With loosening restrictions, the Kivalliq Inuit Association’s board of directors got to meet in person again March 1 and 2 in Rankin Inlet, the first time since August 2021 in Naujaat.

On the agenda were board and department reports, appointments and discussion of KIA’s Legacy Fund – monies stored away for the future – but what stole the show as expected for the organization was the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link project.

President Kono Tattuinee called it a nation-building investment, and was “out of words” when it appeared on the federal budget last spring.

“That’s a big one for us,” he said after the meeting.

The Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link would be a 230kV electric transmission system extending from Manitoba into the Kivalliq, delivering reliable renewable energy and broadband internet service.

KIA is working with consultants and staff on the project daily, and some of the work now is negotiating with the Dene and Cree nations in Northern Manitoba about the fibre link passing through their land.

“We have to go through their territory, so we’re still working on baseline studies and making sure we have MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) made up so we can understand each other a little more,” said Tattuinee.

As health regulations ease and gatherings are more freely permitted, KIA also aims to tour the communities to discuss the Nunavut Land Use Plan.

“We have a lot on the go,” said Tattuinee.

He hopes to see the board meet two or three more times this year.

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