Countdown to Nunavut
234 days to division

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Aug 10/98) - Education officials lobbying for four extra classrooms in Iqaluit's newest school-to-be got some good news last week.

According to Ed Picco, the MLA for Iqaluit, DIAND came through with an extra $1 million for the project.

Picco said that after extensive lobbying efforts were carried out by his office, in conjunction with the Iqaluit District Education Authority, the federal government came through with enough extra cash to cover the cost of building four more classrooms.

The original $6.1 million, earmarked in the Nunavut Incremental Infrastructure program, only covered the expense of constructing seven classrooms. Officials began lobbying for a larger school this spring after recognizing the huge increase in population.

Worldwide Inuit

The 8th general assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference drew to a close last week in Nuuk, Greenland.

Inuit from Russia, Alaska, Greenland and Canada all brought important issues to the table at what was, to date, the largest group that has ever gathered for the event.

After electing a new executive council, ICC members discussed a number of topics including the effects of the Marine Mammal Protection Act on Inuit. They also looked at country food, pollutants and the proposed University of the Arctic. Improving communications in the circumpolar region along with other social, economic and cultural issues were also on the agenda.

Of particular interest to the 100,000 Inuit across the world was the topic of unifying their language. Many participants from Nunavut attended the week-long conference along with indigenous people from Australia and central America.

Western elections

The western territory began the process of hearing what its residents want for electoral boundaries during the upcoming election.

Beginning today in Inuvik, the electoral boundaries commission said they plan to visit 17 western communities over the next six weeks.

The election is scheduled for the fall of 1999.