International Inuit organization announces youth leadership award winners in honour of Hans-Pavia Rosing

The ICC youth leadership awards were created in honour of Hans-Pavia Rosing (pictured above), a former ICC President, a prominent politician in Greenland and recipient of the Greenland Peace Prize in 1985. (Kristian Linneman/Courtesy ICC)
The Inuit Circumpolar Council Council (ICC) announced the recipients of its inaugural youth leadership awards on Monday, recognizing what the organization describes as the “guiding stars” in each of the world’s four Inuit regions. 

ICC represents the approximately 180,000 Inuit in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka, Russia.

The recipients of the 2019 Hans-Pavia Rosing Leadership Award are:

  • Canada: Janessa Elanik, pursuing a career as a pastry chef who hopes to open her own bakery in Canada’s Northwest Territories
  • Russia: Tatyana Oleinikova, a teacher in the Chukotkan village of Sireniki, who works to promote the Inuit language in the classroom
  • Alaska: Samantha Harrison, a nurse, is working to create at medical atikluk, a garment worn by Inuit women, that could be worn by nurses like herself and others working in health care
  • Greenland: Pipaluk Hammeken, involved in language studies with the aim of promoting Inuit language and tradition

ICC founded the prize after the passing of Hans-Pavia Rosing at age 70 in 2018. Rosing, a Greenlander, was a former ICC President, serving two terms from 1980 to 1986. He was also a prominent politician in Greenland and was awarded the Greenland Peace Prize in 1985. 

“Like the diverse interests of the original President of the ICC, the purpose of the Hans-Pavia Rosing Leadership Award is to support the growth and development of young Inuit women and men in diverse areas, ranging from the pursuit of honing hunting skills with elder experts, to higher education, to leadership training opportunities, to skin sewing skills or other Inuit customs, practices and values,” the ICC said a news release on Monday.

Recognition for each Inuit region

To commemorate his work at ICC, the organization established a $1000 US leadership award, to be awarded each year to one recipent, age 30 or under, from each ICC member country.

“Hans-Pavia Rosing Leadership Award is a unique opportunity for us all to remember our history (ICC history), and young people to learn to be a leader or develop these qualities in ourselves,” said Liubov Taian, the ICC Chukotka president and vice chair, the news release. 

Monica Ell-Kanayuk, the ICC Canada president, said she hopes this first round of winners inspires youth across the Inuit homeland to see themselves as leaders too. 

“I look forward to observing our new young leaders develop, hopefully with the assistance of this award, and I encourage Inuit to apply in the future.”

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Indigenous leader named Northerner of the Year by Canadian magazine, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Budget cuts threaten international Sámi language cooperation, Yle News

Greenland: Inuit leaders applaud UN move to designate International Decade of Indigenous Languages, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Walt Disney Animation Studios to release Saami-language version of “Frozen 2”, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Calls for more Indigenous protection in Sweden on Sami national day, Radio Sweden

Russia: Russia removes critical voices ahead of Arctic Council chairmanship, claims Indigenous peoples expert, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Indigenous leaders at UN meeting push for decade dedicated to language revitalization, CBC News

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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