Nunavut Tunngavik cancels hunter support program for 2014

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. says it wants to review how to spend its last $13 million out of a $30 million fund set up to support hunters in Nunavut.

NTI will evaluate how best to use hunter support money to help Inuit obtain country food

Hunters in Iqaluit prepare to catch a bowhead whale. Nunavut Tunngavik says it will cancel its harvester support program for 2014 while it reviews the program in order to find the best way to help Inuit in Nunavut obtain country food.

Nunavut Tunngavik will discontinue the harvesters support program for this year.

The program was started in 1993, with an initial fund of $30 million invested in the Nunavut Hunters Income Support Trust.

NTI vice president James Eetoolook. (CBC)
The Inuit organization wants to review how to spend the remaining $13 million, and possibly extend the program to last longer than five more years. 

“We need to see how the trust deed is awarded and how the program can more provide benefits to the Inuit in Nunavut to obtain country food,” said James Eetoolook, vice-president of NTI, the organization that manages the Nunavut land claim. 

Eetoolook said NTI hopes to complete its review by October.

The program provides financial assistance to hunters so they can buy equipment, such as boats or snowmobiles.

Hunters who receive the equipment are often selected by lottery or at the recommendation of local hunters and trappers organizations.