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Two Inuit women recognized for outstanding advocacy efforts

Nunavut Government presents 2022 Wise Woman and Outstanding Woman Award’s
From left, Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, Naullaq Lambe, who accepted the 2022 Outstanding Young Woman Award for her sister Anna Lambe, Nunavut minister responsible for the status of women Margaret Nakashuk and the recipient for the 2022 Nunavut Wise Woman Award of 2022 Elisapee Sheutiapik. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo ᓴᐅᒥᐊᓂ, ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᓯᕗᓕᖅᑎᐃ ᐊᕿᐊᕈᖅ, ᓇᐅᓪᓚᖅ ᓛᒻ, ᐊᖏᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ 2022-ᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᒃᑲᐅᔪᒥᑦ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᒧᑦ ᐊᕐᓇᒧᑦ ᑐᓐᓂᖅᑯᓯᐊᒥᑦ ᓇᔭᖓᓄᑦ ᐋᓇ ᓛᒻᐱ, ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᒥᓂᔅᑕ ᑲᒪᒋᔭᓕᒃ ᐊᕐᓇᐃᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᓕᖓᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᒫᒡᒍᓚ ᓇᑲᓱᒃ ᑐᓂᔭᐅᓪᓗᓂᓗ 2022-ᒥ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᓯᓚᑐᔪᒧᑦ ᐊᕐᓇᒧᑦ ᑐᓐᓂᖅᑯᓯᐊᒥᑦ 2022-ᒥ ᐃᓕᓴᐱ ᓯᐅᑎᐊᐱᒃ.

On March 2, the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council named two women for high honours. Elisapee Sheutiapik was awarded Nunavut Wise Woman of 2022 and Anna Lambe is Nunavut’s Outstanding Young Woman of 2022.

Lambe in recent years has burst onto the entertainment scene in recent years, giving performances in The Grizzlies, Trickster and Three Pines.

“She has a strong voice and uses it to fight for others and for what’s fair. We are very excited to see what she does next and where her exciting projects take her,” said Margaret Nakashuk, Nunavut’s minister responsible for the status of women, who was presenting the awards. Naullaq Lambe, Anna’s sister, accepted the award on her behalf.

Sheutiapik, former mayor of Iqaluit, former MLA for Iqaluit-Sinaa and a lifelong activist for women’s rights and fighting for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in Nunavut.

“I’m the one who’s always saying we should recognize people, to be honoured myself I never expected it,” said Sheutiapik.

This award came at a tough time for Sheutiapik who has been dealing with a recent tragedy in her life.

“The timing couldn’t be (better). I think I needed it now to remind me,” said Sheutiapik.

“My husband passed in December, there’s a lot but this just reminds me that I’m still strong. Life goes on and this has reminded me there’s plenty to do.”

And there is still plenty of work that needs to be done, she adds, saying while it has gotten better for Inuit women in some areas, it is not as much as it should.

“Different situations in some areas, in some areas I think (it’s gotten better). I’ve represented (Inuit women) internationally and sometimes I feel as Inuit women we are more advanced in some countries but within our own not so much.”

She said there is more awareness nowadays on the matter of women’s issues.

“We’re more comfortable to speak about women’s issues now. I think the next generation will be even more so.”

She adds there are many hardworking women.

“Far too often we’re quick to share negative hardships but not enough positives. There are some amazing people doing great stuff. I know it’s annual but we should try to recognize people more regularly.”