Community: Rankin Inlet
Family status: Married
Career: Retired from political (MLA,) activities since 2014. I was elected as vice-president for the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) in December 2017 until April 2021. I didn’t run again this year. I’d been not only a board member but formed the economic groups in Nunavut, including Nunasi Corporation in early ’70s. Formed Sakku Investment corporation in the ’80s during late Louie Pilakapsi’s terms as president of KIA. Was president of Nunavut Construction Corp (NCC) from 1997-2002. NCC built and financed and owned 11 GN offices and 140 incremental housing units for staff housing. All completed by April 1999 without cost overruns — with largest Inuit trades and labour work ever done in Nunavut. I returned to political work in Nunavut from 2004 to the end of the term in 2014.
Volunteer or board experience:
I have many years of voluntary activities primarily included wildlife organizations and search and rescue in this community and the region few years back.
Why are you running for MLA?
I am revived and running again because I feel Rankin Inlet has fallen behind as one of the major communities in a number of ways. It is the air transportation hub and has an active private sector economic, being close to the mining activities. There are urgent issues that more community members can ask the government for help — those include suicide prevention discussions with each family home, if possible. Most family homes have children and youth. Here in Rankin the birthing center must be restored but requires independent review first to include protection for former midwife’s workers of the birthing center.
How much influence should NTI have in territorial governance?
NTI has a constitutionally-protected responsibility and obligations to manage and oversee the Nunavut Agreement. It has clear responsibility to ensure other binding members of the Nunavut Agreement – the federal and territorial governments – comply with many articles and provisions. The Nunavut Agreement obligates both to consult with NTI on major policy change plans. Other than that, NTI is like any groups that has no more influence or status when it comes to the GN or the legislative assembly, unless membership clearly request it to do so on matters of public policy. But it remains a major organization as Inuit were the main force for the creation of Nunavut.
How urgent is combating climate change in Nunavut?
Climate change is serious and complex issue but Nunavummiut must not be taxed to fight for reduction of greenhouse emissions.
How do you envision economic development in your riding?
Economic issues similarly remain out of our GN influence other that GN-sponsored projects. Resource development is our hope for Inuit and non-Inuit for employment and economic development, but we can do better with consultation prior to permitting processes and work getting started. Those must be considered by all parties, including Inuit organizations and the mining proponents.
Are you for or against mandatory vaccinations?
Vaccination must remain voluntary. Only the public health workers should be encouraged and required to be vaccinated, in my view.