Northern News Services
LIIDLII KUE/FORT SIMPSON
After spending more than three years working in Nunavut, Michael Rudkin is glad to see trees again.
Rudkin was recently hired to be the senior administrative officer for the Jean Marie River First Nation.
"Never take anything for granted," said Rudkin, who spent five years working in Alberta before stints in Pond Inlet and Gjoa Haven.
"Things are done differently in the North than the south. You can't bring a southern mentality to the North. You've got to adapt to situations in the community."
This is Rudkin's first job in the Northwest Territories, but his experience in Nunavut has helped teach him how to get results in the North.
"You have your good and bad no matter where you go," he said.
"I've learned a lot as far as working in a cross-cultural environment in small remote communities and being able to deal with things as they come up."
Things are more structured in the south, he said, whereas there's a different way of looking at things in the North.
"You can't say what you did in the south, even though you might have the same position, might necessarily work (in the North)," said Rudkin. "You have to adapt to the way of the people you're with, the traditions they're used to having."
One of the main goals he has is working on good governance. To that end, Rudkin jumped into the action quickly and made his way to Hay River for the Northwest Territories Association of Communities conference and another workshop and strategic planning session two weeks ago.
"(Good governance) is just making sure everybody's aware of what they are, what their roles and responsibilities are within those and making sure we follow them so the community has the best representation and services we can provide," he said.
Though Jean Marie River is a small community, it's not as isolated as Rudkin has become used to.
"The benefit to Jean Marie is I can drive in and drive out - I don't have to get on a plane," he said.
So far, Rudkin said it seems like a good community.
"I look forward to working with the community," said Rudkin.
"Hopefully we can work well together and I can help the community prosper