Culture, Heritage & Spirituality:
Peter Irniq – Inuit – Nunavut
Peter is an Inuit cultural teacher who has lived most of his life in the Kivaliq Region of Nunavut. He was the executive assistant commissioner of the NWT from 1974 to 1975, then was elected to represent Keewatin Region for four years. He was named director of the Inuit Cultural Institute in 1992 and Director of Communications for Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated the following year. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth with a mandate to be the guardian of traditional Inuit culture and language. Peter has also been recognized internationally for his artistic ability in designing inukshuks. His inukshuk for the 2010 Olympics was a highlight in Vancouver, and he has built Inukshuks in Paris, at Juno Beach in Normandy, in Buenos Aires, Mongolia, Washington D.C. and numerous other locations.
Madeleine Redfern – Inuit – Nunavut
Madeleine began her career as a businesswoman with a retail store in Ottawa, and began her extensive volunteering as President of the Tunngasuvvingat Inuit Community Centre, founding member of the Wabano Aboriginal Health Centre and the Ottawa Inuit Head Start programs. Following law school graduation, she became the first Inuit law clerk to clerk for the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2010, she became the Mayor of Iqaluit, and served for two years. Along with her positions with Ajungi Arctic Consulting and as Chair of the Legal Services Board, she also serves as an Advisory Board Member with Canadian Lawyers Abroad, as recent mentor with the Trudeau Foundation, and as a Northern Representative to EcoJustice Canada.
Jordan Konek – Inuit – Nunavut
Jordan is a bilingual video journalist and reporter/editor for CBC North and has his own production company, Konek Productions. He developed his company while working as a researcher with the Nanisiniq Arviat History Project, filming activities related to the project in Yellowknife, Vancouver, and Ottawa. As co-director and co-producer, he hopes that this initiative will be an inspiration to Inuit youth. In 2011, he attended the COP 17 United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa and spoke at an international press conference about the Inuit perspective on climate change. An advocate for climate change, he also presented his work at the latest Inuit Studies Conference at the Smithsonian Institute and was a speaker at the International Polar Year conference in Montreal in 2011. He has also worked with the Canadian Rangers, assisting with the junior rangers program in Arviat, Nunuvut.