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Helping Ourselves by Helping Each Other
The Life Story of William Lyall
Inuit Leadership and Governance, Volume 2
The local co-op is an important feature in the current Inuit way of life. Central to its pertinence is a sense of belonging—employees are mostly Inuit, community members are co-op members, and local leaders are typically involved as board directors. Many former co-op employees are offered highly paid positions in Inuit organizations and at different levels of northern governments because of their expertise and training. Nevertheless, cooperative leaders are treated to the media spotlight less frequently than their counterparts who are territorial politicians and elected leaders. Cooperative frontline workers and leaders quietly keep the stores running, manage human resources and accounts payable, and negotiate major loans to establish new services in their communities.
William Lyall’s life story is a tribute to the dedication and community- mindedness that the co-op movement represents in Canada’s North. His contribution has left a positive mark on many Nunavut communities as well as on the national co-op movement. By telling the story of his personal experiences, he also relates a significant piece of northern Canadian history.