New chair of ICC to come from Canada’s eastern Arctic

Okalik Egeesiak is currently president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. The group respresents the 14,000 Inuit in the Qikiqtani (Baffin Region) of Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.
Okalik Egeesiak is currently president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. The group respresents the 14,000 Inuit in the Qikiqtani (Baffin Region) of Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.
Okalik Eegeesiak, an Inuk from Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut is expected to become the next chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC).

Canadian Inuit leaders asked Eegeesiak to assume the position during an ICC-Canada board meeting on Friday.

“I am delighted to have the confidence of Canadian Inuit, and asked to take up this important position,” said Eegeesiak in a news release shortly after the announcement.

Inuit Circumpolar Council - Quick Facts
  • non-governmental organization founded in 1977
  • represents  roughly 150,000 Inuit in Canada, Greenland, the United States and Russia
  • general assembly held every four years
  • promotes Inuit rights and culture

It’s expected that she will officially assume the position at the ICC General Assembly in the Arctic Canadian city of Inuvik in July 2014.

“I look forward to working with the ICC offices in Alaska, Russia, and Greenland to determine how best to share with Canadians the important work that needs to be done by all Inuit and for all Inuit,” Eegeesiak said.

The current Chair of ICC is Greenland’s Aqqaluk Lynge.

Related Links:

Canada: Inuit group calls on Canada to better fund Arctic research, CBC News

2010 Eye on the Arctic Interview with Aqqaluk Lynge on language preservation in the Arctic

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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