Kunuk joins Nortext
One aim is to attract Inuit investors

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 17/97) - The mayor of Iqaluit plans to attract Inuit investors as part of his new role as vice-president of Nortext.

In fact, the company has set a goal of being majority Inuit-owned within one year.

Joe Kunuk takes on the new role at Nortext effective March 24 and says he's excited with the challenge.

"We will be actively pursuing partnerships with Inuit communications organizations, businesses and agencies," he says. Kunuk is already talking to prospective Inuit investors.

"I wanted to be part of the process of identifying communication needs of the communities," he says.

Kunuk says he'll also be developing hiring and training plans for Inuit and designing communication programs.

Kunuk is a former superintendent of personnel with the GNWT and most recently worked as a senior manager with NorthwesTel.

Nortext has been in the North for 20 years.

"With its recent expansion in Iqaluit, I believe Nortext can play a highly effective role in communications, one of the highest priorities for the Nunavut government and land claims organizations," he says.

Michael Roberts, president of Nortext, says he's excited at having Kunuk join the organization.

"This company was originally established in Nunavut as a joint venture with an Inuit development corporation (Nunasi)," says Roberts.

That relationship has since dissolved but, he says, Nortext "is committed to Inuit management, staffing and ownership."

Nortext Multimedia and the company's weekly Iqaluit newspaper, xxxNunatsiaq News, both recently moved into newly renovated offices in Iqaluit. Kunuk plans to continue on as mayor until October, but will not run again in the next election.

In the past, he headed the successful "Iqaluit for Capital" campaign. He also sits of the boards of several organizations, including the Inuit Circumpolar Conference and the NWT Association of Municipalities.