Northerners invade south
Nunavut delegates make splash in Manitoba

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Brandon, Man (May 08/00) - A large number of Kivalliq delegates were among the 45-member Nunavut delegation to attend Rural Forum 2000 in Brandon, Man., in late April.

They went there to foster economic growth in Nunavut's Kivalliq Region.

The group was comprised of representatives from business, government, Inuit organizations, students, and municipalities.

The Department of Sustainable Development's Robert Connelly helped co-ordinate the trip.

"This year's forum attracted more than 10,500 participants and featured more than 300 exhibits," says Connelly.

Ten high school students from Rankin and Arviat, sponsored by the Kivalliq Inuit Association, won a silver medal at the Rural Forum - Youth Business Games. Nunavut also won an Innovators Award for having the best display booth at Rural Forum 2000.

"It featured arts & crafts, arctic clothing, food from Keewatin Meat & Fish Ltd., and a business display on government, travel and tourism, community and mining and investment opportunities in Nunavut."

An arctic clothing fashion show was also held, attracting more than 200 people and featuring clothing from across the territory.

The show resulted in several sales and orders of clothing for participating Nunavut sewing businesses.

"Several Nunavut delegates, including youth, participated in a school presentation tour.

"Presentations on Nunavut were given to more than 420 students from five schools from across Southern Manitoba."

Several Kivalliq mayors and SAOs met with Manitoba Premier Gary Doer and the ministers of Intergovernmental Affairs and Northern and Aboriginal Affairs to discuss Northern development and the recent hydro transmission line and transportation studies.

"I'd have to say the top accomplishment was the business contacts made, but it's hard to pinpoint one," says Connelly.

"The youth did very well, but the business contacts and attention drawn to some of our artists was the big thing.

"We are really showing Manitoba and the rest of Canada that Nunavut has a lot to offer."