June 4, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario — The National Inuit Youth Council (NIYC) has elected Crystal Martin-Lapenskie as its new president for a two-year term that will include presiding over the National Inuit Youth Summit in July 2020.
Martin-Lapenskie is from Hall Beach and is the Nunavut Regional Manager, Economic Development at the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Okpik Consulting. She was the 2016 recipient of the Rising Technology Star Award from the Women of Color (WOC) STEM Conference for her work in Arctic communities and was an Inuit Woman of the Year nominee through Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.
“I am humbled and honoured to have been elected President of the National Inuit Youth Council! I am encouraged to see so many strong Inuit youth candidates who took part in this election. They are inspiring and are absolute change-makers in our communities,” Martin-Lapenskie says. “I recognize this was not an easy decision to make and I am thankful the NIYC has instilled trust in my leadership to support Inuit youth and the NIYC across the country at the national and international level. I am also very thankful to my supporters; this would not have been possible without any of them. Education, employment and health care services have been my three main priorities, I will wait to meet with the NIYC to further flesh out NIYC’s current priorities and identify next steps for NIYC’s agenda. Qujannamiimarialuk!”
There were nine candidates from across Inuit Nunangat. Candidates must be Inuk and between 18 and 30 years old.
The NIYC president serves as the national voice for Inuit youth, sitting on the ITK Board of Directors as a permanent participant and the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee as an observer.
The NIYC is made up of six voting members and one president. The members include six regional youth file holders representing six organizations:
- Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
- Kitikmeot Inuit Association
- Kivalliq Inuit Association
- Qikiqtani Inuit Association
- Qarjuit Youth Council
- Nunatsiavut Government