James is the Executive Director for the Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities. He lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut. James recently completed his MBA from Western University’s IVEY Executive Master of Business Administration program. He also holds undergraduate degrees in Business and Management.
Mr. Arreak has been a key contributor to the, April 1, 1999, creation of the Nunavut Territory. As an example, he opened the first bank accounts of the Government of Nunavut; James facilitated the first pre-budget consultations of the Government, as well as framing the unique needs of Nunavut that led to the appropriation of the Territorial Financing Formula. Furthermore, he played a central role in developing relationships in preparation for financing the infrastructure investment that built the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut as well as the 11 regional Government offices that included Staff Housing. James assisted with the development of an Investment Policy for the $1.14 Billion Nunavut Trust portfolio. The Investment Policy determines the overall portfolio asset mix and ranges of variability, investment objectives, establishment of performance measurement standards used to measure progress against long term goals and objectives and the approval of the selection of investment counselors.
James has played a pivotal role in bridging the north to, and from, the south, including bridging between cultures, as well as bridging generational gaps. Having grown up within a strong family structure that values its Inuit identity, culture, traditions, beliefs and language. Despite these valuable foundations, James has been able to live in various parts of Canada continuing his education, training, working and gaining valuable experience. In recent years, James has continued developing the territory of Nunavut by conducting policy and program reviews involving procurement, as it relates to the Nunavut Agreement; conducting the non-emergency medical travel program; furthermore, large scale reviews included the 2nd Review of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement. Recent accomplishments involved leading the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. through settling a $255 Million litigation lawsuit between the plaintiff, Inuit of Nunavut, and defendant, the Federal Crown (Government of Canada) for failing to fulfill their contractual obligations as defined by the Nunavut Agreement. James went through residential school. Though the residential school era was a very difficult time for the Inuit of Nunavut and Canada, James caught the tail-end of the residential school era. Carving his way through difficult cross-cultural adjustments, James was able obtain an athletic scholarship at Mount Royal while obtaining an undergraduate Business Degree.
Mr. Arreak has held a number of jobs and positions including: junior officer roles in Government, junior accounting roles; sales & marketing; senior banking positions for a big five bank; senior director positions in finance for the Government of Nunavut; a management consultant; president; Chief Executive Officer; board roles for Nunavut Trustee, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, arts and performance. James is married to Looee, who is an original recording artist, plus a mother of 6 children.