Ex-Nunavut premier joins World Wildlife Fund-Canada
Paul Okalik to serve as “senior advisor”
Paul Okalik, Nunavut’s first premier and a defeated candidate in the Oct. 30, 2017 Nunavut general election, has joined the World Wildlife Fund-Canada as a senior advisor.
“Paul Okalik’s long history as a representative for his community and territory make him an ideal advisor as we bring northern perspectives and experiences more deeply into our conservation work,” Megan Leslie, the president and CEO of WWF-Canada, said in a news release.
The WWF says Okalik will work with communities “to protect Arctic ecosystems and wildlife while building a sustainable northern economy.”
Okalik, the first Inuk lawyer to be called to the Nunavut bar, served two terms as premier from 1999 to 2008, when Eva Aariak defeated him in his third attempt to win the premier’s post.
He served as a Nunavut MLA from 1999 to 2011, when he stepped down to run unsuccessfully in the electoral district of Nunavut as a Liberal candidate in the May 2, 2011 federal election, finishing in second place behind the Conservative incumbent, Leona Aglukkaq.
He returned to the Nunavut legislature in 2013 and served as an MLA until 2017, when he was defeated by Elisapee Sheutiapik in his second attempt to win the Iqaluit-Sinaa seat.
“The North is a place where we can still get it right so that communities can continue to thrive and survive with wildlife here in our territory,” Okalik said in the news release. “WWF stands out as an organization that finds a way to collaborate with communities to find sound conservation solutions.”
Okalik, with former Nunavut resident Louis McComber, is publishing a memoir titled “Let’s Move On: Paul Okalik Speaks Out,” to be available from Baraka Books after May 1.