Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 06, 2017 - 11:30 am

Baffin Inuit pledge $5 million toward Nunavut heritage centre

The QIA hopes their commitment inspires other groups to kick in money too

An artist's rendering of what a Nunavut Heritage Centre, housing Inuit art and artifacts, could look like. (PHOTO COURTESY QIA)
An artist's rendering of what a Nunavut Heritage Centre, housing Inuit art and artifacts, could look like. (PHOTO COURTESY QIA)

The organization that represents Qikiqtani Inuit is hoping a $5 million cash injection will help kick-start a northern home for Inuit archeological artifacts and other historical items.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s board of directors pledged the money for a Nunavut Heritage Centre Oct. 5 during a board meeting in Iqaluit.

“Establishing a heritage centre is recognized as an urgent need under the Nunavut Agreement,” said QIA President P.J. Akeeagok in a news release.

Nunavut is the only jurisdiction in Canada without a designated heritage space to house and present its history, the release said.

That’s because historical artworks and artifacts must be stored in a unique facility where temperature and humidity can be strictly controlled and which has enough storage space to house thousands of pieces found within Nunavut’s modern boundary.

Up until recently, historical Nunavut artworks and artifacts were stored at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife.

But last year, the Nunavut government worked out partnership arrangements to transfer historical art pieces to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and to relocate museum artifacts—some 140,000—to the Canadian Museum Of Nature’s state-of-the-art collections facility in Gatineau, Que.

Those partnerships are considered temporary until Nunavut can find the money to build its own facility North of 60.

Although such a territorial facility goes beyond the QIA’s Baffin Inuit focus, Akeeagok and his board feel it’s important enough to set aside money for it.

“The heritage centre would empower our communities and instil a sense of pride in our culture by allowing more Inuit to gain exposure to the rich traditional knowledge and skills of our ancestors,” Akeeagok said in the release.

The QIA said it would donate the money, “provided that the $70 to $90 million project will receive its financing through the territorial and federal government and a number of other factors to allow the project to go through.”

The announcement came with a call to action from other Inuit groups, the Government of Nunavut and “other relevant organizations,” to join them in supporting a heritage centre.

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(10) Comments:

#1. Posted by Think about it on October 06, 2017

I m glad they feel that donating 5.5% of the money will help the Territory fund this project.  I suggest Mr. President read the news.  GN spend the money on real infrastructure Nunavut needs, proper water, proper sewage treatment, real landfills, not another piece of art for Iqaluit only.

#2. Posted by Soothsayer on October 06, 2017

#1 Your perspective is very myopic.

In reality at least half of Nunavut’s communities should be shut down anyway. They will always be black holes for funds. And for nothing except to maintain completely dysfunctional communities in perpetuity.

#3. Posted by Arts & Culture on October 07, 2017

#2 You are the pot calling the kettle black.

#4. Posted by Soothsayer on October 07, 2017

#3 Put a little more elbow grease into it. You’ll be surprised how far a little hard work will get you.

#5. Posted by eskimo joe on October 10, 2017

hey baffin islanders, that’s your royalties from bimc in action, doing work what actually can be designated to the any levels of governments. look at prince of wales museum totally funded by gnwt. and #2, get off of our tribal asses and pick on someone of your own…

#6. Posted by John on October 10, 2017

It will be time for the GN to put more priority into this centre.

#7. Posted by Raymond Kaslak on October 10, 2017

Put it in another community besides Iqaluit, and another community that’s not a GN regional centre, and another community that never benefited devolution, etc. etc. In fact put it in a forgotten community.

#8. Posted by Carter on October 11, 2017

#7 than very few people will get to use it, Also the Inuit of Iqaluit have been forgotten, so many people moving there for jobs and they are left out, it’s good for them, revitalize their culture and heritage.

#9. Posted by eskimo joe on October 12, 2017

#8, you’re being sarcastic right? iqaluit have everything, including jobs, jobs, jobs. infrastructure, money, power and politics. what else do you want? pond inlet or pang, you take this comment of #8 laying down?

#10. Posted by Heather on October 12, 2017

#9 that’s what happens when you have a capital city just like everywhere else, having a centre like this in a place with 8,000 people where it can be used much more than a place with 1,400.
How can you expect a centre like this to be used in a small town? Maybe a small centre in your town can be a better option?

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