Constituency Profile: In the Inuit language of Inuktitut, Akulliq means "area at the centre," and appropriately, this electoral Constituency is the only one that straddles two Nunavut administrative regions: the Kitikmeot and the Kivalliq. Repulse Bay (pop. 612), in the Kivalliq, hopes to benefit from the creation of Ukkusiksalik National Park, which was signed into existence last year. The park takes in the pristine waters and stark cliffs of Wager Bay, just south of the community. Kugaaruk (pop. 605), also called Pelly Bay, is in the Kitikmeot region, but has cultural and historic ties to Repulse. The community began as a Catholic mission and DEW Line site, but the first permanent homes weren't built until 1968. Since 1981, the population has more than doubled - the second-fastest growth rate in Nunavut. The increase has left the community desperately short of housing.
Political History: In the least expensive campaign of the 1999 election, Pelly Bay's Ovide Alakannuark spent $50.30 (mostly for snowmachine gas) to narrowly win the newly minted Akulliq seat over Repulse Bay's Steve Mapsalak. Predictably, support was somewhat divided along community lines. A unilingual Inuktitut speaker, Alakannuark is a former fuel truck driver and two-time mayor of Pelly Bay. At 65, he is the Nunavut assembly's oldest member.
|Ovide Alakannuark||219 (53.03%)|
|Steve Mapsalak||194 (46.97%)|
|Voter turnout||78.01% (second lowest in Nunavut)|
*This riding was formed in 1999 from parts of the N.W.T.'s Natilikmiot and Aivilik electoral Constituencys.