Canadian Inuit Leader Jose Kusugak Dies at Age 60

We just heard the sad news that Inuit Leader Jose Kusugak died yesterday at age 60 after a battle with cancer.  Kusugak was renowned throughout Canada for his work promoting Inuit language, culture and rights. Tributes are already pouring in from all over Canada. You can read some of them here and here.  
We at Eye on the Arctic met Jose Kusugak for the first time while working on the documentary Losing Their Words which explores the controversial question of creating a pan-Inuit language and dialect. (Kusugak is quoted at the 4min20 and 14min08 marks.) Kusugak was a longtime advocate for standardization and he ended up being the very first interview we did for the piece. He was an unforgettable guest and not just because of his intelligence and obvious passion for language, but also because of his humour. Not only did he have me and the TV crew laughing during set-up, but he even managed to crack up the TV crew while the interview was being shot. A very rare occurrence indeed.
For more of Kusugak’s thoughts on how standardization could ensure the Inuit language’s longterm survival, read the Eye on the Arctic feature story “Speaking the Same Language.”
For more about Kusugak’s life and contributions, there’s a lovely obitutary here on the Nunatsiaq News website.

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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