This is the first election where Igloolik will have two seats in the legislature. Three people are vying here to replace Louis Tapardjuk, who retired from politics at the end of the third legislative assembly.
John Illupalik, 58, began life on the land but wound up at residential school in Chesterfield Inlet. For the past eight years, he’s been working as the constituency assistant to Louis Tapardjuk.
He also has a long history in local politics as a member of the hamlet council, the education council, the Igloolik co-op and the local housing authority. Illupalik helped start the Baffin Divisional Board of Education and was a negotiator with the land claim agreement. He also sat on the boards of the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.
Illupalik says he's familiar with the many issues an MLA deals with, including poverty and housing. Another issue he’s concerned about is the old education system that tried to eradicate Inuit language and culture.
Paul Quassa, 61, was born in an outpost camp but now calls Igloolik home. He spent nine years in residential school and later graduated from Algonquin College.
Quassa was the chief negotiator of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the first president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. He later served as mayor, then deputy mayor, of Igloolik. He’s also served as president of the Nunavut Association of Municipalities and as a board member of the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation. Most recently, he’s been the chair of the Nunavut Planning Commission.
Quassa says he’s been thinking about running in a territorial election for a long time. “After 20 years of being on the sidelines, I believe this government can be more creative and think outside the bubble… This is an unique territory. We can’t always rely on the status quo.”
The CBC was unable to reach this candidate.