On Nov. 12 Lori Idlout, elected as Nunavut’s next MP during the Sept. 20 federal election, was officially sworn in.
While swearing-in ceremonies usually take place within Ottawa, Idlout has opted for something else – to instead to have it take place within Nunavut itself at Iqaluit’s Astro Theatre.
“I thought it was a huge honour, I was so glad I was able to do it in Nunavut. I really wanted to make it not just about me, but highlighting the strengths of what Nunavut has and really highlighting the beautiful culture we have in Nunavut,” said Idlout.
The ceremony was held almost entirely in Inuktitut.
The NDP party leadership is also quite excited to have someone such as Idlout on-board.
“I’m particularly happy because Lori brings a lot to the table,” said Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP, who visited Iqaluit from Nov. 15 to 17, highlighting her experience and credentials.
“To have someone like Lori, someone who’s been a longstanding advocate for the people of Nunavut, someone who’s a lawyer” will be an ideal addition to the NDP caucus Singh adds.
It was more than just being proud, said Idlout, but also supporting her fellow Nunavummiut, paying the throat singers, drummers and others who performed and the Astro Theatre for the ceremony.
“It’s about more than just pride, but it’s also about following through on some of the promises I made,” she said, “which is to try and find ways to support my economy. To be able to pay local businesses and support local performers. To pay them for the services they provided, I thought, was a wonderful way to acknowledge there are ways to support our economy as well.”
Idlout’s history of advocacy as well as her credentials as a business owner and lawyer are skills she’ll bring to the table as the NDP’s critic for Indigenous issues. Singh says “it’s a very important role that Lori’s going to play on our team. And I’m absolutely confident that she’s going to be able to fulfill that role with incredible service.”
The House of Commons will resume sitting on Nov. 22, where Idlout will be representing Nunavut as MP.