Ottawa, ON – January 3, 2018 – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami would like to acknowledge and congratulate recent Inuit recipients of the Order of Canada.
On December 29, 2017 Governor General Julie Payette appointed James Eetoolook of Taloyoak (Nunavut), Minnie Grey of Kuujjuaq (Nunavik) and Andrew Qappik of Pangnirtung (Nunavut) to the Order. They join notable Inuit such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Aaju Peter and Zacharias Kunuk who have also been inducted to one of Canada’s highest civilian honours.
Payette also upgraded previously inducted Louie Kamookak of Gjoa Haven (Nunavut) to an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Historian and educator Louie Kamookak has focused his energy on collecting oral history from his elders’, as well as helping find the Franklin shipwreck. Kamookak received the honour “for his relentless dedication to collecting and showcasing the stories of the Inuit of Nunavut.”
Politician James Eetoolook was involved in the negotiation of the Nunavut Agreement and is currently Vice-President of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Eetoolook was appointed because of his “contributions as an advocate for Inuit rights, notably in protecting and fostering culture and heritage.”
Minnie Grey, who is also appointed to the Ordre National du Québec, has been instrumental in Nunavik`s development for decades. She is executive director of the Nunavik Board of Health and Social Services, and received the award for “her leadership in protecting and promoting the Inuit way of life and for bolstering health policy initiatives within Indigenous communities.”
And artist Andrew Qappik, a graphic artist and printmaker who helped shape the Nunavut Coat of Arms, was recognized for “his contributions to defining the visual culture of Nunavut as a master printmaker and sculptor.”
“It is with great pride that I congratulate and honour my fellow Inuit who have made such a positive impact across Inuit Nunangat in many diverse ways,” said President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Natan Obed.
“The legacy created by these recipients will have a lasting effect on future generations and I want to congratulate the families of all the appointees for their tireless efforts in supporting these exceptional people.
“Thank you to Louie, James, Minnie and Andrew for making a difference in our communities and for all of Canada.”