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Message from the Chair

This message will be updated at quarterly intervals alongside the IRC Board Summary Newsletter.

Please check back often for a new message and update from the chair. 

Hello Inuvialuit,

Attendance! Attendance! Attendance! I have always stressed the importance of this to students with continued support from parents, families and school faculties. I was pleased to see the regional leadership also taking this seriously in attending and participating at the 42 Directors Meeting. There were good healthy discussions to provide IRC with directions to move forward on priorities and issues. In our leadership role, we want to better improve the social and economic well-being of the community corporations and membership wherever they may reside. We are here to represent all Inuvialuit.

The Regional Youth Advisory Group with youth representatives from the communities met face-to-face for the first time at the 42 Directors Meeting. Their agenda included discussions amongst themselves as well as learning about job Opportunities within the IDC Group of Companies, namely Canadian North, Aklak Air and Weldco-Beales Manufacturing. It was refreshing to hear their collective concerns and aspirations for IRC programming under its Chair, Melody Teddy.

The IRC Native Hockey Tournament celebrated its 30th Anniversary this year, welcoming teams from Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk, Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Tuk and Inuvik. The Arena was always filled with cheering fans from the communities. Congratulations to Donny and Wilma Hendrick and all the volunteers for making this event the best ever. The livestreaming and play-by-play commentary by the Inuvialuit Communications Society had many in the communities glued to their screens.

Enhancing the Tournament was the IRC Cup Cultural Weekend to celebrate Inuvialuit culture. Traditional country foods quickly disappeared as people enjoyed the variety. People spent time with elders to learn how to make ulus, fish hooks, zipper pulls, and more. Many proudly left with their finished products. Drum dancing, Northern Games and an Old Time Dance were all welcomed activities. This will definitely be included as part of next year’s Tournament.

The East Three Secondary School hosted the Northern Games/Dene Games Summit or what I would call the ISR Olympics for students from the region. This provided the youth with 4 days of friendly competition, fun activities and camaraderie. The medal winners came from different communities, demonstrating the strength and popularity of traditional games.

It is good to see many of these youth continuing to excel and do their best at the 2018 Arctic Winter Games. Recognizing the hard work and commitment of the youth, IRC will be providing an allowance of $250 to each Inuvialuit participant going to the Arctic Winter Games.

That was February! On a final note, IRC is pleased with the Federal Budget 2018, focusing on the Inuit housing needs and the necessity of enhanced skill development within the ISR. We also welcome the federal commitment towards the Inuit Health Survey to help close the gaps of services at the community level. We continue to work on behalf of all Inuvialuit.

Quyanainni! Koana! Quyanaqpak!

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation