Former Makivik Executive and Nunavik leader Daniel Epoo passed away in early September. He was 58.
Daniel served as Makivik’s Corporate Secretary in the 1980’s and 1990s, serving three consecutive terms, totalling nine years. It was under his leadership in this role that Makivik’s elections became universal, with all J BNQA beneficiaries being able to vote for the corporation’s executives. He was also responsible for communications, including the Makivik News magazine, operations of Makivik offices and other buildings, and the smooth running of its Annual General Meetings. Daniel was also a delegate to the sixth ICC General Assembly held in 1992 in Inuvik, Nor thwest Territories. Interviewed for Makivik News in the Fall of 1992, Daniel said one of the highlights of the conference for him was the Russian Inuit attending for the first time. “Now we have a full circle of Inuit Circumpolar People,” he said. “It’s good to have them as part of our team because we all have common problems, and common goals.” He continued to serve the Inuit of Nunavik in other capacities following his years as Makivik Corporate Secretary. An advocate of Adult Education, Daniel was the director of the Nunavimmi Pigiursavik Vocational and Training Centre in Inukjuak from 1998 to 1999.
Kativik Ilisarnilirinq and the Department of Adult Education wrote that during his time with the school board, he actively contributed to the life of the centre and saw several students graduate from the many programs offered at the time. After leaving that position, Daniel remained deeply committed to the cause of adult education.
In 1999, Daniel became the first president of the Nunavik Mineral Exploration Fund, serving until 2009. One of the current NMEF directors, Jean-Marc Séguin, said Daniel was instrumental in renewing successive NMEF funding agreements with Quebec government during his mandate. Daniel participated in several mining development congresses and symposiums (regional, provincial and national), advocating for Nunavik mineral resources potential and Inuit participation in the mining development process.
Daniel also served as General Manager at Nayumivik Landholding Corporation in Kuujjuaq for five and a half years, from September 2013 to March 2019.
He was also appointed Chairman of the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board in March 2019 but had to resign shortly after.
Daniel had been diagnosed with Amyothrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2018 and passed on September 7 at the Montreal Neurological Hospital. A viewing was held in Montreal on September 14, and a funeral service was held later that week in Inukjuak on September 16.