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Venturing onto the land

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Mar 08/06) - The Sakku Investment Corp. has entered into a joint-venture which could result in jobs and career training for Inuit beneficiaries.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Hamish Tatty of the Sakku Investment Corp. and Marie Robidoux of Inukshuk Geomatics hope to see a joint-venture agreement bring career training and jobs to Inuit beneficiaries. - photo courtesy of Brock Junkin

The Rankin-based investment arm of the Kivalliq Inuit Association has inked a three-year deal with Inukshuk Geomatics Inc. (IGI) to provide geomatics and land-specialist services in Nunavut as Inukshuk Nunami Geomatics.

IGI is a full-services firm offering geomatics and land-specialist services in the North through offices in Inuvik and Calgary.

Sakku president and chief executive officer Brock Junkin said the deal positions Sakku to participate in economic and employment opportunities generated in the Kivalliq, and across Nunavut, by combining the expertise of Inukshuk and the knowledge of Sakku.

He said the move is another step in building the necessary capacity for Inuit to participate in their economy.

"Survey work is part of the mix of our economy, whether that be in exploration, setting up subdivisions for municipalities or the mining industry itself," said Junkin.

"It's a piece of expertise quite important to the development of the North and one Sakku will be active in.

"We'll arrange training for beneficiaries to get in on the entry-level areas, and then prepare them to take part in the more technically-challenging areas.

"The actual entry-level areas for instruments don't require a huge amount of technical expertise."

Junkin said anyone with a high school education and the ambition to move forward could be considered for a position.

He said there will be a guaranteed effort to hire locally for any project resulting from the venture.

"We can't talk about guaranteed percentages because we don't know who's available at any given time.

"If a project is ready to start, the local human resources office would have information on who might be available, as well as Nunavut Arctic College and the economic development officer.

"We would tap those resources for local hires."

Junkin said the venture will be evaluated before the end of the deal to see if it's achieving Sakku's goals of viability, Inuit employment and training.

If so, the venture could be formalized into a corporate entity.

"Turning a profit isn't necessarily just what we're interested in.

"We also have to satisfy the other components.

"We (Sakku) will act as a base of contact in the North for people who are interested in this type of work to promote the business. "Being a seasonal business, we will look to enhance employment during the survey season."