Baffin Inuit org to invest Mary River royalties within legacy fund – by Thomas Rohner (Nunatsiaq News – October 5, 2016)

The Inuit organization that represents Baffin-area beneficiaries wants to establish a legacy fund from the $24.2 million so far collected from Baffinland’s Mary River iron mine project.

That fund would “save for future generations of Inuit while providing benefits to current generations,” PJ Akeeagok, president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, said at the organization’s annual general meeting in Iqaluit Oct. 4.

During the presentation of his annual report to board members, Akeeagok said he would introduce a proposed policy on Oct. 5 to establish that fund. “It’s a very exciting time in QIA history, where we are safeguarding funds for future generations of Inuit while delivering programs based on the return on investment,” Akeeagok said from the Anglican Parish Hall.

Royalties from the north Baffin mining operation have been growing within QIA coffers since 2013, when the Inuit organization and Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. signed an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement.

“All of the Mary River Project IIBA royalties have been sitting in a separate QIA account accumulating interest. The current value of that account is $24.2 million, to March 31, 2016,” Akeeagok said.

But with the new revenue policy proposal, Akeeagok said he hopes to actively invest that money.

One potential benefit of the new policy would be to increase funding for the organization’s Community Initiatives Program from roughly $400,000 to $1 million, said the president.

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