Born in the spring of 1953 on April 23rd in Hudson Bay company post of Read Island, NWT. My parents were Helen Paolingnak and Peter Miyok.
We lived in Lady Franklin Point (Pin 3) where my brothers and I were picked up in 1959 to attend residential school in Inuvik, NWT. While attending school in Inuvik my parents had relocated to Coppermine in 1967.
My childhood prior to attending residential was life on the land in and around Pin 3; where four families all related, lived in the village by the shore just about 4-5 miles from the Dewline site. Life was simple lots of trapping and hunting of the land. Travelling to Coppermine to visit the trading post three or four times a year either by dogteam in the winter or boat in the summer.
I have four children 1 boy and 3 girls two of whom were adopted by my late sister. Altogether they have given my 22 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. I had adopted my oldest grandson whom I have lost to suicide.
1975 I graduated from the Teacher Education Program in Ft Smith and taught in Coppermine for several years before moving to Yellowknife NWT in 1978 to work on program development with the Department of Education. I have attended University of Western Ontario and New Mexico studying Linguistics as my passionate in my Inuinnaqtun language having nearly losing it during my residential school years. I continued working with Inuinnaqtun upon moving back to Kugluktuk the year I adopted my oldest grandson, working with the Kitikmeot Board of Education as the Bilingual Consultant, Curriculum development and as the Inuit teacher at the Kugluktuk High School. I have also coordinated the Aboriginal Headstart Program were we introduced preschoolers to Inuit culture and language.
In 2010 I moved to the Department of Culture and Heritage as a researcher and translating government documents.
I was appointed to the IUT in July of 2015. With this board I would like to ensure that Inuinnaqtun is included in all aspects of the government functions and endure it survival as and Official Language of Nunavut on equal par with Inuktitut English and French.
My wish and dream for Inuinnaqtun, is for it to be spoken by all, elders, parents, youth and children alike. That communication and dialogues between them are all in Inuinnaqtun as it was in my childhood. That one-day, we may have an Inuinnaqtun Language and culture school within our region. In order for this to happen we all need to commit using it daily in all aspect of life. That Inuit teachers are working closely with elders in the schools to ensure correct usage of language.