Inuit owned vessel begins historic commercial navigation of Northwest Passage

    - "Northwest Passage navigation marks milestone achievement for Inuit
    enterprise and service improvements and savings for arctic sealift
    users" -

    IQALUIT, Aug. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The MV UMIAVUT, Canada's first Inuit
owned ice class one vessel in history, set sail today and is on course to make
history once again.
    "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
    The MV UMIAVUT (meaning "Our Ship" in Inuktitut) is part of the growing
modern 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. This sailing marks the
first commercial navigation of the Northwest Passage by a Canadian flag Inuit
owned ice class vessel in history.
    "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
    "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.

For further information:

For further information: David Ell, Director, Nunavut Marketing, (867)
979-7974; Suzanne Paquin, President & CEO, (877) 225-NEAS (6327),

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