Building a bright future
DevCorp looks at job creation

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Feb 02/00) - Optimism abounded during the first official meeting of the Nunavut Development Corp.'s (DevCorp) new board of directors in Rankin Inlet this past week.

Kivalliq is represented by chairperson Peter Tatty of Rankin Inlet and directors William Noah of Baker Lake and Jack Nakoolak of Coral Harbour. Aaju Peter and Peter Keenainak of Iqaluit, Jacopi Maniapik of Pangnirtung and Wilf Wilcox of Cambridge Bay round out the other members of the board.

Created after division, DevCorp oversees Nunavut companies formerly under the umbrella of the GNWT Development Corp.

DevCorp provides employment and income opportunities to Nunavumiut through the development of community-based business and supports nine such operations in seven Nunavut communities.

Noah said he found the meetings very informative and helpful.

He said Sustainable Development Minister Peter Kilabuk made a good choice in appointing Rankin's John Hickes as president and CEO.

"The priorities for the different communities are already in place," said Noah.

"We have a number of things to push forward in Baker Lake and try to implement, especially in the areas of printmaking, silkscreening and carvings.

"Baker has a bit of catching up to do because we seem to have slowed down in the past seven years."

Noah said job creation is the board's top priority and meetings during the past week have convinced him it was heading in the right direction.

"You're going to see some real progress in the next few years, especially in the smaller communities.

"The smaller communities feel they have been left out so many times in the past and we want to see more creation of jobs in these communities."

Tatty echoed Noah's assertion that DevCorp's top focus is to create more local employment. He also wants to see DevCorp become a role model to be followed for local job creation.

"More people involved at the local level would allow us to implement more ideas," said Tatty.

"Our board members are ready to work hard to improve DevCorp and with John's (Hickes) support I think we can do a good job."

Peter said she learned much about their subsidiary businesses during the meetings and left Rankin confident in DevCorp's direction.

"Our CEO and the people who have been running DevCorp have done a lot of work so far," said Peter.

"Our role in creating employment at the grassroots level is very important.

"In the future, DevCorp will be even more helpful at creating employment at the community level."