Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 11, 2014 - 9:30 am

Mine-impacted Nunavut hamlets eligible for QIA funding

"We want to make sure that the families in the communities are supported"

Okalik Eegeesiak, outgoing president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, announces details of the Ilagiiktunut Fund on Nunavut Day in Iqaluit, July 9. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)
Okalik Eegeesiak, outgoing president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, announces details of the Ilagiiktunut Fund on Nunavut Day in Iqaluit, July 9. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association plans to give away $750,000 to communities affected by the Mary River iron mine every year for the next six years.

QIA on July 9 launched its Ilagiiktunut Fund, which intends to offset potential social, economic and cultural impacts of the Mary River iron mine in five North Baffin communities.

Various bodies, such as hamlet councils, committees, groups, and even individuals in Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Hall Beach, Igloolik and Pond Inlet may apply for funding for projects of their choosing.

“750,000 for five communities is a lot of money,” Okalik Eegeesiak, president of QIA, said when she announced the fund on Nunavut Day. 

The Ilagiiktunut Fund replenishes to $750,000 every year, with QIA and Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. each contributing $375,000.

Eegeesiak said the fund is essential for those working at the mine and their families.

“Because in a mining operation there’s at least a two-week-in, two-week-out period where staff work at the mine site, leaving the families behind,” Eegeesiak said.

“So we want to make sure that the families in the communities are supported by a fund like this,” she said.

The fund is mandated by the Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement that Baffinland and QIA signed in September 2013.

“It’s a very important part of the project being successful in people working successfully at the site,” Greg Missal, Baffinland’s vice-president of corporate affairs, said. 

“This fund will help to get people ready and get people in the communities ready, Missal said.

However, the fund isn’t intended for projects the territorial government should be funding, Eegeesiak warned.

“We don’t want to go into what the government should be investing in. Like infrastructure, or programs that the government should be paying for,” Eegeesiak said.

The fund lasts until 2019-20. If all the money isn’t spent in one given year, the rest can carry over into the next year.

QIA and Baffinland will then decide whether to continue the fund for a further three years after 2020.

“Communities will really be the main driving force,” QIA executive director Navarana Beveridge said.

“They will have the biggest say in terms of what types of activities they would like to see in their communities as they’re being impacted by the mine,” she said.

Proposals can address issues such as community safety, recreation, health and wellness, food security, education, arts and culture, money management, or anything else the community feels is necessary. 

Beveridge said Kimmirut and Cape Dorset can also gain access to the fund in the future, once the mine project takes off.

Other organizations not based in the five communities can also use the money on behalf of a community.

“Let’s say a community wanted to do a research program or they wanted to do a workshop for job readiness and they want to partner with a university down south,” Beveridge said.

“A university could write a proposals on their behalf, receive the money on their behalf and that would be fine,” she said.

“As long as the community is the driving force between the project, and that project is wanted [in] the community to offset some of those socio-economic experiences they are seeing as a result of the project.”

Officials at QIA said they’ve already started calling various committees on Baffin Island to see who’s interested in the money.

Eegeesiak said QIA will “make sure [the fund] is advertised and heard by the communities.”

Eegeesiak won’t see the fund in action, however.

She’s quitting her job as QIA president July 24 to work as the international chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council.

QIA will call for proposals twice a year. Applications are now open, and available on QIA’s website.

The closing date to submit an application is August 31. In September a fund committee, comprised of staff at QIA and QIA’s subsidiary organization Kakivak Association, will review and evaluate the proposals and then award money to the successful parties.

QIA will announce its first round of successful projects at its annual general meeting in October.

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(16) Comments:

#1. Posted by concern inuk on July 11, 2014

How come many couples are getting special treatment to get a job from baffinland.  I feel discriminated now since I applied there like 7 times.  I have no future.  It is time to break baffinland properties.  no more take it easy with them.  I can’t get become good friends with baffinland office workers somehow I’m not getting hired.

#2. Posted by snapshot on July 11, 2014

I’m an Inuk I should get a job with such and such.

Man, we need to get our heads out of this hand me everything atitude. If you can’t get a job go for more training. That’s what I did, I sacrifice my time away from family and friends for few years (which was hard), and even I didn’t get employment right away I had to work hard, doing dirty jobs.

Pijunaruma pijunatutitau

#3. Posted by Critical on July 11, 2014

no announcement to the communities, none to Pond Inlet anyways, just a change to their web page and an announcement to the newspapers, QIA botched this with tons of collusion with the mine.  Baffinland hardly comes to the communities anymore,

QIA even gagged the company when they wanted to talk with the communities “No discussions about benefits to the communities” is what the company was told from QIA….shame..

#4. Posted by Polar Watcher on July 11, 2014

So, does the communities get 750K a year, or its topped off to 750K a year (never to exceed 750K each year)??? Confusion on the written aspect of this, clarification please? Great initiative QIA, way ahead of the curve than KIA and King Louie keeping all the beneficiary funding and not doing anything with it while people suffer social problems due to change in economics of the communities affected by the gold mine there… not sure who spear headed this one for QIA, but good one…now lets get the story correct David Murphy.

#5. Posted by Baffin Islander on July 11, 2014

All of Baffin Island is affected!  The communities listed are not the only ones on Baffin Island.  The decision makers should not look at the closest communities as the only ones affected.  Every community on Baffin Island should benefit too!  Actually, the southern communities should be considered mostly affected as the mine is on the migratory path of caribous and the path to the south is partially blocked and that may be enough to disrupt the migration.  The caribous have already been affected by exploration projects.  The mines are only going to make it worse and they already have.

#6. Posted by Small towner on July 11, 2014

#5: Greedy much?

#4: It’s up to 750K per fiscal year, but QIA could have negotiated better IMO

#3: I agree, potentially the most impacted community is Pond Inlet just based on location and shipping routes for the iron ore.

#2: I agree

#1: I’m surprised you didn’t mention anything about HTO’s as I think you usually do. Also, why would we break Baffinland’s property’s? Thats just crazy.

All in all, I’m just glad that Iqaluit can’t get into this cookie jar, but we know they’ll try.

#7. Posted by Barnaby Arreak on July 11, 2014

i said it before and i’ll say it again, it’s not the most affected community(that’s for the seismic testing or other activity). Concerning benefits, the closest community gets the benefits….don’t mix up experiments to mining impacts, they are clearly different

#8. Posted by heerdtell on July 11, 2014

QIA is doing much better than, Kiv.I.A. because the Prez of kia, is focusing elsewhere , not Kivalliq.

#9. Posted by Baffin Islander on July 11, 2014

The money should be available to all Baffin Island beneficiaries.  All of Baffin Island people are affected.  There is a decline of caribou in the southern part of the island.  The caribou cross through the strait near Igloolik onto Baffin Island where the mine is close to.  The caribou’s path to the southern island is interrupted.  There is less chance for the southern Baffin Island to be reached by these migrating caribous because the mine is on the way.  If the decision makers cannot make sound decisions, then it’s time for a change.  Maybe I will seek a position next time so that we can all benefit equally.  These decision makers are only being spoken to in dollar figures.  No wonder they always say yes!

#10. Posted by Small towner on July 11, 2014

#9, you are presuming so much in what you are saying. If you look at a map of North Baffin, the Mary River site is around the middle of Baffin, lots of room for caribou to migrate to the south Baffin. Then when you look at the tote road to the Milne Inlet port from the Mary river mine, it would mean by your logic, that Pond Inlet could be cut off from the caribou (assuming caribou don’t go anywhere near mines, but we should know that’s not totally true). So this means Pond Inlet should get a huge cut from the pie.

Sorry to say I don’t buy what your saying. I do understand though that all of Baffin wants “free” money. But How would you feel if the Sapphire’s near Kimmirut were being mined, or Diamond’s near Iqaluit were being mined and people in Grise Fiord or Resolute Bay starting complaining that they are affected by this and also want “free” money?

#11. Posted by Baffin Islander on July 11, 2014

Small towner, small mind.  Nunavut was voted by the people collectively.  The people voted for it to reap benefits because that’s what was promised to us beneficiaries!  The only thing us beneficiaries seem to be benefiting is being gutted into smaller pieces and being distributed to groups only.  No one is benefiting fairly, and this is no exception!  A discrimination!

#12. Posted by Small towner on July 12, 2014

Wow Baffin Islander, your head is so big!! I’m so jealous of your great and powerful mind. I hope no one ever votes for you if this is how to you treat people who disagree with you. I’m guessing your an over achiever in your life thanks to family members who inflate your huge head. Everything you say goes, feel sorry for you, that’s not how the real world works. It’s because of people like you, our beautiful territory is in the shape we are in.

#13. Posted by Tuktu on July 12, 2014

KivIA something your guys can learn from here. Baker, Chester could sure use something like this. Our IIBA sure doesn’t come close to this one.
We don’t hear much about what is going on and how the IIBA is working or not working from KIA.

#14. Posted by Geo Swan on July 13, 2014

With regard to Pond Inlet being the most affected community—is this because the cargo vessels will sail past it, on their way to Europe?  If I have been following events, the eastern end of the NW passage is too shallow for the super-freighters that would have carried ore on the southern route.  But if the ore was sold in China, not Europe, super-freighters could proceed west through the NW passage, to the Beaufort Sea, past Alaska, to China.

#15. Posted by Andre Airut on July 14, 2014

their for white people nothing for Inuit useless QIA KIA NTI finally had a chance to use my NTI card to get Hot Dog at Nunavut day.

#16. Posted by Peter on July 14, 2014

I think you need to look inside you to see what is really bothering you, this fund is for the communities, yes you won’t be getting money handed to you just like that, we all have to make this work with what we have.
Instead of being a sourpuss try and see how this can work for your community and for yourself.

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