Kivalliq Inuit Association dismisses Rankin Inlet HTO petition

The Kivalliq Inuit Association’s board of directors have decided they will not remove Kono Tattuinee as president.

The association issued a news release on Monday following a board of directors meeting. It says that the Kangiqliniq Hunters and Trappers Organization’s petition asking it to remove Tattuinee was incomplete and lacking evidence.

“The facts do not suggest, or support any claim, that president Kono Tattuinee’s actions or statements … have met any of the grounds for removal,” the release, which is unsigned, states.

Rankin Inlet’s HTO launched its petition on Oct. 12 calling for Tattuinee’s removal over comments he made in favour of the possibility of mining exploration on caribou calving grounds in the region. This is something the hunters say they do not want.

The petition also makes the allegation that Tattuinee didn’t allow a member to vote at a Kivalliq Inuit Association board meeting and stopped the Kangiqliniq Hunters and Trappers Organization’s executive director, Andre Aokaut, from tabling a motion to stop mine-related road construction.

The petition received 202 signatures.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association’s news release disputes these claims.

In regards to mining exploration on calving grounds, the petition did not provide evidence that suggests the president of the Inuit association acted “disloyal and in a manner that did not reflect the objectives of KIA,” states the release.

It goes on to say that the motion Aokaut tried to table was to close Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Meliadine mine indefinitely — something that other members voiced their concerns about — and that the petition “incorrectly alleged” that voting members can vote at board of director meetings, when they can only vote at annual general meetings or special member meetings.

“While it is acknowledged that the matters raised were important, they were too large to be addressed at the time and in [the] manner requested,” states the release, adding later on that the issue would be considered by the board.

Kangiqliniq Hunters and Trappers Organization chairperson Harry Ittinuar said he would not be commenting on the matter until its members have had the chance to meet.

Tattuinee declined an interview request. The news release said KIA will not comment further on the matter.

David Venn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News