Two new executives elected to Nunavik Inuit birthright org
"I’m there to work on behalf of Inuit and to work for progress"
Makivik Corp. got a shake-up Jan. 21 when Nunavimmiut elected two new members to its five-person executive.
One is a veteran executive who’s changed roles: Makivik’s outgoing corporate secretary, Andy Moorhouse, who resigned that role last month to run as vice president economic development.
Alongside Moorhouse, Adamie Padlayat is Makivik’s new corporate secretary.
Moorhouse, who is from Inukjuak, won with 28.5 per cent of the vote, bumping out long-time VP Michael Gordon and three other candidates.
Gordon finished the night close behind with 24.6 per cent support. In third-place, Markusi Qisiiq garnered 22.6 per cent; George Peters had 18.8 per cent and Donald Watt finished with 2.8 per cent support.
“My aspirations were always to work in economic development,” said Moorhouse, who started his career with Makivik a decade ago as an economic development officer.
“I’m not too worried about the transition. I’m there to work on behalf of Inuit and to work for progress.”
Moorhouse credits his support to the travel he did during the six-week long campaign, visiting most of Nunavik’s communities by plane and even some by snowmobile.
“I think [the travel] played a factor, because people like to see their leaders,” he said. “The executives need to be able to see the people, talk to them and listen to them.”
That raised questions about how he was funding his travel, given his current role as chairman of Air Inuit, but Moorhouse confirmed that he paid for all his flights out of pocket.
Moorhouse remains chair of the airline at least until next week, when Makivik’s executive will meet to confirm roles and appoint members to different boards.
In his new role, Moorhouse has committed to launching an Inuit business directory within three months of his election. He said he hopes to focus on initiatives to support Inuit business in general, including a review to look at why some enterprises have failed.
Adamie Padlayat was at home waiting for election results to come in late Jan. 21 when the birthright organization’s website crashed from heavy traffic.
The first-time corporate secretary candidate used the break to go pick up his daughter.
“As soon as I got home, I got a call from some friends to tell me I’d won,” said Padlayat from his home in Inukjuak. “It was really exciting.”
Padlayat won a tight race among four other candidates to secure the executive position.
The corporate secretary has a number of duties: keeping Makivik’s minute books and corporate records; giving all required notices; calling board meetings; and, occasionally heading Makivik subsidiary companies when required.
Padlayat finished the night with 25.9 per cent of the vote, just two percentage points ahead of second-place candidate Laine Grey.
Third place candidate Jonathan Epoo finished with 18.2 per cent support, followed by Charlie Tarkirk with 17.3 per cent and Lizzie Epoo York with 12.9 per cent.
Padlayat, originally from Salluit, had strong support from Inukjuak, but results showed consistent support from communities across the region.
The outgoing executive director of the Nunavik Marine Regional Wildlife Board said he hopes to use his new job to secure cost-of-living support for Nunavimmiut and move forward on issue identified in Nunavik’s Parnasimautik report.
“There’s a lot of work that went into it and I’m pretty sure beneficiaries are keen to see it happen,” he said.
Voter turnout was low Jan. 21, with only 35 per cent of Nunavik’s 7,678 registered voters casting ballots in this election.
Despite the turnout, interest was high. At one point in the evening, more than 1,000 internet users tried to access the live election results on Makivik’s website, causing the site to go down for a period.
Makivik apologized for the glitch from its Facebook page.
“We hope you appreciate our effort to bring you election results as they come,” read the message. “In the Inuit organizations of Canada, we’re the only one that does the service.”