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In Memory of James Arvaluk

Statement: April 28, 2016

Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, is asking Inuit and all Canadians to join him in honouring the life of James Arvaluk, who died today at the age of 68.

A seasoned Inuk politician and lifelong advocate for Inuit, Arvaluk was involved in the founding of Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, the national Inuit organization we now know as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Before being elected to two terms as President of the ITC from 1974-1977, Arvaluk was the organization’s Director of Communications and Coordinator of Land Claims for two years.

In 1976, he made a presentation to the Government of Canada that contained the first formal call for the creation of a new territory to be known as Nunavut.

He would later go on to serve in the territory’s Legislative Assembly as Nunavut's first education minister from 1999 to 2003 and as an MLA again from 2006 to 2011.

“Arvaluk’s legacy will live on through not only in the integral role he played in shaping Inuit governance and Nunavut, but through the Inuit he inspired to take on leadership roles to bring about meaningful change for their communities” said Obed.