On July 9, 2014, Nunavut Day, Okalik Eegeesiak, President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), announced the launch of the Ilagiiktunut Fund. The Ilagiiktunut Fund is an element of the Mary River Project’s Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement and has been established by the joint contributions of both Baffinland and the QIA, with the Fund itself being administered by the QIA.
The intention of the fund is to support activities that may include, but are not limited to:
- Community Projects
- Youth and elder programs
- Hunter support activities
- Family and community activities and programs
- Cultural learning and revitalizations programs
- Social support programs for families and individuals
- Financial planning (for families and individuals)
- Educational incentives
- Counselling and healing programs
- Seed or operational funding for local charities and social organizations.
Various bodies, such as hamlet councils, committees, groups, and even individuals in the communities closest to Mary River, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Hall Beach, Igloolik and Pond Inlet, may apply for funding for projects of their choosing.
“Establishing this fund is one way to enable Inuit of the North Baffin to address community priorities,” said Okalik Eegeesiak, QIA President. Eegeesiak added that the fund is essential for those working at the mine and their families. “We want to make sure that families and communities are supported by a fund like this,” she said.
“A very important part of the Mary River project’s success lies in ensuring that people are working happily at the site and that their communities benefit as well,” Greg Missal, Baffinland’s vice-president of corporate affairs, said. “This fund will help to improve the quality of lives in the communities.”
The Fund has been initially established for a six year period until 2019 – 20.
The Ilagiiktunut Fund Proposal Submission Guidelines and Application Package will be officially released as part of the launch and will be available at the QIA office, at www.qia.ca and also available through QIA Community Liaison Officers within identified communities. The Fund will issue calls for proposal twice a year, to ensure continued opportunities are provided.