Kangirsuk, April 4 , 2006 – Makivik’s 28th annual general meeting is being held in Kangirsuk, a community that is tucked in the Ungava Bay in Nunavik. President Pita Aatami opened the meeting today where many representatives and leaders of the Inuit organizations have gathered together to discuss the issues and questions important to the Inuit communiteis in Nunavik.
Minister of Native Affairs for the Government of Quebec, Geoffrey Kelley, and Minister of Natural Resources, Pierre Corbeil will be present during the week and will have an opportunity to speak to the Inuit of Nunavik. Minister Kelley will make a presentation on the main files pertaining to the establishment of a detention center in Nunavik as per the Sanarrutik Agreement, and on the initialling of the Agreement in Principle of the Nunavik Government. Nunavik Negociators Minnie Grey, and Harry Tulugak, will also be presenting their report on the progress of the Nunavik government negotiations.
The past year’s financial report will be given during the first morning, in which Treasurer Anthony Ittoshat will report on the past years spending on community and economic ventures as well as Makivik’s investments. Makivik has had to rein in on its yearly budget since the stockmarket took a downturn in 2001, however the financial outlook is positive under Makivik’s financial strategic plan.
An announcement is to be made during this meeting on the transfer of the eligibility office, which was provided for in the of Complementary Agreement #18 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975. The eligibility office, which has been based in southern centers out of Nunavik, is to be moved on May 1st, and will be based in Kuujjuaq with its main office to be run at the Makivik head office.
Several people who have dedicated their work to Nunavik and Inuit issues will be honoured and awarded with plaques of recognition and gifts in recognition of their lifetime dedication to Nunavik. George Koneak, one of the first political spokespersons of Nunavik, and now a reowned elder from Kuujjuaq, will be retiring from his position as Governor at Makivik. Johnny Adams, who retired recently from his Chairmanship at the Kativik Regional Government after several years, will be honoured, as will Donat Savoie who is retiring from public service at the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. He will, however, continue on as the Chief Negociator for the Federal Government on the Nunavik Government negociations.
Incumbent Mr. Aatami’s term as President is up for renewal and he will continue to run for President this year with runner-up Harry Tulugak of Puvirnituq. Universal elections will run across Nunavik on the last day of the annual general meeting, April 7, 2006.
This year’s salient issues will most likely focus on the dogslaughters issue, housing needs in Nunavik, the Agreement in Principle of the Nunavik government negociations, the creation of an Electoral Division for Nunavik, Makivik’s economic ventures, and the finalization of the Offshore Agreement.