Saputiit president resigns

Takes break from politics before running for mayor of Inukjuak

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

ODILE NELSON

After more than four years leading Saputiit Youth Association, Andy Moorhouse will resign as the organization’s president in a bid to win Inukjuak’s mayoral election this fall.

Moorhouse confirmed this week that he will leave his post July 18 to spend “at least one whole summer” with his family before running for mayor.

“[The decision was] extremely hard. I shed a few tears, honestly,” Moorhouse said. “There was a lot of work, there was travelling time and there was the family. It was difficult to juggle all three and it was difficult to satisfy all three.”

Moorhouse and his wife are raising six children. If he is elected mayor he said he may continue on as a public servant but, since he would be based in Inukjuak, it would place less of a strain on his family.

Moorhouse, an Inuk who was born in Montreal and moved to Inukjuak in 1985, said he became interested in politics at a young age.

He was first elected president of Saputiit in 1999 when he was only 19. He held the position as a volunteer for nearly a year and a half because funding only covered the most basic operational costs. Until recently he was the association’s only full-time, paid employee.

Moorhouse said he is proud of the legacy he leaves behind, which includes job creation, developing a network of youth centres across Nunavik and co-organizing the first National Inuit Elders and Youth Conference this past March.

“The creation of about 33 jobs and about 30 part-time jobs was among the biggest successes I’ve done — in co-operation with the board of directors of the association,” he said.

Moorhouse also worked extremely hard on the youth centre project but though there are now centres in every community, completing the task will fall to Moorhouse’s successor.

Many of the youth centres are in renovated spaces and Saputiit and the regional health board must still get the new Liberal government to fund the building of new centres, he said.

Moorhouse is working on transferring works such as this over to his successor, Jonathan Epoo.

Epoo, who has worked as a volunteer vice-president for Saputiit, will become interim president and hold that position until the general election in March-April 2005, Moorhouse said.

Moorhouse did not comment on his chances of winning the election this fall. He has served alongside Inukjuak’s current mayor, Shaomik Inukpuk, since both were elected to council in November 2001.

Inukpuk, has been in and out of office since elected, dealing with an alcohol addiction.

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