik, Christina Putulik, Harry Okpik, Louisa Kulula, Rhoda Ezekiel;

Salluit — Mayor: Qalingo Angotigirk; Councilors: Martha Angotigirk, Paulusie Padlayat, Mark I. Papigatuk, Nakasuk Papigatuk, Ellashuk Pauyungie, Adamie Tayara;

Tasiujaq — Mayor: Willie Cain; Councilors: Charlotte Angnatuk, Alice Berthe, Sandy Berthe, Noah Cain, Rhoda Kritik, Jeannie Saunders;

Umijuaq — Mayor: Robbie Tookalook; Councilors: Paulossie Cookie, Jobie Crow, Joanassie Epoo, Willie Kumarluk, Joshua Sala, Billy Tooktoo.

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