Louis Tapardjuk has been a public figure in Nunavut for many years as a government minister, a Member of Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly, a board member of the Tunngavik Federation, the mayor of Iglulik and as a local hamlet councillor. Born in an igulvigaq (snow house) on the sea ice near Iglulik, he is known as a passionate advocate for Inuit knowledge, language and culture. As Nunavut’s Minister of Languages, he oversaw the approval of the Inuit Language Protection Act and the Official Languages Act. He also addressed the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2009 where he linked the efforts to preserve and promote Inuktut to fundamental human rights.
Board of Directors
Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit is made up of five members who are appointed by Nunavut’s Executive Council, based on recommendations from the Minister of Languages. The members represent each of Nunavut’s three regions and are appointed for a renewable term of three years. A permanent staff of eight employees based in Iqaluit supports the members in carrying out their powers and duties.
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.
Mary Thompson was born on the land near Arviat in 1946. Her parents were traditional drum dancers and singers and travelled to other communities and internationally to perform. Mary travelled all over the world with her parents and interpreted for them. They taught her Inuit traditional dancing and she got to know many songs.
Mary has worked as an interpreter/translator for the Departments of Justice and Culture and Heritage, as well as for a number of businesses. For a time, she was also an announcer with the CBC in Rankin Inlet. Her work has taken her as far as Russia to teach about Canadian Inuit.
She has been a long-time volunteer with the Sivullinut Society, assisting the Elders of Arviat in keeping the language strong in the community. She continues to host a weekly radio show called Inuktitut Uqausiliriniq.
Mary adopted and raised five children, all of whom are now adults. She believes that Inuit language and culture can be strengthened through determination and hard work.
Thomas Ubluriak was born on April 15, 1945 out on the main land on the name of qamaniq. His father was Augustus Anarusuk, his mother was Thresa ututaaq, he was outside of Arviat. He have 8 children and many grandchildren. He was working with the Hamlet of Arviat for 25 years as water truck driver. Also become a lay leader of catholic church. He went to catholic school and alliance school. He learn math from school, writing Inuktitut. He loves to work on Inuktitut terminology, was a member for Kivalliq Inuit Association board also Sakku corporation including Kivalliq partners.
He teaches children at elementary school, teaching traditional knowledge, Inuktitut language and Inuit Societal Values. Would like to keep the language alive and well as it is very important to keep it. He would like to support people though being open for solutions and would like to keep moving forward with Inuit language. He sees that the Inuit custom law is not written in modern law would like to get the Inuit law recognized by the government.
Thomas is capable not knowledge of many Inuit language, knowledge of life he can talk about how to live a good life. He has knowledge of names of many places. He had taught many people about the land and the hunting technique he wanted to see the young generation learn traditional knowledge.