Organization representing Canada’s Inuit gathers for presidential election

Incumbent president Natan Obed, left, former MP Peter Ittinuar, and policy analyst Peter Williamson are vying to lead Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. (CBC)
Members of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) are in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (central Canadian Arctic) this week, for their annual general meeting and presidential election.

Three candidates are vying for the organization’s top job — Peter Williamson, former MP Peter Ittinuar, and incumbent president Natan Obed.

The election is taking place this Thursday at 1 p.m. (local time) on the final day of ITK’s annual general meeting.

Several topics on the table

The two-day meeting, which began Wednesday, broaches topics including a national Inuit suicide prevention strategy, and the development of federal child and family services legislation.

A discussion around an Inuit-specific version of Jordan’s Principle, a child-first principle meant to ensure First Nation children receive the health care they need without delays, is also on the agenda.

For those who can’t be at the meetings in person, ITK is live-streaming on its Facebook page.

Award ceremony last night

Ahead of the meetings, an awards ceremony to recognize Inuit who contribute to their communities took place during a community feast, Tuesday evening.

The categories included advancements in culture and language, community volunteer, and Inuit cultural repatriation award.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Perry Bellegarde wins another term as Canada’s Assembly of First Nations chief, CBC News

Finland: Sámi school preserves reindeer herders’ heritage with help of internet, Cryopolitics Blog

Norway: Arctic Indigenous food culture takes the day at international cookbook awards, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Russia plans fenced parks to confine reindeer herding in Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Report sheds light on Swedish minority’s historic mistreatment, Radio Sweden

United States: Inuit leaders to advance Indigenous human rights, Radio Canada International

Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi, CBC News

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