December 2020 Message from the Chair & Chief Executive Officer

Aaqana Beneficiaries, Quviahugluhi Qitchirvingmi, Nutaami Ukiumi Quviahugluhi!

During important or difficult times, Inuvialuit are used to coming together.  

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is proud of all the ways beneficiaries have been able to work together at this time and all we have been able to safely accomplish.

Recognizing the IRC and IDC staff for all your hard work, this has been an extremely busy quarter. 

IRC’s Elders Benefit payment went out in December and our budgets remain on track through global volatility.  

We are pleased to see CCs coming together to organize and distribute supplies, individuals willing to drop items off to Elders in their communities, and harvesters out on behalf of their other members during recent harvesting seasons.  Securing freezers for each Inuvialuit Settlement Region community is an achievement to note as these freezers get up and running.  Such examples continue to demonstrate positive results from our unity and cooperation.

Congratulations to the community of Ulukhaktok which has adapted to current circumstances by taking full advantage of their radio station and making safe participation in meetings possible throughout everyone’s homes, including simultaneously translation (Koana Jean Ekpakohak!).

We persist by continuing to find ways beyond physical gathering to honor, as a large community, those Elders it is so hard to lose and by contributing our ongoing support to the families.

Some very important housekeeping matters to keep in mind and remind your family of when we start the New Year: 

Make sure all those turning 18 know about Enrolment coming up with a deadline in March so those who are already 18, or who will be 18 by April 30, 2021, can benefit from the Inuvialuit Trust.  We also ask that parents register their children with IRC Enrolment as soon as they are able. Registration means their children can more immediately benefit from all our programming and contribution agreements and look forward to all their benefits and rights as Inuvialuit.

I encourage you to think about applying for Inuvialuit Harvesters Assistance Program in January 2021.  IRC has been able to steadily add to the Inuvialuit Harvesters Assistance Trust and buoy these investment funds.  We have been insisting on the value of on the land activities with Canada resulting in IRC’s ability to offer not only On the Land supports for the past 4 seasons specifically as a COVID precautionary step, but also a Harvesters Support Grant as a general reconciliation measure with Canada. We continue to look with pride on those able and willing to consistently contribute their time and efforts to community harvests, or gather the wood and ice for their Elders.  In addition to spending time on the land for your individual well-being, many are now including and teaching younger generations these family bonding skills and practices.

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation appreciates the ongoing patience of beneficiaries during this time and wishes all beneficiaries and their families a safe and comfortable Christmas holiday. 

Quviahugluhi Qitchirvingmi! Aar̂igaa,  

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith

Atanrur̂uq Katimar̂uanun

Chair & Chief Executive Officer

 

 

 

November 2020 Message From the Chair and CEO

Aaqana Inuvialuit,  

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation’s priority continues to be utmost safety, and food security.  

However even as we try to prepare, prevent and respond to the pandemic, COVID should never be used as an excuse; IRC can not accept a lack of steady progress and effort in all our other responsible areas.  If anything, we have just gotten busier.  I want to personally thank all staff for all your efforts during this COVID pandemic.

To this end, I have been active in representation, negotiation, advocacy at a regional, territorial and national level for all those basic, ongoing and significant issues, some of which have been made more apparent with this pandemic, issues including: improved access to housing, education, enhanced food security measures, COVID responses, revitalization of Inuvialuktun, self-determination in our Region and harvesting rights. Part of this work has resulted in Contribution Agreement funds negotiated by IRC and administered by departments or communities now at over $60M in direct program funds.

While we’ve modified our meeting style and are sometimes conducting consultations using virtual apps or teleconferences, I am pleased to see our regular business going ahead on schedule: including Community Corporation AGMs, the ITK AGM, IRC Board quarterly meetings, and Inuit Circumpolar Council AGM plus an Inuit Crown Partnership Leadership meeting scheduled for December. We await election results in the communities to determine leadership going forward and will publish results of the current leadership in the next quarterly ICG Update.

IRC is also grateful for the in-person activities that we have been able to conduct.  I have been pleased we are able to begin Corporate Tours with our communities in order to provide updates, answer questions, to find areas we need to work harder or areas that IRC staff can adjust and improve in their program delivery with your input.

IRC Board welcomes Colin now stepping up to the plate as IRC Secretary-Treasurer.  The board reminded him how tough Eddie always was on our financial team, always asking questions, and that, with this approach and consistent character Eddie always had the betterment of Inuvialuit in mind.  

The first year of repayment by Canada for loans while negotiating the IFA will be reinvested, where it came from, in our Heritage Fund.

I continue to encourage you to use and pass on our online resources, inuvialuitdigitallibrary.ca where you can hear recordings and see videos of our Elders as well as to revisit and again suggest ifa-101.ca as we all advance in careful understanding of our land claim.

Respectfully,

 

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith

Atanrur̂uq Katimar̂uanun

Chair & Chief Executive Officer

 

 

Find previous ICG Updates with Messages from the Chair at Documents on IRC Website.