With no incumbent, this could be anybody's race.
Simeon Mikkungwak, 44, was working as a land inspector for the Kivalliq Inuit Association when he decided to run in this election. Before that, he spent 14 years with the territorial government as a regional alcohol and drug counsellor. He’s also served as hamlet councillor and deputy mayor, board member with the HTO and local radio society, chair of the local District Education Authority and vice-president of the Search and Rescue committee.
If elected, Mikkungwak says he would work to help local search and rescue teams with their equipment and training. He also wants to help Nunavummiut get more access to firearms acquisition certificates. And he also wants to see more enhanced education programs, such as internships.
Mikkungwak is also concerned about what happens when the Meadowbank Mine shuts down. One idea he has is looking into a commercial muskox hunt.
But his chief concern would be trying to be open with his constituents, using both English and Inuktitut to help guide people to appropriate services.
Originally from Vancouver, Karen Yip, 54, has spent the last 23 years in Nunavut and 18 years in Baker Lake. She’s currently the Nunavut area manager for Calm Air. In the past, she taught jewelry and metalwork at Nunavut Arctic College, ran her own small business and worked with the Kivalliq Science Educators Community.
She’s also been highly involved in the community, serving as a Justice of the Peace, hamlet councillor, District Education Authority board member, co-op board member and as a volunteer board member with the Mianiqsijit Counselling Project, the local day care, the Jessie Oonark Center and the Agnico Eagle Community Liaison Committee.
Yip says she’s running because she’s “a hard worker and a good listener” and because this is a crucial time for Baker Lake with the coming closure of Meadowbank and the potential opening of the Kiggavik uranium mine.
“I feel that with my experience in a variety of areas (including self-employment, government and private business), I can contribute a balanced, realistic and relevant perspective to help Inuit … prepare for a healthier, positive future.”