Arviat’s Kono Tattuinee rode the strength of incredible support in both his home community and Rankin Inlet to be named the new president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) during the recent elections.
Stanley Adjuk of Whale Cove placed second in the race, while two-term incumbent David Ningeongan was third.
Tattuinee, 57, said he wasn’t feeling very good about things early, as the early results had him falling behind.
He said the feeling of doom and gloom evaporated quickly, however, when the results from Arviat and Rankin came in, two communities that voted late due to blizzard conditions on Dec. 9 and 10.
“I knew I had a lot of support in my home community, and I had quite a lot of support in Rankin Inlet, and those were the communities taking their time counting the ballots on election night,” said Tattuinee.
“The people from Arviat really pulled through for me, and the people in Rankin did, as well. That support shot me to the top.”
Tattuinee said he was more than a little overwhelmed when the final results were posted.
He said it was all like a dream.
“It still doesn’t seem like it’s real and I can’t thank everyone enough, in every community, who voted for me.
“My job now is to make sure I treat them all fairly, and make sure I keep every community in the region on an even keel.
“And, really, fairness and equality are what I’m all about.”
Tattuinee isn’t 100 per cent sure of the official date he will assume his new position, and realizes he will have to move his family to Rankin, where the KIA head office is located, sometime in the new year as he begins his four-year term.
He said this a big job he’s entering into, and nothing to be taken lightly in any way, shape or form.
“This job will be far more intense than anything I’ve ever done before in my life.
“The KIA election policies struck a chord with a lot of people in the region during the election and the Government of Nunavut was up in arms about it, as well, especially with young people away attending school not being allowed to vote and others living in other Nunavut communities because of their jobs who couldn’t vote.
“Another issue I intend to look at, under the Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement, is the royalties, which are something that needs to be transparent to Kivalliq beneficiaries.
“I want to see if we can actually do something for the Inuit in the region with part of those royalties. Those are my two main issues right now.”
Tattuinee said the KIA partnering with the various Young Hunters program would benefit a lot of youth in the region and boost their self-confidence.
He said communication is key with the mines that are operating in the Kivalliq to bring respectability back to the relationship.
“Sometimes we hear people talking negatively about working at the camp because they don’t speak French, and no one should ever be discriminated against like that.
“They’re on our land and they should respect our languages and us, as Inuit, in general.”
Tattuinee said it was a clean campaign with “not too much” mudslinging.
He said it’s a very challenging position and he harbours no ill will towards outgoing president, Ningeongan, and his eight-year performance.
“I’d like to thank all my supporters, my wife, Bernadette, who’s been through everything with me, my family, my parents, my sister, Veronica, and my nephew, Kyle, for being my financial agent.
“We had next to no financial support from anywhere. We did this on social media, visiting the communities, talking with the elders, our young people and people in general.
“It was mostly positive on the radio shows and people were kind and generous with their words of wisdom and encouraging me to keep going, and that’s what kept me going.
“I’m still living the dream.”
Listed below are the complete results, by community, of the Kivalliq Inuit Association’s (KIA) election for president on Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Also included are election results for KIA community directors and the Hunters and Trappers Organization in both Arviat and Rankin Inlet.
Kono Tattuinee: (Elected)
Baker Lake 76
Chesterfield Inlet 28
Coral Harbour 61
Rankin Inlet 268
Whale Cove 13
Region total: 900
Baker Lake 95
Chesterfield Inlet 41
Coral Harbour 46
Rankin Inlet 123
Whale Cove 245
Region total: 503
Baker Lake 50
Chesterfield Inlet 32
Coral Harbour 87
Rankin Inlet 138
Whale Cove 17
Region total: 443
KIA community directors:
Tony Uluadluak 281 (Elected)
David Kuksuk 248
James Taipanak 98 (Elected)
Thomas Elytook 86
Angela Cook 44
Paul Pudlat 81 (Elected)
Hannah Angutialuk 77
Solomon Nakoolak 36
Kangiqliniq Hunters and Trappers Organization
Roger Pilakapsi 356 (Elected)
Nathan Tulugak 284 (Elected)
Brian Sigurdson 247 (Elected)
Harry Ittinuar 217 (Elected)
Hapanaaq Issaluk 196
Samuel Alagalak 174
Andre Aokaut 171
Aaron Angidlik 58
Arviat Hunters and Trappers Organization:
Alex Ishalook 200 (Elected)
Ludovic Onerk 199 (Elected)
Gordy Kidlapik 146 (Elected)
Sam Muckpah 136
Peter Shamee 101
Laurent Angalik 85
Peter Sr. Aulatjut 78
Brian Sr. Sulurayok 65
Annie Amauyak 56
Evano Sr. Aggark 41
Peter Sr. Mamgark 37