Canadian Inuit officials choose Herb Nakimayak as new VP for ICC Canada
Big cuts looming for ICC Greenland as Inuvik assembly gets underway
Herb Nakimayak, 39, of Edmonton, will serve as the next vice president of international affairs for the Inuit Circumpolar Council’s Canadian wing, following a decision made at an ICC Canada meeting July 19 in Inuvik.
Nakimayak, who works for Raytheon as a site support manager for Raytheon’s North Warning System contract, will on July 25 succeed Kirt Ejesiak of Iqaluit, who has served in the position since 2010.
Originally from Paulatuk, NWT, Nakimayak has also worked as a manager for Nasittuq Corp., a project co-ordinator for Frobuild 2006 Ltd., a community liaison worker for Darnley Bay Resources Ltd., and as a plant superintendent for the Northwest Territories Power Corp.
ICC delegates chose Nakimayak when they met at the Mackenzie Hotel in Inuvik on the afternoon of July 19.
The only other candidate was Vernon B. Amos of Sachs Harbour, NWT.
Duane Smith of Inuvik will continue to serve as president of ICC Canada, a position he’s held since 2002.
That’s because, after nominations for the job closed this past June 20, Smith was the only person nominated and won by acclamation.
Smith and Nakimayak will join Terry Audla, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, on ICC Canada’s executive council. In addition to his ITK job, Audla holds the title of vice president national affairs for ICC Canada.
Also on July 25, Okalik Eegeesiak, 52, of Iqaluit will become ICC’s international chair through a prearranged acclamation.
She’ll succeed Aqqaluk Lynge, 66, of Greenland, who was last acclaimed to the job in 2010.
Meanwhile, between now and 2018, ICC’s Greenland wing is looking at a looming financial crisis that threatens its existence.
The Greenland self-rule government has decided to cut its annual contributions to ICC Greenland from about 5.3 Danish kroner — about CAD $1 million — to about 1.4 million kroner, or about CAD $270,000 by 2018.
Starting this year, Greenland’s government will impose step-by-step cuts of one million kroner per year, ending in 2018.
Based on documents tabled on ICC’s website, that would appear to leave ICC Greenland with a budget of less than one million dollars Canadian per year by 2018.
This past April, Lynge told the Arctic Journal that ICC Greenland will not able to make its required payments to ICC’s international organization and that they may have to shut down.
For its part, ICC Canada normally operates on a budget of about $1.8 million per year.
About half of that — $632,849 — came from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Affairs in 2012-13.
The four Canadian Inuit land claim corporations and the Government of Nunavut chip in $75,000 a year each and the rest of ICC Canada’s budget is made up of contributions from a variety of sources, including Environment Canada, the World Wildlife Fund and some universities.
ICC Canada’s budget usually rises to about $2.2 million in years when the organization holds a general assembly.
The ICC’s international general assembly begins formally on the morning of July 21 with an opening ceremony and remarks from various office-holders, including a video message from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the assembly’s honorary patron.
At around 2 p.m., July 21, Nunavut MP Leona Agglukaq, the environment minister and minister responsible for the Arctic Council and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, will give a keynote address.