Joe Savikataaq: ‘We are closer than ever to being in control of our own land and resources’

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For the annual NWT & Nunavut Mining feature that recently appeared in Nunavut News, we approached MLAs for their perspective on the mining industry in the territory. These were the responses from Joe Savikataaq, Premier and Arviat South MLA. The full edition of NWT & Nunavut Mining can be found here: https://nnsl.com/special-feature-publications/nwt-nunavut-mining-2019/

Q: What do you consider to be the greatest advantages and disadvantages of mining in the Nunavut?

Mines “need to invest in infrastructure to advance our communities in the long-term, and create jobs and skills development for Nunavummiut,” says Premier and Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq. photo courtesy of the GN

A: I think the cost of doing business is often a barrier to mining in the territory. And given our commitment to responsible development, the process and timeline for approval requires a great commitment to doing business in Nunavut. However, I think Nunavut offers incredible potential for resource development and exploration. We are closer than ever to being in control of our own land and resources, and we know how valuable our untapped minerals are. The future is very bright for mining here in Nunavut.

Q: Do you believe the mines do enough overall for the territory in terms of employment, royalties, donations and legacy projects?

A: I believe that mines have a responsibility to the land and communities from which they benefit. For me, this means that they need to invest in infrastructure to advance our communities in the long-term, and create jobs and skills development for Nunavummiut. I see this done in partnership with communities and developed with their vision and needs in mind.

Click on image to read downloadable edition of Nunavut/NWT Mining 2019.

Q: Should mines be involved in supplying housing in surrounding communities?

A: Housing in Nunavut is often an effective way to retain employees and remove potential barriers to employment. I think housing should be a negotiating point between Nunavut Inuit and industry, as they decide what they want most as part of a mine’s investment in their communities.