August 23, 2009
Inuit owned ship on Northwest Passage commercial voyage
The MV UMIAVUT, set sail August 21 on the first ever commercial navigation of the Northwest Passage by a Canadian flag Inuit owned ice class vessel.
"While many talk about a future growth in Arctic shipping, at NEAS we make it a reliable reality every day for our customers" said David Ell, a representative for Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping (NEAS). "With NEAS, local Inuit are investing, participating, and benefiting from economic development opportunities that we are creating ourselves, and that is what the UMIAVUT represents."
The 1988-built, ice class one, MV UMIAVUT (meaning "Our Ship" in Inuktitut) is part of the growing fleet of Canadian flag, duty paid vessels from NEAS, an Inuit majority owned venture with shareholders including Sakku Investments Corporation, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, Makivik Corporation, and Transport Nanuk Inc (a joint venture between Logistec Corporation and The North West Company).
The MV UMIAVUT, loaded with vital dry cargo resupplies, began its voyage that includes navigation of the Northwest Passage from the Eastern Arctic to service customers in the western Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, including Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Taloyoak, and Gjoa Haven.
You can get more details on the ship HERE
"We are proud and excited to offer this new cost effective over-the-top sealift service for our customers in Western Arctic communities," said David Ell. "We look forward to the day when each community we service has basic, safe and secure marine infrastructure, including 'Kid-Safe' work staging areas." "Congratulations to the federal government for making monies available for basic community marine infrastructure in Nunavut through the Build Canada fund; and congratulations to the Government of Nunavut who can access these funds without delay," said Suzanne Paquin, President and CEO, NEAS.
Each Arctic sealift season, which runs from July to November, NEAS reliably delivers sealift, container, packaging and marshalling services for individuals, local communities, businesses, housing authorities, construction projects, and government departments and agencies across the Arctic.