Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 12, 2010 - 8:10 am

Inuit orgs form new Nunavut resource company

Nunavut Resource Corp. aimed at giving Inuit more power over mining projects, other resource developments

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

In an effort led by the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, three Inuit associations in Nunavut have bought into a new corporation that’s aimed at creating more Inuit involvement and decision-making power in Nunavut resource development projects.

The new company, called the Nunavut Resources Corp., will buy into mining projects on Inuit-owned and Crown land, an April 9 press release said.

“The formation of NRC means Inuit can move from being watchers to being participants and decision-makers in the development of the North,” the company’s press release said.

Charlie Evalik, who now serves as president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, will chair the new corporation, while Inuit organizations like the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, the Kivalliq Inuit Association and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. will own it.

In the press release, Evalik is quoted as saying Inuit get jobs, contracting opportunities and royalties from current benefit arrangements but still depend on others to make key development decisions.

“That means the real gains, including capital gains, from development in Nunavut go to others. It is time for Inuit to enhance their participation in development on their lands and in Nunavut,” Evalik is quoted as saying.

The press release said the company’s board, drawn from “business leaders with expertise in corporate finance and mineral development,” will be appointed over the next few months.

At the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s last annual meeting, held this past November in Cambridge Bay, Evalik set out the KIA’s plan to create the Nunavut Resource Corp. in his president’s report.

Clearly dissatisfied with existing arrangements aimed at helping Inuit benefit from mining projects, Evalik said that “Inuit are at risk of becoming the last people to benefit from resource development on their own lands.”

“Indeed, there are recent examples of people from other parts of the world benefitting more from Inuit-owned lands than Inuit through the acquisition and sale of Inuit-owned lands for mineral development,” Evalik said.

His report said the Nunavut Resource Corp. would:

• give Inuit a role to invest and manage corporations that will “exploit and develop the non-renewable resources of Nunavut;”

• develop an investment base that will allow Inuit capital investment to grow; and,

• give Nunavummiut more opportunities for jobs and training.

The corporation also wants to look for a partner to invest in a “major resource project,” Evalik said.

The only other Inuit association to become directly involved in ownership of a mineral project is NTI, through the Kivalliq Energy Corp., which they formed in 2008 with Kaminak Gold Corp. to explore for uranium in the Kivalliq region.

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