Rankin Inlet resident amongst Nunavut assistant deputy ministers
by Jennifer Pritchett
RANKIN INLET (Apr 08/98) - The office of the interim commissioner continues to hire staff for the Nunavut government, the latest of which were the assistant deputy ministers.
Jack Anawak, interim commissioner of Nunavut, made the announcement April 1, when his staff was in town for the countdown to division.
The new assistant deputy ministers include Jason Brown of Rankin Inlet, who is currently assistant deputy minister of transportation for the GNWT.
The others are Rhoda Perkison (deputy clerk of the legislative assembly), Laura Gauthier (director of intergovernmental affairs), Leona Aglukkaq (personnel), Rebecca Williams (justice), Tom Sammurtok (community government), Carmen Levi (education), and Rosemary Cooper (health and social services.)
Anawak said that he is confident the 11 deputy ministers and the eight assistant deputy ministers hired will be able to make life better for both Inuit and non-Inuit people who live in Nunavut. "We have to work together," he said.
Manitok Thompson, minister of municipal and community affairs, said that the deputies and their assistants will have the responsibility to bring back what Inuit people lost over the last 40 years.
"You will be the key people to make sure our values are reflected in your government -- the question is how you will reflect the values of the Inuit people," she said. "It's a welfare culture now ... we'll have to bring back the spirit of the people, the independence."
Thompson and Kivallivik MLA Kevin O'Brien were the only two MLAs to attend the celebration, said that the deputies and their assistants have an easier job than their counterparts in the West because Nunavut has only one culture.
"I think it will be easier for the DMs on this side because you are dealing with one major culture," she said.
Rankin Inlet Mayor John Hickes, who was also offered a position as an assistant deputy minister, said he had decided to stay in the community and continue his work for the people as mayor.