Nunavut org puts harvester support program on ice this year
Inuit organizations will re-assess the program in 2014
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. says it has cancelled the Nunavut Harvesters Support Program for 2014 to give the organization time to review it.
NTI says the decision was based on a recommendation from the Nunavut Harvesters Income Support Trustees, who suggested there be no distribution in 2014 while NTI and regional Inuit associations complete a five-year plan and strategy for the future delivery of the program.
That plan will be submitted to the NTI board of directors for review in October 2014, NTI said in an April 3 release.
“It is very important to NTI that we do everything we can to keep the NHSP functioning,” said NTI’s vice-president James Eetoolook in the release. “The decision was made to ensure the funds in the trust would not be exhausted within five years.
“The review that is now underway will explore means to extend the life of the trust beyond five years.”
The harvesters support program provides financial assistance to Nunavummiut towards the purchase of hunting equipment, including skidoos, qamutiks or boats.
The program was first established in 1993 by the Government of the Northwest Territories and NTI’s predecessor, the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut, to support traditional harvesting activities.
Each contributed $15 million to the program, which was invested by the Nunavut Hunters Incomes Support Trust. There is currently $13 million left in the fund.
Over the last year, the harvesters support program has helped Nunavummiut hunters buy 204 pieces of large equipment for a total of $1,937,506, according to NTI’s 2013 annual report.
Hunters and trappers organizations in 25 communities were each given $3,000 to conduct community harvests or purchase food from other communities for a total of $75,000, the report said.