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Landslide win for Kaludjak

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 19/01) - Paul Kaludjak believes in planning your direction and sticking with it.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association president is also the new vice-president of finance for Nunavut Tunngavik. He captured the position Dec. 10 in a landslide election victory.

The KIA president campaigned hard for his victory, visiting 16 communities outside his Rankin Inlet home. "Unfortunately, time ran out on my being able to make it into all the communities," says Kaludjak.

"Even though I won the election, I still wish I had made it to every community before election day."

Kaludjak knew heading into the election he had to win over voters in the Kitikmeot and Baffin regions.

He was confident he would continue to receive strong support across the Kivalliq and was eager to find out how he would fare in Nunavut's other two regions.

"Everybody knows me in the Kivalliq and they seem to be quite comfortable with my leadership.

"I've proven myself to the beneficiaries in the Kivalliq and they trust me now. It looks as though people across Nunavut are starting to feel that way now, too, so that's pretty good."

Kaludjak has been KIA president for the past seven years.

He made up his mind to seek the NTI position over the summer.

He admits to re-evaluating his position momentarily when Paul Quassa announced his was resigning as NTI president earlier this year.

"I looked at other opportunities when the NTI president resigned, but I decided to stick to my plan for now and that's where I'm at today.

"I may have had a second thought or two looking back, but, overall, I'm happy with my decision to just focus on finance for now. We'll see what the future brings."

Kaludjak is quick to thank his wife, Dorothy, and his four children for always being 100 per cent behind him.

"My family's support has always been the driving force behind my success. I also thank the local people who support me and are always there doing what they can to help me out."