Pond Inlet’s Gamailie Kilukishak recently passed away, but his contributions on a number of levels “will be with us for many years,” said Tununiq MLA Karen Nutarak.

Paying tribute to Kilukishak in the Legislative Assembly on March 18, Nutarak noted that Kilukishak often advocated for Inuit Elders to work with those who have come into conflict with the law. He also sought roles for Elders to work with law enforcement and mental health professionals.

“Gamailie often spoke of Inuit knowledge because he knew how it related to mental wellness,” said Nutarak. “Gamailie advocated for Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit to be legislated as a way to keep Inuit knowledge and values incorporated in our legislation.”

He served two terms with the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Katimajiit, a committee that advises the Government of Nunavut on Inuit language and culture.

“Over his lifetime, Gamailie saw many changes and often helped his community members adapt to changes of the modern world while living a traditional lifestyle. He would pass on his traditional knowledge to youth in his community by participating with workshops, meetings, and speaking on the local radio,” Nutarak said. “His knowledge, experience, guidance, and contributions will be of great benefit for many years to come.”

Although Kilukishak spent most of his early life on the land in the Tununiq area, he also lived near Arctic Bay and Iglulik, she added.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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