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Training to manage

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

RANKIN INLET - A place for everything and everything in its place.

That was the message, numerically speaking, for a group of area Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) managers from the Kivalliq and Baffin who were in Rankin Inlet this past week for an introductory course in accounting.

A number of Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat (NIWS) employees also took the course, facilitated by Louis Dornez of the Winnipeg-based SID Productions and Training.

Dornez taught a similar course in Rankin in 2006, which made him more familiar this year with the regions, type of managers and their backgrounds.

He worked with the NIWS's Richard Connelly and Boyd White to develop a made-in-Nunavut simulation to create a comfortable environment for the students.

"The purpose of the workshop was to improve the accounting and computer skills of the managers, as well as the performance of the HTOs in the two regions," said Dornez.

"The course should help the mangers send in proper reports to both Revenue Canada and the NIWS.

"There's always a mix of skill at these courses, so I did have some beginners.

"But the overall skill level was to the point where we didn't have any problems and everyone caught on fairly quickly."

Connelly, the NIWS's executive director, said the course was Phase 2 of the secretariat's efforts to increase the skill levels of area HTO managers. He said Phase 2 was aimed at new managers and those who couldn't attend the 2006 workshop.

"Training has been identified as a priority by both the local and regional HTO boards," said Connelly.

"This is our attempt at doing that."

Connelly said HTO turnover makes the delivery of ongoing training more difficult.

He said small salary packages contribute to turnover at the local and regional levels.

"You can only attract so many people with limited funding.

"Some managers in the smaller communities have been around for awhile because there's no other employment available, but, in the bigger centres, they're snatched up by the government or Inuit organizations as soon as they acquire skills."

Connelly said the NIWS hopes to see an increase in HTO funding during the next year or two. He said a standardized salary-and-benefits package for HTO managers is also being developed.

"The packages are all over the map in Nunavut.

"If we standardize salary and benefits, add more money and provide training, people may want to stick around for awhile.

"That's our goal."