Christa Kunuk

Community: Iqaluit

Age: 48

Family Status: Wife, Anaana, Ningiu

Career: Senior policy analyst, Department of Family Services

Volunteer or board experience:

Past member of the National Inuit Youth Council, including sitting on the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami board of directors; Chair of Iqaluit District Education Authority; Daycare boards; Community of Practice – led by Qulliit Status of Women and Action Plan for Family Violence; Family representative for pediatric integrated chronic care with the focus on trauma

Why are you running for MLA?

It seemed a natural course for me to run for MLA as my career path has always been towards the betterment of Inuit in the territory. With my previous job as child and youth advocate, I continually saw the lack of services and supports that were needed for the most vulnerable, and the government needs to get back to being accountable and being available to all. Being true to Pijitsirniq – being of service.

How much influence should NTI have in territorial governance?

Being that the territory was thought of and created by some innovative individuals who saw that we could take more control of our lives, then absolutely, NTI should have the utmost influence in the governance of this territory. They are the ones who ensure the implementation of the land claim goes forward, and the articles are honoured. If we choose not to work closer with them, that could cause a lot of delays and us not being true to what our forefathers had envisioned.

How urgent is combating climate change in Nunavut?

It’s a human concern for Inuit. It’s our livelihood, it’s our culture, our traditions, rather than combating it, we need to mitigate it. Work with high urgency, because we are so dependent on the land and our way of life. We need to support our people to be able to adapt quickly as it is changing.

How do you envision economic development in your riding?

I think there’s a lot of strength in the Iqaluit-Sinaa riding to combat food insecurity, the majority of the constituents are actively accessing the land and water. There’s an opportunity to discuss food insecurity, provided through funding that would allow our riding to support hunters in their way of life. We can work closely with the HTO to provide financial support to hunters, so they can share their catch with the HTO, and community. There are currently small businesses within Sinaa, which is amazing because they are self-sufficient. We need to support local business so they stay afloat and provide for their families and community.

Are you for or against mandatory vaccinations?

I’m for mandatory vaccinations.

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