Repulse Bay

People in Repulse Bay, Nunavut, voted narrowly in favour of beginning steps to adopt the community's Inuktitut name, Naujaat. (Nunavut Climate Change Centre)

In an informal plebiscite held as part of the hamlet’s mayoral election yesterday, people in Repulse Bay voted by a narrow margin to support changing the community’s name to Naujaat

According to the Hamlet's website, the Inuktitut name means "a nesting place for seagulls."

The final vote was 82 for Naujaat vs. 73 for Repulse Bay.

The vote was a way to gauge how the community feels about a name change.

Donat Milortok has been the acting mayor for the community. 

"It's possible we're going to go ahead with the name change from Repulse Bay to Naujaat," Milortok said in Inuktitut. "The hamlet has not confirmed how long it will take to change it."

The next step is to discuss the issue at Council.

After that, the community may send a letter to the Minister of Community Government and Services formally requesting the change.

"We found most people voted to change the name to Naujaat," Milortok said. "We still have a lot of work to do."

Solomon Malliki new mayor

Later today, Solomon Malliki will be sworn in as the hamlet’s new mayor.

In a vote yesterday, he was elected over Marcel Mapsalak and Johnny Tongilik.

The byelection was held to replace Hugh Haqpi, who resigned as mayor earlier this year.

Malliki will serve out the remainder of Haqpi's term, which ends in January 2015.