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Tapping into a legacy

KIA to tour communities and clear hurdles to utilize $116-million Legacy Fund
The Kivalliq Inuit Association holds a feast at its annual general meeting in Rankin Inlet in October 2023, which saw the regional Inuit association separate its Legacy Fund from the organization's main financial statements. Now the KIA is taking its plans for the fund on tour.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) is taking its show on the road to take the next step in loosening the purse strings to the regional Inuit association's $116-million Legacy Fund.

The Legacy Fund is an account that was set up from revenue the KIA receives from resource extractions that would go towards programming throughout the Kivalliq region.

The fund receives royalties from Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM), as well as monetary boosts from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Ukkusiksalik National Park near Naujaat, any dividends Sakku Investments may have and a certain fund amount from any penalties AEM may incur from not meeting its Inuit employment targets.

KIA chief operating officer Gabe Karlik said the bylaw governing the fund has to be adjusted and, in order for the KIA to change a bylaw, it has to do a community tour first.

Karlik said the KIA is starting its community tour in July. All seven Kivalliq communities are scheduled for visits, he added.

We're looking at changing a couple of the key bylaws,” said Karlik. “One of them is that the bylaw states all the Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA) funds we receive from Ukkusiksalik National Park are to go to the Legacy Fund.

We're asking for that to be removed. We already have an IIBA for that, which has very specific programming dollars to certain programs that need to be run under Ukkusiksalik.

So, this stops the handcuff of not spending the money on Ukkusiksalik.

Right now, we're not allowed to spend any money from the Legacy Fund until spending guidelines are set and a financial agent is hired and that's still down the line.”

Karlik said during this tour, the KIA will be promoting as much as receiving.

He said the organization expects the communities to ask more questions about the Legacy Fund's worth.

We moved the funds around and now that we finally separated the account from the general funds, we know how much is in the Legacy Fund.

The idea is to let the communities know that we're changing these bylaws so that we can start funding programs that are specific to the communities. With the Ukkusiksalik funds, we can start running the programs. The board's already approved the spending guidelines for the Ukkusiksalik National Park and signed off on the IIBA for that, so this will eventually allow us to adjust the bylaw and finally be able to start flowing some of the money out of the Legacy Fund.

We want to overcome some of the hurdles we found with the Legacy Fund. Once everything gets finalized and the bylaw adjusted, if that's how everything plays out, we can finally start utilizing the $116 million available in the Legacy Fund as of March 31, 2023.

About the Author: Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative

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