RIA’s oppose youth desire to work with NSDC

The regional Inuit associations have persuaded Nunavut’s youth councils to back away from a proposal to use the Nunavut Social Development Council as a youth council.


Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT — After a frosty response from regional Inuit associations, Nunavut’s youth councils are backing away from a proposal to have the Nunavut Social Development Council act as a territorial youth council.

“It feels like we’re on thin ice right now, so we want to take the proposal back and review it,” said William Amagoalik, chairman of the Baffin Regional Youth Committee.

Amagoalik, Kitikmeot youth representative Joey Evalik, and Jason Putumiraqtuq from the Kivalliq spent the majority of their presentation to NTI thanking the delegates for their support and re-iterating that they were going to withdraw their reccomendation to make the NSDC into a territorial umbrella group for youth.

“Instead of being split up into three regions, we wanted to work together and have a stronger voice,” said Amagoalik.

The proposal to use the NSDC to achieve that unity came out of a youth conference held in Rankin Inlet last June.

With the NSDC’s stated goal of addressing such issues as suicide, crime, education, young parenting, employment it seemed like a good fit with the youth councils Amagoalik said.

“We have to go through so many groups just to get anything done,” Amagoalik said. He said the youth organizations would like to have seats on the board of NTI, and would like to have a unified, territory-wide forum to work in without creating yet another group.

But not everyone agreed with the idea of using the NSDC as that forum. Amagoalik said the regional Inuit associations came out against the plan.

“We wanted to make sure we both had the same understanding of what it (the proposal) meant,” said Paul Kaludjak, president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association. “This was not the case.”

Kaludjak said there needs to be more examination of what the recommendation would mean for the organizational structures of the youth council in his region and his own organization.

“The reporting structure has to be talked about,” he said.

“They misunderstood. We made the wrong approach. What I think happened is they made us and now they don’t want to let us go,” Amagoalik said.

But getting all three youth councils together still needs some more work, he said. After the three-day conference in Rankin, some of the youth delegates who attended the conference changed their minds.

“We just need to take it back for some review,” he said.

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