Natan Obed has been re-elected for a second three-year term as the President on the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).
In Inuvik, Northwest Territories on Thursday, Natan Obed beat out two other candidates for his second three-year term as the President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). ITK is the national Inuit organization. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami means "Inuit are united in Canada."
The organization is designed to represent the approximately 65,000 Inuit that live across the Inuit Nunangat (Nunavut, Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador), and the Inuvialuit region (northern NWT)).
Natan Obed, who was first elected in 2015, is from Nain, Nunatsiavut. During his first term Mr. Obed didn’t shy away from controversy, including making statements regarding a Canadian Football Team’s name: the Edmonton Eskimos. During the lead-up to the election, Mr. Obed was criticised for his lack of fluency in Inuktut, which is the language that Inuit speak. When he spoke Thursday morning before the vote, he addressed this and focused on how he can communicate with all Inuit.
As mentioned, Natan Obed won against two other candidates. The other two candidates were Peter Williamson and Peter Ittinuar. Peter Williamson is a former policy analyst for ITK and has worked for the federal government. Peter Ittinuar is a former Member of Parliament, in fact he was the first Inuk Member of Parliament in Canada.
Mr. Obed was elected by 13 voting delegates and won with more than 50 percent of the votes, meaning at least 7 votes. ITK does not offer a break-down of the votes.
Mr. Obed has promised to focus on certain issues in his second terms, specifically suicide prevention. During his acceptance speech he said,“I am honored and humbled in your faith in my for a second term,” he also commented that, "I pledge to do even more to communicate with all Inuit across Inuit Nunangat to promote Inuit unity."