Nunavut election: Arviat South candidate profiles
All three candidates here speak English and Inuktitut and have a long history with the community. That could make this race one to watch.
Alareak started his career working with several mining exploration companies, including a year underground at the Sherritt Gordon mine in Manitoba. His work with the Kivalliq Inuit Association dates back to the 1970s: he was once the group’s president and is currently a board member. He’s also spent some time with Kivalliq Partners in Development and served two terms with the Nunavut Planning Commission.
Alareak says he’s running in order to try to improve things in Arviat. “It’s a very big community,” he says. “It’s the same size as Baker and Rankin and when it comes to the economy, jobs, etc., those kind of things are way behind and I’m tired of seeing it.”
Pameolik has never been much involved in politics, but at 61, he says it’s time to pitch in. “The mandate of the government is supposed to be about self governance for the people and I want to help make this work.”
He says his number one concern is with the education system, and the growing number of high school graduates who don’t qualify for higher education programs or who struggle if they do. He also wants to see more efforts to get more Inuit working in government, and a new conversation about community empowerment and how people can get involved in governing themselves.
If elected, he says his main focus will be on educating people to the same standard as southern communities. “There are jobs here but we always have to import workers,” he says. Savikataaq also wants to create some kind of affordable home ownership program that can help people who don’t qualify for public housing.
The ongoing negotiations between the Nunavut government and the Manitoba Dene are another concern for Savikataaq. “They’re at the final stages of it and it’s not a very good deal for the people of Arviat, and we’re the community that’s going to be affected by it.”