Nunavik’s Makivik Corp. president wants another mandate
“I truly believe a successful Makivik comes from the people who own it"
Makivik Corp.’s current president, Jobie Tukkiapik, says he wants to finish what he started.
And that means positioning Nunavimmiut “strongly and firmly” in the face of Quebec’s Plan Nord, and revisiting the region’s quest for self-governance.
Tukkiapik is running for re-election Jan. 15, following his first three-year term as president of Nunavik’s Inuit birthright organization.
He was elected in January 2012 as the first new president Makivik has seen in 14 years.
As president, Tukkiapik spent much of his past term overseeing Parnasimautik, which he calls one of the most comprehensive consultations the region has undertaken.
Through 2013, the consultations visited each of Nunavik’s communities and collected views on major issues such as justice, housing and culture, which were published in a 2014 report.
“Never before have we Nunavik Inuit been at this stage of knowing what we want in governance,” Tukkiapik said.
And now, more than three years after Nunavimmiut voted down the Nunavik Regional Government model, Tukkiapik said it’s time to put the issue of self-government back on the table.
“Now that we have [Nunavimmiut] views and concerns that impact our lives, Makivik will now take the lead with this file, moving forward, to take the next steps and take this further towards our ultimate goal of self-determination,” he said.
Tukkiapik says his years of experience working with different Nunavik organizations make him an ideal candidate to continue on in Makivik’s top job.
The Kuujjuaq-based father of three worked for years as an Air Inuit pilot before spending 18 years with the Kativik Regional Government, as director of its employment and training department and then as director general.
“Over my years of experience I have negotiated multiple agreements for the betterment of Nunavik Inuit and I want to continue in that direction,” he said.
As Makivik president, Tukkiapik took part in negotiations that led to the Quebec government doubling its cost-of-living subsidy to the region over three years.
Tukkiapik points to Makivik’s launch last year of the region’s first ever Inuit mining policy, along with taking a position against uranium development in Nunavik.
Makivik is also in the process of negotiating a new rent scale for Nunavik’s social housing tenants, he said, to help residents cope with the high cost of living in the region.
And given another term as president, Tukkiapik says he’ll continue to push for an Inuit sense of ownership in Makivik.
“I truly believe a successful Makivik comes from the people who own it,” he said.
Makivik’s Jan. 15 presidential election is a three-way race. Tukkiapik faces off against candidates Robbie Watt and Jobie Epoo.
Advance polls open Jan. 9 in northern village offices in Nunavik from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and again on election day, Jan. 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Nunavik beneficiaries can also vote at Makivik’s Montreal office during the same hours.
Voting is open to any beneficiary of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement aged 18 years and over.
This week, Makivik counted 7,498 eligible voters.