ITK opens nominations for president

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami will choose a president in September.

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Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami announced Wednesday it is seeking nominations for president until Aug. 18. Canada’s national Inuit organization will pick its president in a vote after its annual general meeting in September. (Nunatsiaq News file photo)

The race is on to pick the leader of Canada’s national Inuit organization.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami will hold its presidential election in September, following its annual general meeting, the organization announced in news release Wednesday.

The date for the meeting has not been set.

Candidates running for president will be given 10 minutes to speak to members and delegates at the annual general meeting to explain why they should lead ITK for the next four-year term. If the meeting is held in person, candidates will be encouraged to make their comments in person. If the meeting is held virtually, they will make their case in videoconference or conference call, the release states.

Natan Obed has been ITK’s president since 2015. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named him to the independent panel that advised the prime minister on filling the Governor General’s vacancy. Trudeau picked Mary Simon, an Inuit leader and former ITK president herself, who started the job on Monday.

ITK’s president is selected by a vote among Inuit organizations, including Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Makivik Corp., Inuvialuit Regional Corp. and the Nunatsiavut government. Additionally, two delegates from each region and the vice-president of ITK vote for the president.

Inuit who are over the age of 18 are eligible to run for ITK president. They must either be nominated by the designated member representative from one of the Inuit organizations or write a letter describing their leadership experience, according to the election rules.

Candidates must get the signatures of 20 Inuit adults who support their bid.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, Aug. 18.