Communicating the claim
NTI has new director of communications

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 31/99) - Kirt Ejesiak has come a long way from the days when he used to dream about building spaceships and airplanes.

Realizing early on that his talents would primarily be used for constructing sewers and pipes, he traded in his engineering and science background for media work and his dreams these days involve building an effective communications department for Nunavut Tunngavik.

Fitting perfectly into a line of work that saw him spend ample time in front of and behind the camera for several different organizations over the last decade, Ejesiak said the transition to NTI was an easy one.

"I've been here for just over a month. I have a communications company and I left that to come here. There were early discussions about coming on as a contract employee, but for the purpose of NTI, they needed someone full-time. It's such a demanding job," said Ejesiak, the director of communications for the land claim organization.

While he has big plans for growing the department and developing new and innovative ways of communicating NTI's mandate, Ejesiak said he first had to stabilize the department and get everyone within it to communicate with each other. Ejesiak also said that part of the restructuring involved focusing their goals, targeting the direction they wanted to head while getting that message across to beneficiaries and to government and industry.

"Everyone thinks NTI's role is done. But it's only one article of 42 that we can rip out and hang up on the done list. NTI has focused almost solely on making sure Article 4 is up and running. Now that big hurdle is done, we can step back and look at the other key parts of the claim."

Ejesiak said NTI plans to initiate an advertising blitz in the future and are also looking at producing a video backgrounder that would explain to interested parties NTI's role after division. Other methods of communication include a magazine, a radio program and a Web site.

While his plate is pretty full and he readily admits he's got his work cut out for him, Ejesiak said he was up to the challenge and looked forward to helping shape the organization into an effective and streamlined agency.

"NTI should be an organization that sets examples in excellence. You hear stories about organizations that get fat at the top and forget who they're serving. This needs to be done properly."