Tuesday-January 23, 2018 – Kuujjuaq, QC – Following the executive election held on Thursday January 18, 2018 Makivvik is pleased to announce the return of Charlie Watt Sr. as President.
Charlie Watt was the founding president of the Northern Quebec Inuit Association (NQIA) – the organization that negotiated the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) in the early 1970s on behalf of the Inuit of Nunavik. Following the signing of the James Bay Agreement, the NQIA formally became Makivvik in June of 1978. Charlie Watt was also Makivvik’s founding President until 1982.
Charlie Watt was also Makivvik President in the late 1980s and early 1990s – a time when Makivvik purchased First Air as part of its portfolio of subsidiary companies, expanding its aviation expertise, which began with the creation of Air Inuit at the time of Makivvik’s foundation.
“It’s a great honour to return to Makivvik at this time,” said Charlie Watt “2018 is an historic year for the corporation as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. I look forward to talking about our founding years from a personal perspective, and showing how far Inuit have come in the past four decades. Equally, I look forward to tackling the current challenges that face Inuit right now, and carrying on the solid work Jobie Tukkiapik was engaged with, notably in terms of education and working to expand our land base.”
On behalf of Makivvik, Charlie Watt thanked Jobie Tukkiapik for the six years he contributed to advancing Inuit issues, and representing Inuit at countless public meetings within Nunavik, the province, nationally and internationally as Makivvik President.
“Makivvik will focus on issues strongly related to our Indigenous rights including the right to self- determination.”
Charlie Watt is also a Canadian Senator, having been appointed to the Red Chamber by Pierre Elliott Trudeau on January 16, 1984. He has started the process of resigning from the senate. Watt is also an Officer of the National Order of Quebec (1994), recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (1997), and numerous other honours.
He won the presidential election on Thursday January 18, 2018 with 2,045 votes, or 53.62% of the vote. Full results are available on the Makivvik website at www.makivik.org
Communications Coordinator and Media Relations
Makivvik is the land claims organization mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivvik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses in Nunavik. Makivvik promotes the preservation of Inuit culture and language as well as the health, welfare, relief of poverty, and education of Inuit in the communities.