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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On helping Nunavut

Okay, so after yesterday's blog entry, I've been thinking about what, exactly, I can do to make a difference in the quality of life for the people of Nunavut. (Incidentally, I have no idea what the people of Nunavut call themselves? Nunavutians? Nunavuters? Nunavites? That's what Wikipedia is for: "Its inhabitants are called Nunavummiut, singular Nunavummiuq.")

Basic musings and brainstorms have come up with this:

- Contact my local MP, and ask him what his party, and the government in general, plans to do about the Nunavut situation.

- Raise awareness of the plight of the Nunavummiut through local programs, letters to the editor of national newspapers, contact with other media, viral marketing, and creating a one-stop website for anyone who wants to know more about the issues facing our northern brethren.

- Raise money to assist with Nunavut daily life through fundraisers such as raffles, charity concerts, collection boxes at local businesses, etc.

- Contact major businesses and corporations who could directly assist the people of Nunavut, such as those involved in transportation, food production and distribution, health care, pharmacology, and technology, and urge them to provide as much assistance as they can.

Some of these ideas are easy to follow up on. Contacting my MP is just a phone call, or an email, or a letter (or all of the above). Contacting the media is almost as straightforward. Contacting the business sector is a little more complicated, since it will require a plan of action, a lot of doors closed in my face (or emails ignored, or phones hung up), and a convincing argument as to why providing such assistance would be good for their business. (Remember that whole thing about reward I wrote the other day? It applies to businesses in spades.)

The money thing, though, is by far the most complicated. I'm not talking about actually raising the money -- I have talents, and friends, and how hard is it to make up collection boxes anyway? No, the problem with money is that it requires special handling. I can't just go and collect money, stick it in an envelope, and mail it to "The People of Nunavut, Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada", and hope it ends up in the right hands, and is used in the best manner possible.

Money has to be administered, and accounted for, and protected from taxation by the formation of a charitable organization. Significant planning has to be done to best determine how the money is spent, and how to spend it with as little overhead as possible. In fact, ideally, the spending of collected money would be done in conjuction with the cooperation and assistance of the aforementioned businesses. There's a lot to consider, before I can responsibly collect money on Nunavut's behalf.

Clearly, I'm going to start with the political route. I don't actually expect much out of it, but it's the logical place to start.

Oh, and if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.




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