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Three vie for ITK presidency: Obed, Ittinuar and Williamson

Delegates to the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami  (ITK) 2018 annual general assembly are set to elect a president from a field of three Aug. 16.

photo courtesy Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Incumbent Natan Obed hopes to be re-elected Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Aug. 16 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories at the national organization's 2018 annual general assembly.

Incumbent Natan Obed, who has led the organization for the past three years, will face Peter Ittinuar and Peter Williamson.

ITK represents 65,000 Inuit living across Canada and in communities throughout Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories on the national stage.

From Nain, Nunatsiavut, Obed is running his platform on ITK accomplishment of the past three years and his entire professional career with Inuit representational organizations, according to his biography on the ITK website.

"During his mandate, ITK has worked with its board of directors to approve and implement an ambitious 2016-2019 Strategy and Action Plan that has led to significant progress on suicide prevention, eradicating tuberculosis, housing, research, and climate change through an Inuit Nunangat policy approach," according to his biography.

"Natan has used his role to actively lobby the Government of Canada to broker Inuit-specific initiatives, advocate for Inuit-specific federal budget allocations, and encourage closer working relationships with Inuit at the national and regional levels."

photo courtesy Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Peter Ittinuar, former Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami executive director and Member of Parliament, hopes to unseat incumbent Natan Obed Aug. 16 and claim the organization's presidency.

Ittinuar, originally from Chesterfield Inlet, is a former ITK executive director and currently works as a negotiator for the negotiations branch of the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs in the Ontario Government.

"Peter has been a teacher (associate professor), pilot, hunter, trapper, fisherman, miner, CBC journalist, magazine journalist, film maker, author …  and a Member of Parliament," his biography notes.

"Infused throughout his career has been the singular thought of creating a homeland where his people would enjoy a degree of autonomy, and Peter assisted this road to Nunavut throughout his life. I have a long history of advancing Inuit rights and interests."





photo courtesy Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Peter Williamson brings his history of advancing Inuit rights to the table in his bid for the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami presidency Aug. 16.

Williamson, who hails from Rankin Inlet, states he has a long history of advancing Inuit rights and interests.

"As a working professional, I have 20 years of experience in Ottawa with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada," according to his biography.

"This includes killing the proposed European import ban on wildfurs, advancing an end to the federal policy of deducting Indigenous own-source revenues from federal transfers payments to Indigenous governments which is now suspended, and creating an Inuit consultation mechanism which consulted Inuit on the development of the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, and the establishment of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency."

Williamson states housing will be his number one priority.

Full biographies are available on the ITK website.