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QIA won't join Nunavut Resource Corporation
Qikiqtani Inuit Association taking wait-and-see approach for now

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Friday, June 4, 2010

NUNAVUT - The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) are taking a "wait-and-see approach" toward joining the Nunavut Resource Corporation, said its executive director.

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Qikiqtani Inuit Association executive director Terry Audla said it took a "wait-and-see approach" toward joining the Nunavut Resources Corporation. - photo courtesy of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association

Terry Audla said the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation (QC), the Inuit regional development corporation for the Baffin area, is in the best position to decide whether QIA should join the Nunavut Resources Corporation(NRC), which aims to increase Inuit involvement in development decisions and investments. He added QC will decide after doing its due diligence.

"We're taking a wait-and-see approach," said Audla. "The Nunavut Resources Corporation is more on the macro level and the (Qikiqtaaluk) corporation just needs to look at whether or not they want to be involved with that."

But Audla wouldn't go as far as saying joining NRC would be redundant or that the QIA's absence weakens the NRC.

"There's always time to look at the situation and carry out the due process needed to ensure that all the Ts are crossed and all the Is are dotted," he said.

As the corporation was established, QIA, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, the Kivalliq Inuit Association and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated were briefed but QIA had to go back to its board before deciding to join, said NRC chairman Charlie Evalik. The corporation was eventually established with the other organizations.

"They are assessing when they might join. They chose not to participate at this time. That's their reason to me," he said. "It's an open invitation to the QIA that they could join anytime."

QIA's absence does not weaken the corporation but their participation would unite the Inuit, said Evalik.

"We are still on grain in terms of our development as well as advancing the NRC forward," he said. "The benefits and everything like that, hopefully, would accrue to the Inuit of Nunavut. Working together in terms of opportunities, I think the Inuit could do that."

Slightly more than $1 million was spent last year doing research to establish the corporation, money that came from the federal government through Indian and Northern Affairs, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the Nunavut government.

The corporation is going well so far, with the $1.1 million budget for the second phase of development established, said Audla. He added they are lining up board members and working on projects to pursue. A board drawn from business leaders with expertise in corporate finance and mineral development will advise the corporation.

Evalik will act as chairman of NRC, with its headquarters located in Cambridge Bay.

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