Nunavut votes: Recently acclaimed MLA looks to keep seat in Kugluktuk

4 candidates vying to be MLA in Kugluktuk

Four candidates are vying to be the next MLA for Kugluktuk. From left: Bobby Anavilok, incumbent Calvin Aivgak Pedersen, Angele Kuliktana and Genevieve Nivingalok. (Photo courtesy of Elections Nunavut)

By David Lochead

In the lead-up to the Oct. 25 territorial elections, Nunatsiaq News is publishing snapshots of the races. Look for articles with “Nunavut votes” in the headline.

Calvin Aivgak Pedersen is facing competition from three other candidates in Kugluktuk after being acclaimed in a byelection last year.

Kugluktuk has a population of 1,517, according to 2020 Government of Nunavut data.

Before becoming an MLA Pedersen was a field technician with Polar Knowledge Canada and a program officer with the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development and Transportation. Pedersen is the grandson of the community’s former MLA and mayor, Red Pedersen.

He was unavailable to comment for this interview due to a hunting trip.

Bobby Anavilok, 60, is a stone carver who has worked in parks planning and with the hunters and trappers organization in Kugluktuk.

Angele Kuliktana, 56, said she has worked as an Inuinnaqtun interpreter and translator, assistant to managers at the Ekati mine and sat on the board of the local district education authority.

Rounding out the candidates is Genevieve Nivingalok. Nivingalok, 37, is a resource worker with the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Family Services and was previously a community case worker for the government’s Department of Justice.

The main issues for these candidates include housing, mental health, education and employment.

Anavilok says the lack of housing in Kugluktuk leads to other problems, such as mental health challenges.

“There’s too many people staying in a dwelling,” Anavilok said.

Overcrowded housing can lead to eroding life conditions and eventually suicide, he added.

Nivingalok also said issues such as housing and mental health are connected. She adds that lack of health services lead to what is one of her larger issues, reducing poverty.

Nivingalok said she will address the issues caused by poverty by consulting with people in the riding and bringing their issues to government if she is elected.

Identifying themselves as Inuinnaqtun speakers, both Kuliktana and Anavilok said that preserving their language is important.

“Education needs more programming to encourage Inuinnaqtun language use,” said Kuliktana.

Kuliktana said from daycare up, there needs to be more of a focus on Inuinnaqtun to preserve the language.

Both Anavilok and Kuliktana also said that Kugluktuk’s economy needs to strengthen.

Anavilok said he will focus on ensuring that jobs in Kugluktuk are available for people in the hamlet instead of from southern Canada.

Kuliktana said that the government should look to hire more locals for entry-level positions that are available.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by . on

    “Anavilok said he will focus on ensuring that jobs in Kugluktuk are available for people in the hamlet instead of from southern Canada.” How are you going to ensure the locals are qualified for these jobs? How do you plan on ensuring more kids graduate high school and go to college? Once these problems are resolved then no people from southern Canada will need to move to Nunavut.

    “Kuliktana said from daycare up, there needs to be more of a focus on Inuinnaqtun to preserve the language.” Where are the qualified teachers to teach this language? Where are the qualified writers to write textbooks in this language and where are all the curriculum developers for these programs coming from? All questions that need solutions instead of simply pointing out the problems. We look to our leaders to find solutions to our problems.

    • Posted by Bobby Anavilok on

      The statement, “no people from the south don’t need to move to Nunavut” is not what I said or meant. I feel insulted by the reporting. I

  2. Posted by . on

    ‘ “He was unavailable to comment for this interview due to a hunting trip.”

    Deciding to go on a trip a week before an election while he should be campaigning is a poor choice

    • Posted by Gamer on

      The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees mobility rights and these rights can only be limited in a manner that is both reasonable and demonstrably justified , putting food on the table from the land is more justifiable than plain old politics , problem with political opposition will always remain …. The caribou , musk ox and moose won’t remain.

  3. Posted by ReportingSchool on

    Each of these have pioneer relatives who helped build community yet only one gets mentioned. On that note, we are voting for one of these, not the relations.

  4. Posted by Inuinnaqtun on

    It’s a dead language nobody under 60 speaks it or is trying to learn it move on there are bigger problems in kug

  5. Posted by S on

    Pederson, whose family has controlled Kug, and not for the better, for decades

    Nivingalok, daughter of former HTO manager, MLA. and Premier, Peter Taptuna; another family that runs Kug.

    Kuliktana, career board sitter
    language translator,,,,,,

    Bobby Anavilok, good man. Good father. Exceptional carver and entrepreneur. Wellspoken, literate, thoughtful, observant

    • Posted by Warmonger on

      Such a sad state of affairs Nunavut government made for the people.


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