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Message from the Chair

This message will be updated at quarterly intervals alongside the IRC Board Summary Newsletter.

Please check back often for a new message and update from the chair. 

Hello Inuvialuit,

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the trust and the support you have given me by electing me as your Chair. I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to defend the interests of Inuvialuit – wherever you may live – and I intend to do so by continued hard work, a sense of purpose and a respect for the provisions of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.

As I shared with you when I campaigned for this position, there are a number of improvements I intend to lead during my term as IRC Chair. First among them, is a renewed attention to education –the major factor behind our long-term success and prosperity as Inuvialuit. Another, of course, is developing various approaches for different needs around the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and an “IFA 101”. To be most effective during my term, I intend to seek the input of communities in the future and to prioritize areas that require the most attention. I will look to align these strategic goals behind long-term vision for Inuvialuit. It is my aim to then implement and track results on these goals during my term. To implement this work, there will likely be a number of changes in the months ahead for the Inuvialuit Corporate Group (ICG). I wish to acknowledge that this positive progress will be made much easier to implement because of the very solid foundation Nellie left behind.

I would like to begin with some of the meetings I have had with the Federal and Territorial governments. In April. I had the opportunity to meet with the federal government ministers of Natural Resources Canada, Health, Environment and Climate Change, and Fisheries and Oceans. The same week, the NWT Premier and all the members of his Cabinet were in Inuvik to meet with the IRC Board for a full day. Earlier in March, I also had an opportunity to meet with the 4 elected MLAs from the Beaufort-Delta. During all of these important meetings, I took every opportunity to (1) remind all of the importance of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and the continuing obligation to implement it effectively; (2) stress the importance of investing in the ISR and highlight the potential it continues to offer; and (3) make all aware of some of the on-going work and projects occurring in our region.

You may have noticed in the news recently that the IRC and IDC Boards had to make some hard decisions with respect to some of our Inuvialuit businesses – in particular NTCL. However difficult these decisions may be, your Boards continue to be guided in their decision-making by an important principle: protect the assets of the Inuvialuit for future generations. This decision was no exception and it was made with that principle in mind. Also, it is worth remembering that many of our other Inuvialuit businesses are doing very well.

Work is underway to develop a Strategic Plan for IRC. In particular, developing an “IFA 101”, as a few examples. We are continuing our efforts to develop this plan and hope to provide you with an update during our upcoming Corporate Tour in your community.


Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation