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MLA candidates on the issues: Karen Nutarak, Tununiq

Karen Nutarak
Karen Nutarak, MLA candidate for the riding of Tununiq. Photo courtesy of Karen Nutarak ᑭᐊᕆᓐ ᓄᑕᕋᖅ, ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᒧᑦ ᓂᕈᐊᒐᒃᓴᐅᔪᖅ ᓂᕈᐊᕐᕕᐅᕙᒃᑐᒧᑦ ᑭᒡᓕᖓᓄᑦ ᑐᓄᓂᕐᒧᑦ.

Karen Nutarak

Community: Pond Inlet

Age: 44

Family status: Married, four children and seven grandchildren

Career: Adult educator

Volunteer or board experience:

I am the co-founder of the Pirurvik Preschool. We are the 2018 $1-million dollar Arctic Inspiration prize laureates. We have expanded the program to early years Inunguiniq (caring for the children in the Inuit way/process of making a capable and contributing human being); hunters and trappers organization; district education authority; Baffin Fisheries Coalition; Tununiq Saunuq Co-op.

Why are you running for MLA?

I can represent my community. I have advocated for my community in education, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangi in healthier human being and to promote Inuit culture. It is important to have stability in the community. I can connect the gaps and create a working group within the community organizations and the Hamlet. It is also very important to always include the knowledge of our Elders.

How much influence should NTI have in the territorial governance?

NTI should be working with the Nunavut Government to ensure the Nunavut Government is implementing the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. Both parties should be working towards housing, mental health, and food insecurity.

How urgent is combating climate change in Nunavut?

It is important to combat climate change as it is affecting the animals’ migration. The hunters’ ability to hunt for family is being threatened. Invasive species are entering the Arctic waters and may threaten native species. The thawing permafrost and the severe weather patterns are perceptible. We need to find solutions to slow down and adapt to climate change. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangi has to be implemented with the science to tackle climate change.

How do you envision economic development in your riding?

I envision Pond Inlet investing in training and education to benefit the Inuit in creating local businesses. By empowering local people for economic development, we can build a healthy community and lead to poverty reduction. Pond Inlet has a lot of potential for economic development. We need to form an independent society which can establish local workforce and training. Better education leads to a better economy.

Are you for or against mandatory vaccinations?

I am not against mandatory vaccination. I believe the vaccine will protect us from getting too ill from the Covid-19 virus. I also respect those who wish not to get the vaccine.