Clyde River woman wants to be NDP’s candidate for Nunavut

Aliqa Illauq announced her plan to seek the party’s nomination on social media

Aliqa Illauq is seeking the NDP’s nomination to be its candidate for Nunavut in the next federal election. (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube/Aliqa Illauq)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Clyde River-raised Aliqa Kanangnak Illauq is running to be the NDP’s candidate in the next federal election.

“It’s time I listen to my elders,” she wrote on Twitter Thursday.

“It’s time I walk the talk to ensure our future is safe for our next generations.”

The New Democratic Party in Nunavut needs a new candidate after MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq said earlier this year she will not seek re-election to the position she won in 2019.

Illauq, who could not be reached for comment, said on social media she has been working with Qaqqaq, the territory’s current MP, and fellow NDP MP Charlie Angus, on getting justice for residential school survivors.

Earlier this month, Qaqqaq and Angus called on Ottawa to investigate the “crime against humanity” that occurred at residential schools, following the location of unmarked graves at schools in B.C. and Saskatchewan.

Angus wrote “she is a fire for justice,” in response to Illauq’s announcement on Twitter.

In a video announcing that she will run for the NDP’s nomination, Illauq said she is a “true believer” that Inuit ways of being and language are starting to disappear.

“[That] is why it is very important for me that I stop sitting around and try to do something about it,” she said in the video.

She started off the video saying “Jushua and Beverly Illauq are my parents.”

In April, Qaqqaq asked Labrador Liberal MP Yvonne Jones who her parents are, during an escalating war of words in which she asserted that Jones was not Inuk. Qaqqaq later apologized.

Shortly after making her announcement on social media, Illauq said “I am absolutely humbled with the amount of support I am receiving,” on Facebook.

Illauq started a YouTube channel about five months ago and has posted videos about Inuit identity, Inuktitut language, resiliency and exploring what it means to be Canadian.

She also posted a video series in both English and Inuktitut titled “Respect Inuit or Leave.”

In a February episode of the podcast Warrior Life, hosted by Indigenous lawyer and activist Pam Palmater, Illauq shared she is a mother of three.

She also said she was working towards a bachelor’s degree in law, human rights and social justice with a minor in Indigenous studies at Carleton University.

There, she was a member of the school’s Reconciliation Advocacy Campaign, according to a profile on Carleton’s website.

In April, it was announced that Robertson Hall, a building on campus named after Gordon Robertson, would be renamed to honour Inuit.

Robertson Hall is named after a former commissioner of the Northwest Territories, who oversaw the relocation of Inuit families to the High Arctic in the 1950s, which led to starvation, death and subsequent intergenerational trauma.

Illauq played a key role in advocating for the change and discussed the issue directly with Robertson’s children — who were receptive to the change — according to an article published by the university.

Illauq is the first potential candidate to announce she is seeking a federal party nomination in the territory.

She has been approved by the NDP as a contender to be the party’s candidate, said Charlotte MacLeod, the press secretary with the NDP caucus, in an email.

Others have also expressed interest in the position, MacLeod added.

With hints that a federal election is just around the corner, the Green and Conservative parties said on Thursday they do not have candidates for Nunavut yet.

The Liberal party has not yet posted a nomination date or announced a candidate on its website.

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(42) Comments:

  1. Posted by Old Timer on

    Another young woman running I think we learned are lessing already ???

    • Posted by Warren Bernauer on

      Really? Young women aren’t fit for politics? Care to expand on that?

      • Posted by Oh please on

        Yea, no one said that, Warren. Nice strawman though.

  2. Posted by Arctic Circle on

    We need good Liberal candidate, lets home Megan Pizzo Lyall doesn’t run for MP again this election. If Leona can run for Conservatives again, i’ll vote her because she is a phenomenal women. NDP? nah…our voice doesn’t seem be heard??

    Qaqqaq was great, she should have been a Liberal.

    Nunavut needs an independent MP, most people don’t vote for the party, people vote for person in Nunavut. Lets all vote for an Independent MP of Nunavut.

    • Posted by Change on

      Mary-Lee for conservative
      Matali for Liberal

      • Posted by Change on

        Or Annie Neevee Buscemi
        And Augatnaaq Eccles

        • Posted by Change on

          Miali Coley-Sudlovenick for Liberal

  3. Posted by Better? on

    Good luck Mumilaaq,
    Oops sorry Illauq, just mixed you up with your soon to be predecessor.

    I hope your fights will be more successful, as long they are fought properly, in style and fair. I just watched some of your videos posted on your channel, but I’m not sure yet if the messages to are trying to bring over are appropriate, relevant, futuristic or just simply and purposely against the people who keep Nunavut running.

    Good luck anyway and I hope for Nunavut and ALL Nunavummiut that the NDP actually can remain neutral, yet productive in Nunavut

    • Posted by Oh Ima on

      By Better your comment “if the messages to are trying to bring over are appropriate, relevant, futuristic or just simply and purposely against the people who keep Nunavut running” do you mean settlers?

      I am willing to give the individual a chance as she knows more about the reality than most people that we Inuit face on a day to day basis. Too many old men that only know and listen to non-Inuit advisors don’t have the guts to confront real issues like Mumillaq has.

  4. Posted by Qaqqaq Part 2: The Sequel on

    I suppose at some point it might click in that Facebook likes don’t count as votes during elections, but early indications aren’t promising.

    • Posted by Butthurt on

      Still butthurt over Mumilaaq’s resounding victory?

      At some point the commenters here will realize that despite their delusions of grandeur, most of Nunavut doesn’t really care what they think.

      • Posted by iThink on

        Interestingly, many of the people you accuse of being ‘butthurt’ also voted for Mumilaaq, I did and I know quite a few others who would did also, but would not make that same choice again.

        Reducing criticism to an expression of ‘butthurtness’ seems to offer insufficient explanatory power. On the other hand, you have clearly avoided the pitfalls of grandiosity, so good for you… I guess.

  5. Posted by iWonder on

    It seems fair to wonder about Illauq’s age and any relevant experience she might have. Knowing that constituents would almost certainly be interested, it seems strange that you would leave these out, Nunatsiaq

  6. Posted by Curious on

    Aliqa Kanangnak Illauq , please tell us what you have done, besides studying.

  7. Posted by Ned Flanders on

    Please Nunavut…
    Not again. Please?

  8. Posted by Say lots, but nothing. on

    Maybe I’m just daft and didnt get the message she was trying to say in her running video, but it sounded like a whole lot of nothing. I want to know her platform and opinions.

    At least there’s a few videos on her channel to check out in order to learn a bit more about Illauq

    But please, if elected, DO SOMETHING. Leave office with something you can point to and say “I was elected by our people and that allowed me to get this done for our people.”

    • Posted by Voter on

      Just like that last time a whole lot of nothing, I could not understand why Mumilaaq was getting so much support when she did not have a strong platform and with all the talking she did there was no substance to them, a lot of my friends and family voted for her and I could not understand why, and talking to them about it they seemed blind to her lack of experience and lack of platform and substance.
      I really hope this time people will look at the past experience in a job and in the political level along with their platform before voting. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.

  9. Posted by bob on

    The type of aggressive activism that our latest MP was known for was not very effective. Not to say that it wasn’t passionate, just, and right. But it wasn’t received well by so many in Ottawa. I’d like to see more diplomatic activism by our next leader to bring to light the many issues plaguing the north. After seeing some of Illauq’s social media posts I would not vote for her. She has the same aggressive activist attitude. That serves well in many careers and it’s the same passion that I’d like to emulate personally, but not in an MP. There was an impassioned speech about Baffinland impacts and she spoke of the contaminating of land and animals dying. Yeah there have been negative impacts but hardly at the level at which was insinuating. It was comparable to the immediate affects of say an oil spill. There was a lot of exaggeration to get her point across, which I agree has affected the environment but we don’t need that in a leader. Ottawa doesn’t listen with a slap in the face no matter how right you are. You do this through diplomacy, straight facts, and no hyperbole.

  10. Posted by Not Again on

    “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”.

    Aliqa reminds me a lot of Mumilaaq. I voted for NDP last election. To prevent the errors of the past, I will not vote for Aliqa.

  11. Posted by Norther Baffin on

    we need someone with experience, who can effectively pass on messages that are important to the Territory. taking a strong stance is good, but it has to be done right.
    you need to do more than just kick up dust on large issues, but you need to focus on all the issues in the north, housing, jobs, development, wildlife, we need experience.

  12. Posted by Gorf on

    Sounds like a lot of people would like to keep the status quo and elect the rear kissing old men to continue to suck up to the mighty groonies in Ottawa. That style hasn’t worked yet and will never lead to anything more than crumbs from our politician down south. Nunavut has received more publicity in the past few months than the rest of it’ s life. Southerners rule this country and they won’t listen unless it’t shoved down their throat. We need someone that is not control by the PM and willing to raise hell. Go NDP

    • Posted by gigi on

      Yeah, she got a lot of attention alright, mostly in the form of eye rolls. All blame; you know, “colonialism”, and not much on solutions other than throwing more money at it. Never, to my knowledge, did she ever recognize that the Inuit themselves could take more responsibility in improving their lives. Nope, it’s all the settler’s fault. Complete and utter rubbish that won’t solve a darned thing.

    • Posted by Looking glass on

      The problem for you, Gorf… and others like ‘Oh Ima’ is that you see anger as a form of power, when in reality the inability to regulate emotion is a sigh of weakness and immaturity.

    • Posted by Arnold McGillicuddy on

      “That style hasn’t worked yet and will never lead to anything more than crumbs from our politician down south”

      I feel shame that you lack any real understanding of politics.

      Leona Aglukaq should feel very offended by your comments. Not everyone forgets so easily Leona…

  13. Posted by Not Again! on

    Mummilaq 2.0
    Hard Pass!

  14. Posted by Pork Pie on

    A major blind spot I see among modern progressive / identitarian activists is in their obliviousness to the importance of economic development, which consumes almost none of their vocabulary or attention; except when being derided as ‘colonial’ or ‘capitalist’ or ‘western’ (analysis, you see, extends no further than resentment).
    I believe most would be more well equipped to make change had they studied economics and perhaps politics than social justice or human rights (which is really to say, grievance and activism). So, what is appeal of the latter?

    The social justice space has grown increasingly homogenous and as so offers something akin to a religious community. The increasing convergence of shared values within the group is hard not to notice, especially from the outside. Yet, it comes at the high cost of a vicious, cannibalistic purity contest where members (doing as all humans and other great apes do) jostle for rank. For us, as opposed to our primate cousins, this is done within a hierarchy that hands out merit on two major levels: ideological purity and personal identity markers.

    By contrast, within the world of political and economic studies you occupy and space that is far more dynamic, but also more fractured and contentious. It is possible to spend decades studying economic or political theory and still be diametrically opposed on major issues to peers who have invested the same amount of time and passion as you. Yet, in my opinion, the divergence and embrace of complexity here also produces a more fertile ground for progress.

    If this comparison seems odd or confusing, let me zoom out for a bit. There are two main features on the landscape here; environments that are inflexible, resistant to critique, and that ground truth in an epistemological system arbitrated by the higher-ranking members (consider the purity contest Mumilaaq initiated against Yvonne Jones). Versus, environments that encourage the diversity of ideas (rather than the more popular diversity of tribe—which obscures an underlying drive toward homogeneity in the social justice space) and subsequently provide ground on which competition among ideas tends toward increasing creativity and better solutions.

    • Posted by Cool story, but on

      Maybe you are overthinking this a little?

      • Posted by Pork Pie on

        Could be!

  15. Posted by Will vote NDP for first time on

    I actually found the honesty away from talking points far more appealing. Inuit first is overdue as I am fed up with the tourists being pampered never ending. Go NDP Go!

    • Posted by Bring on the Tourists on

      Tourist? Nothing like a little microaggression to start the day I guess.

      That being said, Nunavut would very much benefit from more tourists, real tourists, not the way that you use the word. I say bring them on.

    • Posted by Troy on

      To speak more freely and to avoid talking points is a more appealing approach, but it does not mean that what is said is, by necessity, something of truth, wisdom or even substance. It is critical that we be mindful of that too.

  16. Posted by Gorf on

    Yes, I see what you mean . Let’s just talk and be nice to each other, after all colonizer just stole land and kill kids, what possible reason do we have to get angry!!!!!!!!

    • Posted by Herf on

      If you don’t think talking and being nice to each other is the way forward, then what is?

      • Posted by Mark Christie on

        Start with criminal investigations and clean water for all. Just as would happen in any place in non-indigenous Canada. Then an honest chat might work.

    • Posted by Nobody’s Leaving on

      Could be, but the “colonizers'” descendants aren’t going away and the number are only going to increase. I can only imagine what you think of the growing number of immigrants and immigrant descendants in Nunavut.

      As there is nothing that you, or anyone, can do to change this, perhaps you should try another tack, hmmm?

      • Posted by S on

        Excellent thought, Nobody’s Leaving.

        Also, if we deported all of the Inuk who are descendants of non-Inuk parents since the 1800s, how many Inuit would be resident in Inuit Nunangat?

  17. Posted by The Jester on

    As a prominent soon to be former MP Jodie Wilson Raybould explains the environment is less than welcoming in the House. A well meaning enthusiastic new representative unfortunately would be held back and rendered ineffective in short order. An active and supportive grass root constituency would go a long way in meeting the problem, And unfortunately that is a rare if not extinct bird here in Canada.

    • Posted by River Rat on

      I guess you missed out on the last federal election in Nunavut. Mumilaaq’s campaign was completely grassroots. Not as rare as you would think.

  18. Posted by Tribeless Voter on

    Like everyone I’m interested to see who the Liberals and Conservatives decide to run, though the Conservatives are unlikely to make much headway given their many disconnects from the rest of the country on issues like climate change and their reluctance to denounce conversion therapy. Until they realize that evolution on social issues is an existential imperative, don’t expect much from them.

    The Liberals, on the other hand, seem poised to take a majority. The silver lining to this is that it will unburden them of the obligation to take the NDP as seriously as they must pretend to do now.
    Despite a slight surge in support, the NDP remain a distant third with a little less that 20% support. While I think Jagmeet is a likeable leader and a good faith actor within the constraints of his own bias and contradictions (he decries systemic racism which is allegedly evidenced by unequal outcomes, while celebrating the fact that East Asian students have the best educational attainment in the country. How is that possible in a system that is supposedly racist at a systemic level?).

    All this seems likely to keep the party on the fringe. At least I hope so. This is a party of idealists and political fundamentalists who don’t see their unelectability as their problem, but ours.

  19. Posted by Truestory on

    You nay sayers. Why don’t you run for the top position? Seems like youse all know about politics. If you think you can do better, become a candidate for the N.D.P., instead of belittling new candidates. Or are you just a humdrum boring know it all politician?

    • Posted by What I see on

      Jealous of people who have some knowledge.

  20. Posted by Toonik’s Grandfather on

    We need someone with THICK skin and SOLID background.

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