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June 6, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario — The National Inuit Youth Council (NIYC) has elected Ruth Kaviok as its new president for the 2017 – 2019 term.

Ruth is a 19-year-old Inuk youth from Arviat, Nunavut. She advocates for suicide prevention, climate change prevention and the importance of education. In 2016, Ruth was John Arnalukjuak High School’s Inuktitut valedictorian. Nationally, Ruth won Samara’s Everyday Political Citizen award for drawing on Inuit knowledge and western science to spread awareness of how climate change is affecting Inuit Nunangat.

In addition to her community involvement, Ruth is developing her entrepreneurial skills through the Inspire Nunavut Program. She is creating a business plan for a hydroponics greenhouse business. Her goal is to offer affordable options to her community by selling fresh produce grown in Arviat. Ruth has been accepted to Nunavut Sivuniksavut in Ottawa this fall and she is eager to learn more about the history of Inuit and Nunavut through this program.

“As president, I look forward to representing the national voice of Inuit youth. We have important knowledge to share and I will bring my passion for Inuit culture in advocating for the values and priorities of our youth. The National Inuit Youth Council is an enthusiastic and committed team and I am excited to share this work with them. Together, we will work to create a positive future for Inuit youth across Inuit Nunangat,” said new president Ruth Kaviok.

“It has been a true honour to serve Inuit youth as President over the last two years, imaalari! I am confident in handing the taqquti to Ruth, who will tend to the needs of Inuit youth like a qulliq, deeply rooted in Inuit culture, language and heart. Please help me in welcoming her with open arms and wish her well as she continues to advocate for Inuit youth rights, needs and priorities in Canada. Qujannamiik ammalu aakuluuvusi!” said former president Maatalii Okalik.

The National Inuit Youth Council represents Inuit youth across Inuit Nunangat. The President of NIYC is a permanent participant of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s Board of Directors and an observer to the newly developed Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee.

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