Makivik Corporation’s Annual General Meeting went off without a hitch at the end of March. During the four-day meeting, it was revealed that Makivik’s beneficiaries’ equity fund balance was down to $190 million from $194 million last year. The stock market and fluctuation in exchange rates are to blame. Makivik did disperse almost $2 million for the communities and $5 million to enhance the economic activity in the region.

The Construction Division will be building two new marine infrastructures this summer, which includes the construction of access roads and ramps, breakwaters and boat-launches, making docking safer. This brings the number of communities with marine infrastructures up to eight, leaving six to be built, according to the Marine Infrastructure Program.

Presentations by the subsidiaries revealed that the two largest wholly owned companies are experiencing different realities. While Air Inuit has added new routes, enhanced equipment and received an award for Service Excellence from Canada Post, First Air is continuing to struggle, suffering declining revenues for the second straight year.

A new subsidiary, Nunavik Creations, is making its mark in their first year of operations not only in Nunavik, but all over the world. Orders have been coming in from as far away as France, Spain, Morocco and Afghanistan. The company produces everything from traditional clothing to jewellery and artic foods, which it sells over its website and by mail order.

The survival of sled dogs in the North was addressed by way of a five-minute clip from a soon-to-be-completed documentary on the dog slaughter in Nunavik that is being produced by Makivik. The independent radio and television production company of Taqramiut Nipingat Inc. has the contract to make the 30-minute documentary. The final version should be ready to premiere in Kuujjuaq this summertime.

The status of the Nunavik government was also updated. The agreement-in-principle that will see the amalgamation of the existing Kativik institutions into one unified entity should be ready for approval from the federal and provincial governments by the fall of 2004. A region-wide referendum will be held the following year. The goal of the amalgamation is to make the institutions more efficient. Currently each organization has its own board of directors independently administering their own affairs, which takes a lot of energy and money. Under one body, they will work in tandem with each other.