Canada’s national Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, has elected Natan Obed as their new president.
Obed was elected with 54 per cent of the vote during the organization’s annual general meeting last week.
He will take over the organization from Terry Audla, who served as ITK’s president since 2012.
“My priorities have been shaped by the processes I have been part of over the years and the grounding I have in Nunavut and Nunatsiavut with my family and friends,” Obed said in a letter submitted to the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami board of directors as part of his nomination package.
Worked on health issues facing Inuit
Obed, originally from the Inuit self-governing region of Nunatsiavut in the Atlantic Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, chaired the National Inuit Committee on Health and has been active on issues around suicide prevention and mental health.
“I have learned so much by being a part of major processes such as helping create and implement the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy for NTI, or participating in the Kelowna Accord process at ITK, or helping implement the Impacts and Benefits agreement for the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine for the Labrador Inuit Association,” he said in the letter.
Besides Audla, Obed ran against Nunavut-born Jerry Komatsiutiksak, a former teacher.
ITK was founded in 1971 and represents Canada’s approximately 60,000 Inuit in areas including environment, politics and culture.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Canada’s national Inuit organization opens nominations for president, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Norway visa rules worry indigenous peoples, Barents Observer
Russia: Russia to give indigenous peoples priority in Barents chairmanship, Barents Observer
Sweden: Sami demand rights as indigenous people, Radio Sweden
United States: Arctic conference spotlights indigenous issues, Alaska Dispatch News