Eva Aariak

Educator

Canadian politician Eva Qamaniq Aariak was elected in the 2008 territorial election to represent the electoral district of Iqaluit East in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. She was subsequently chosen as the second Premier of Nunavut, under the territory's consensus government system. She was the fifth woman to serve as a premier in Canada. Prior to her election, she was the first Languages Commissioner for Nunavut. In her capacity as Languages Commissioner, she was asked to choose an Inuktitut language word for the Internet; she settled on ikiaqqivik, which literally means "traveling through layers" and refers to the traditional Inuit concept of a shaman traveling through time and space to find answers to spiritual and material questions. After stepping down as Languages Commissioner, Eva went on to teach Inuktitut at the Pirurvik Centre in Iqaluit, and later owned and operated Malikkaat, a retail store in Iqaluit which sold Inuit arts and crafts. She has also served as coordinator of the Baffin Divisional Education Council's Inuktitut language book publishing program, as president of the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce and as chair of the Nunavut Film Development Corporation. Eva will travel as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker.