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Joelie Kaernerk: Inuit need to become mining managers, not just labourers

For the annual NWT & Nunavut Mining feature that recently appeared in Nunavut News, we approached MLAs for their perspective on the mining industry in the territory. These were the responses from Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk. The full edition of NWT & Nunavut Mining can be found here:

Q:  What do you consider to be the greatest advantages and disadvantages of mining in the Nunavut? Do you believe the mines do enough overall for the territory in terms of employment, royalties, donations and legacy projects?

"I believe (mining companies) need to do more in training Inuit to become supervisors/managers rather than labourers," says Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk.
photo courtesy of the GN

A: I would say the advantage is employment as I have seen the increase in Inuit employment with Baffinland. But I believe they need to do more in training Inuit to become supervisors/managers rather than labourers. The disadvantage is mining companies aren’t doing their part when it comes to community development/local economy. I think this answers your next question in terms of royalties, employment and donations.

Q: Should mines be involved in supplying housing in surrounding communities?

A: I strongly believe if mining companies start this (housing) supply it benefits both the community and the mining company – a win/win situation. I mean, in Nunavut we have a shortage of housing and if they start with the affected community that would cut down on the waiting list from the local housing association. Also the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and Baffinland need to work together on all issues under the IIBA (Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement) agreement to ensure all aspects of

Click on image to read downloadable edition of Nunavut/NWT Mining 2019.

the affected communities are met with their requests.