Vote on Offshore Trust, Favor Individual Compensation

Press Release

Kuujjuaq, Quebec September 19, 2008 – A referendum held on Sept 17, for all Nunavik Land Claim beneficiaries on how payments from the Nunavik Trust should be dispersed overwhelmingly favored “individual compensation” said Makivik returning officer Adamie Padlayat.

Across the 14 communities two thousand and fifty of the regions sixty eight hundred and sixty eight eligible voters considered five options on, how to disperse a minimum of two million dollars provided by the Nunavik Trust and offshore land claim payments.

The five options were advanced by beneficiaries during the Makivik community consultation tour two years ago are as follows, with the vote percentages in brackets.

  1. Individual compensation (57%)
  2. Relief for the high cost of living (15%)
  3. Additional fuel rebates (10%)
  4. Community development programs(10%)
  5. Assistance in purchasing hunting and fishing equipment(7%)

A minimum payment of two million dollars from the trust will be dispersed each year, and the intention by the present Makivik leadership is to ensure beneficiaries decide how it should be dispersed” said Makivik President Pita Aatami. “We would like to see a higher turnout, but there is no question that the great majority, 57 % of those who did vote prefer individual compensation’. “No doubt many will use the money to achieve the same ends as was outlined in the other options, including offsetting the high cost of living or buying hunting and fishing equipment.”

“People told us two years ago they want to determine how returns from the trust would be spent, and we have fulfilled our commitment and will continue to do so again next year. The questions on the ballot were taken from suggestions made during the community tour” added Mr. Aatami.

“As I stated earlier this is far better approach and more democratic than having a few elected executives deciding on the best course for everybody” said Mr.Aatami.

The Nunavik Trust Committee will now determine the amount of payment for each beneficiary. Makivik will make every effort to distribute the payment as soon as possible but the process will take several weeks.

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For more information:

Whit Fraser
Communications Consultant
Makivik Head Office
819.964.2925
w_fraser@makivik.org

Kitty Gordon
Communications Agent
1111, Dr.Frederik-Philips
St-Laurent, Qc H4M 2X6
514.745.8880 ext 215
514.910.0169 cell
k_gordon@makivik.org

Vote on Offshore Trust, Favor Individual Compensation