Money trouble
ICI loses $50,000 in funding

by Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

RANKIN INLET (Mar 14/97) - Tighter times may be in the forecast for the Inuit Cultural Institute.

Executive director Marion Rahn says funding this year from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has come up short of what they expected.

ICI was told it would get $260,322 each year for the next three years, but Rahn recently discovered in their contract that funding will be cut by about $52,000.

"We don't have enough money as it is," said Rahn.

The pool of funding from DIAND goes directly to ICI, but communities across Nunavut can choose to withdraw their portion of the funding for themselves without notifying ICI. Baker Lake and Gjoa Haven chose to do just that.

Baker Lake is reaping $31,000 while Gjoa Haven is picking up $21,000, much to the dismay of ICI.

"Losing this funding is going to affect us greatly," said Rahn.

These lost funds will further limit the amount of cultural work done at the institute, she added.

Currently, the three full-time staff and part-time workers at ICI are developing a talking Inuktitut dictionary, recording traditional Inuit stories, writing a drama play and assisting elder Ollie Ittinuar in writing a book.

ICI had also hoped to use some of the funding this year to move the old Rankin Inlet airport terminal to town.

The territorial government gave them the building in January to set up a Keewatin heritage centre and museum.

Rahn said it would cost about $50,000 to move the terminal. "This could be the downfall of our heritage centre."

The museum will feature Inuit artifacts currently on display at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife.

Artifacts include older wall hangings, tapes of recorded traditional stories, video tapes, educational tools, artwork, old pictures, maps and Inuit tools.

Rahn intends to write DIAND Minister Ron Irwin, federal Culture Minister Sheila Copps, and her MLA with hopes of receiving additional funding to keep ICI up and running properly.