The Inuit Circumpolar Council has a new acting international chair—former Liberal MP Nancy Karetak Lindell, the current chair of Canada's national branch of the organization that represents Inuit from Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia.

That change came after Okalik Eegeegsiak declared her candidacy for the constituency of Iqaluit-Manirajak in the Oct. 30 territorial election, an ICC release said Oct. 1.

During the campaign, Eegeesiak will take an unpaid leave of absence as international chair of the ICC.

At ICC meetings in Nain, Nunatsiavut, last week, ICC directors decided that Karetak-Lindell would replace Eegeesiak for the duration of the campaign in Nunavut.

Nancy Karetak-Lindell, third from the right, the new acting chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, stands with other Canadian Inuit leaders last week in Nain, Nunatsiavut where Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the ICC held their annual general meetings. (Courtesy of ITK via Nunatsiaq News)
Nancy Karetak-Lindell, third from the right, the new acting chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, stands with other Canadian Inuit leaders last week in Nain, Nunatsiavut where Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the ICC held their annual general meetings. (Courtesy of ITK via Nunatsiaq News)

Karetak-Lindell will take on Eegeesiak's responsibilities for co-ordinating the work of ICC offices in Greenland, Alaska and Chukotka.

As well, she will continue to serve as ICC Canada's president, a part-time position.

"We have just held very productive meetings in Nain where we laid plans for a very busy year ahead, leading up to next summer's general assembly in Alaska," Karetak-Lindell said in the release.

"I am honoured that the ICC Executive Council and the ICC Canada Board of Directors have entrusted me to keep our important international work moving forward during the Chair's leave of absence."

In addition to discussions surrounding ICC's 13th General Assembly, which will take place next July in Barrow, other agenda items discussed in Nain included ICC's engagement with the Arctic Council, upcoming ICC summits on wildlife management in Canada and on education in Greenland, the release of the Pikialasorsuaq Commission Report and ICC's involvement with United Nations agencies.

A video commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first ICC meeting, held in Barrow in 1977 was also shown to delegates.