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Message from the Chair

This message will be updated at quarterly intervals alongside the IRC Board Summary Newsletter.

Please check back often for a new message and update from the chair. 

Hello Inuvialuit,

Most of you are now well aware of the housing funding IRC has received directly from the Federal Government. IDC/Nappaq have initiated the first phase of the project by ordering materials for construction in Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik. We are working with the GNWT to identify next season’s construction schedule for the remaining communities. We have also made a request into the Federal Government to flow funding earlier so that the materials will arrive this season into the communities.

I have made training and employment a part of this even though it is not a requirement. IRC recognizes the need to support beneficiaries in enhancing their skill development and securing employment.

Another area we have placed added emphasis and support is education; from Kindergarten to Post-Secondary. Our Student and Family Support Workers have relocated to the schools to work closely with the students, parents, and teachers in improving attendance and providing support as needed.

Attendance is one of the most crucial areas for our children to succeed in school. Our historical statistics have shown a serious drop in attendance within the higher grades. Parents - we need your support for all children to attend and stay in school to be successful and self-reliant throughout life with the support of the Student and Family Support Workers. I am happy to say that attendance in all our schools have shown an improvement to date.

Recently, I signed two documents. The first was the Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit-Crown Partnership. This is a commitment of all parties to improve the socio-economic and cultural equity of Inuit, as well as to take action on shared priorities. This includes a meeting each year with the Prime Minister and three meetings a year with Federal Ministers to ensure timely and effective implementation of such activities.

The other document was the Public Safety Cooperation Protocol between the Inuvialuit and RCMP. This is a commitment to work closely together for healthier vibrant communities and alleviate issues which may arise. I am pleased to also say that Gerry Kisoun has agreed to be the Inuvialuit representative on the Aboriginal Advisory Committee. Quyanaq, Gerry!

On the NorTerra front, our re-structuring stage is now complete. We begin on focusing to make Canadian North and Weldco- Beales Mfg. more efficient and productive. IRC is now moving forward as a healthier and more secure Inuvialuit Corporate Group.

We have two activities that beneficiaries will be participating in. The first is the Inuvialuit Youth Symposium - Hakuringniq Katillugu: Gathering Strength which will bring beneficiaries together to address capacity building, resiliency and interaction with our Elders. The other is what I call the ISR Olympics which brings in students from the communities to participate in the Northern Games/Dene Games Summit at East Three Iliharvik School as a part of healthy lifestyle choices and cultural interaction. Both will take place in March.

We encourage the communities and leaders to demonstrate their support for these activities for our youth and young adults.

Quyanainni! Koana! Quyanaqpak!

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation