Idlout sworn in as Nunavut MP in Inuktitut and English

Territory’s new representative in Ottawa says she was proud to make it official in Iqaluit

Nunavut MP Lori Idlout holds up a document to the webcam on a laptop for House of Commons clerk Charles Robert to see at her swearing-in ceremony at the Astro Theatre Friday morning. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Lori Idlout felt “immense pride for Nunavummiut” as she was sworn in — in Inuktitut and English — as Nunavut’s member of Parliament Friday morning.

Under the watch of House of Commons clerk Charles Robert in Ottawa, Idlout took the oath after 10 a.m. She received a standing ovation from the crowd of around 40 people at the Astro Theatre.

Lori Idlout and her mother, Carmen Idlout, share a hug after Lori is sworn in as Nunavut’s MP. (Photo by David Venn)

“I’m really just honoured to have been elected to represent Nunavummiut,” she said in an interview.

The ceremony featured performances by singer Elisapee Tatigat Avingaq, throat singers Kristen Kownak and Alexia Alainga and drum dancer Mathew Nuqingaq.

Idlout said when she was given the option to be sworn in remotely, she instantly knew she wanted to include aspects of Inuit traditions, and began reaching out to performers.

“I really wanted to just share my pride in being Inuk and showing how amazing our culture is with our performers,” Idlout told the crowd.

Former Liberal MP Jack Anawak hosted the ceremony and said when he was growing up, he couldn’t imagine that there’d be an Inuk member of Parliament.

Elisapi Aningmiuq lights the qulliq after a prayer to begin Idlout’s swearing-in ceremony. (Photo by David Venn)

“This was something that we couldn’t even imagine back then. So, here we are,” Anawak said to close off the ceremony.

Elisapi Aningmiuq, who performed a qulliq lighting to start the ceremony, said in an interview that the qulliq is an important tool that was used to signify an important event.

“[It’s] a wonderful pleasure to include the qulliq, which gives light and hope and warmth,” Aningmiuq said.

Idlout said she is looking forward to getting to work, and to the first House of Commons sitting on Nov. 22.

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(20) Comments:

  1. Posted by Forever Amazed on

    I applaud the use of Inuktitut, however, this was a federal election and federal swearing in ceremony. French should have been included also as it is an official language of Canada. I remember being at many meetings with federal departments and being chastised for not having documents translated into French. (We had Inuktitut , Inuinnaqtun and English versions of the documents but not French.)

    Congrats Lori.

    • Posted by Akudnirmiuta on

      You would have to press 2 first to do that

  2. Posted by $$ on

    She is on her way to being the most expensive MP in the history of canada. Roll out the red carpet for Lori

    • Posted by VOTER on

      Looks like big show , wardrobe and all

  3. Posted by Not $$ on

    I suspect you are the same person who was complaining earlier about cost.

    So local artists got paid, local businesses got contracts and Ms Idlout saved an otherwise wasteful trip to Ottawa – airfare, hotel and meals.

    Less money spent,, local value, support for artists and less fossil fuel burn.

    What was your problem?

  4. Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

    She and her staff have conveniently forgotten the official languages of both Canada and Nunavut. As usual for the NDP

    • Posted by Like a Conservative on

      True, but least she didn’t forget to show up for her debates and media appearances in the election. I suppose that is part of why we chose her and not another candidate from another under-performing party… could have been worse.

  5. Posted by Kitty Murphy on

    I love this! Very intelligent, grounded and classy lady. I can’t imagine how proud her mother Carmen, families and communities must be. All the very best in the course of your position Lori.

  6. Posted by Inuk Person on

    It seems like Nunavut’s federal MP has a brighter outlook than the last sideshow we had. Many MPs have law degrees, at least Nunavut is up to par for the moment.

    Let’s be optimistic about our MP, she can do a lot for her constituents. The least we can do is to support her. We need to support her (and the others that will come in the future) for the betterment of the territory, if we’re more supportive to our elected officials, they will have less negative things to worry about.

    They are genuinely concerned about the people, and they want to try and make things better for the people.

    People who are commenting probably did not even vote during the last federal election.

    • Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

      I am sure that Lori will be able to do so much for her constituents and for Nunavut as an MP with a splinter party that has no hope of ever forming government. Continue to live the fantasy

      • Posted by Inuk Person on

        Of course it is a fantasy, the government cannot solve all the problems, let alone a party that is at a disadvantage.

        At least now we have a fairly reasonable chance of having a legitimate voice since Nancy Karetak Lindell.

        One person at the strategic point can fend off a thousand men (Admiral; Roaring Currents, 2014).

        When someone goes high, they get torn down instantly (Qimiinnarl by Tarrak, 2019).

        Think positive about our politicians for once, if you’re not happy with them, be the next MP or MLA.

        Lori (and the newly elected MLAs), never mind these little negative voices in your head, just focus on making good impact on the political system, your people need your help! All the best!

  7. Posted by Future will be bright on

    Nunavut is lucky to have ditched the last MP who’d become a total embarrassment for her constituents and NDP.

    Thank god the sheenanigans from our last MP and the MP before her are a thing of the past. Pretty confident that we won’t see any of all that silliness and ugliness. We deserve a professional MP to represent us. Lori will need good support. She will also need to learn to work with all other parties for the best interests of all Nunavummiut no matter their political affiliation.

  8. Posted by uvanga on

    What a great way to start your riding Lori! I am extremely proud of you as are others. You chose to do it the way our parents and forefathers would have wanted it, by showing our culture in the very language that we are born with. I look forward to having you represent us.

  9. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    Granted Ms. Idlout is not a member of the party forming the government, but it is a minority government. This provides leverage for the NDP to push the Liberal government hard on programs and funding, especially on items which would negatively affect the image of the government on a national stage.
    Housing is now a national issue and affordability, and even accessibility is a huge issue in the north (not just Nunavut). If the NDP were smart they would push this issue to the maximum. Quickly get the information, possibly from StatsCan, if not from the territorial governments. A breakdown of how many houses & apartments are occupied, average occupancy, how many are over capacity, maximum numbers, and how many new units are needed. It shouldn’t be hard to illustrate how action is needed now on this issue, especially in Nunavut.
    You can do the same thing with food insecurity. Access to drinkable water. Environmental concerns (garbage dumps), sewage treatment plants. Social programs for addiction, violence, justice, educational programs. Nunavut is a poster child for the ills affecting our society and our daily life.
    The past two years have been a waste for the NDP party in Nunavut, hopefully this MP can get the federal NDP leader and caucus on side and show them how making the problems in Nunavut a national issue could benefit the party in the long run.

  10. Posted by Perspective please on

    This is the first time since the end of Leona’s last term that Nunavut has had serious representation, let’s be glad for that. So what if she held an elaborate ceremony? This level of bitching feels very petty.

    • Posted by Questioning on

      Qaqqaq didn’t need a big elaborate ceremony. Nor did Tootoo. Or Aglukkaq, Karetak-Lindell, Anawak, Suluk, or Ittinuar. So why, in the 42 years that Nunatsiaq/Nunavut has been a riding, is a big ceremony called for now? It isn’t being petty, it’s wanting to know the reasoning why it was needed.

      • Posted by Circumstances on

        Lori is the first of those who was given that option, undoubtedly because of covid.

  11. Posted by Pain In The Groen on

    It was a cool ceremony except for the fact that it opened with a Christian prayer. I hope this is not a sign of things to come in regards to how our MP operates as a politician. Keep that stuff separate.

    • Posted by No Moniker on

      Agree with you 100% on this, there is no place in a modern public government for religious fantasy and non-sense.

    • Posted by Nutcracker on

      Tolerant much? Maybe time to rewrite the Charter to criminalize Christians?

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