Founded in 1960, the Puvirnituq Cooperative was involved in the creation of the Federation of Cooperatives of New Quebec.
The first cooperatives in Nunavik saw the light of day towards the end of the 1950s. Pressured by his parishioners who had heard of this new way of doing business from people in other communities, Father André Steinmann, from the Catholic Mission, undertook with the help of the Puvirniturmiut to advocate for and then to found a cooperative. He contributed his expertise in this area to name the first board of directors made up of Charlie Sivuarapik, who was to become president, Aisa Koperqualuk, Peter Angutigirk, Paulusie Sivuak, Taania Qumak Angiyou and Tamusi Tulugak.
Thanks to the involvement of its artisans and to the fruit of their labour, especially that of the sculptors, the community was able to raise the necessary funds to start up the cooperative.
The cooperative committed to promoting and selling the works of the sculptors abroad in exchange for which a certain percentage of the profit from these sales was put back into the start-up fund of the cooperative.
Quickly, the cooperative philosophy, which fits in well with the traditional ways of the Inuit based on sharing resources, brought new adherents which would make this cooperative one of the most dynamic in the movement.
Strengthened by the success brought to them by working together, the Puvirniturmiut quickly came to the conclusion that if the idea of cooperation was pushed a little further and extended to other communities, this would give the Nunavimmiut such a strong tool for economic and social development that government bodies and economic interests would not be able to ignore them.
That is how it was decided to invite the other already-existing cooperatives to unite as a federation. Thus, strengthened in number, they could all henceforth count on each other in more difficult times in addition to benefiting from greater purchasing power.
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