Charlie Evalik was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions to the social and economic development of Nunavut. He has served as the president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and as a negotiator on Inuit land claims. On Wednesday, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon announced a year-end list of 135 people who will receive the country’s highest civilian honour. (Photo courtesy of Charlie Evalik)

Charlie Evalik named to Order of Canada

Former KIA president, land claims negotiator among 135 year-end appointments announced by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon

By David Lochead

Charlie Evalik said he was surprised to get a call in late November telling him he had been nominated for the Order of Canada.

But now the Inuit leader is one of 135 Canadians to receive Canada’s highest public honour. Gov. Gen. Mary Simon announced a year-end list of appointments on Wednesday morning.

Other appointees with a connection to the north include Kugluktuk’s Asger Rye Pedersen, for his contributions to the growth and development of public government in the North, and Toronto’s Patricia Feheley, for her promotion of Inuit art and culture, according to a news release Simon’s office issued Wednesday morning.

“I think it’s a privilege,” Evalik said.

Evalik, who lives in Cambridge Bay, received the Order for his role in the social and economic development of Nunavut.

He is known for his time as the president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and as one of the negotiators of Inuit land claims with the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut. He was president of the KIA from 1996 to 2005 and again from 2008 to 2014.

While president of the KIA, he co-founded Nunavut Resources Corporation, an organization dedicated to ensuring Inuit are involved in the investment of resource development in the North.

Evalik was also involved in trying to develop the Grays Bay Port and Road project and negotiating the Inuit impact benefit agreement for the Hope Bay mining project.

He said resource development was going to happen in Nunavut regardless, so he focused on ensuring that Inuit would be directly involved. Specifically, he wanted Inuit to have control of that resource development and ensure it would not negatively impact the environment.

But taking on roles such as president of an organization or negotiator on land claims are large tasks, and Evalik said he is thankful that his family understood the roles he had to play during that time.

“It’s a support that’s very important,” Evalik said.

Evalik said he partly attributes his success to working in the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay after graduating from high school in Yellowknife in 1971. During his early career in Cambridge Bay, he was able to learn the administrative skills that would help him in later roles.

For the future of Nunavut, Evalik said he believes young people understand that getting an education is key for being involved in the territory’s development.

While humbled to receive the award, Evalik said he hopes the award shows Nunavut’s young how effective working to improve the territory can be so that they can be the ones to move the work forward.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Peter Ohokak on

    Very well deserved. Congratulations Charlie! You always led with respect from your peers and employees, which shows the level of admiration from us all. All the best.

  2. Posted by Baba Pedersen on

    Congratulations to both Charlie and my Dad, Red. Both very well deserved! We are all very proud of both of you. You are definite roll models for us all.

  3. Posted by Amazed & Amused on

    Nunatsiaq, I see you posted a story called: ‘Nuluujaat Land Guardians – Newsmaker of 2021’

    Problem is it is a dead link that reads:

    ERROR 404!
    The address you are trying to reach appears to be invalid.

    Are you planning to fix that, or nah just leave it up and never mind? Who cares right?

    • Posted by Corey Larocque on

      That article should not have been published on the website until Friday.
      The link is dead because the article hasn’t been published yet, but the landing page was made live.
      It has been deleted for now and will go live on Friday, Dec. 31.


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