Pair honoured as Pauktuutit’s women of the year

Malaya Bishop, Nikki Komaksiutiksak take home annual awards

Malaya Bishop, left, and Nikki Komaksiutiksak won Pauktuutit’s women of the year awards. (Photos courtesy of Pauktuutit)

By Nunatsiaq News

A young researcher with Parks Canada and the executive director of a Winnipeg-based Inuit organization have been named Pauktuutit’s Inuit women of the year.

Pauktuutit president Gerri Sharpe said the winners were chosen at the national non-profit organization’s last annual general meeting.

“These awards recognize the important contributions recipients are making within their communities and the inspiration they provide to other Inuit women,” Sharpe said in a news release Friday.

Nikki Komaksiutiksak won the Inuk Woman of the Year award for her work as the executive director of Tunngasugit, a resource centre for Inuit in Winnipeg, Man.

Komaksiutiksak, originally from Chesterfield Inlet, is also a throat singer and Inuit history and culture teacher. She has represented Inuit on the international stage a few times, most recently at the Indigenous Music Awards in 2015.

Malaya Bishop won the Young Inuk Woman of the Year award for her work as an underwater research technician with Parks Canada.

Most of her work was done around Gjoa Haven, conducting research on the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site with an emphasis on having local Inuit be a part of the decisions made there.

Bishop has a master’s degree in the arts and a commercial scuba diving certification, and spends time presenting at schools about underwater archeology, according to Pauktuutit’s news release.

She advocates for diving in Nunavut to be a viable career path.

Pauktuutit is a national non-profit organization that represents Inuit women in Canada.

Last year’s winners were Naomi Tatty, for assisting Inuit families in need across Canada, and Emelia Angnatok, for her small business and for her strong connections to Inuit culture and traditions.


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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by North baffin on

    I applaud Pauktutiit! It is wonderful how we can show our territory and its strong women who are role models. Can we have a man of the year? There are alot of men in the territory that are great role models, we should show them off too.

    • Posted by The Strong Women of Nunavut? on

      This article could be retitled, “Women from Winnipeg, Ottawa honoured as Ottawa organization’s women of the year”.

      • Posted by Urban Mama on

        Does it not matter if these women are descendants of Nunavutmiut?

  2. Posted by Congrats on

    congrats to both. well done.
    Usually recognition goes to those who go beyond the call of duty and/or typically unpaid (however, it is sometimes paid), and also perhaps contributes beyond what is in a job description. Not, for when that is their paid position.
    Best example of an award well awarded is the repairing of bicycles and giving them away for free.

    • Posted by volunteer on

      it is often true that those who are paid to do that very work, are being rewarded or recognized for it! There needs to be better guidelines or Education on this. Aren’t awards for beyond the call of duty?

      I am sure next year Pauktuutit will arrange their list to include the first question: were you paid to do any of the work you are about to disclose? Did you get paid but went beyond the call of duty or to fill a gap in a system (some marks for this, going out on a limb, risks) etc.

      YES, the person who fixes bikes for free.
      YES, promoting Inuit knowledge through various means.
      Give some other ideas since other organizations should become more aware too.

  3. Posted by 867 on

    Congrats to these women but it’s too bad they both left nunavut

  4. Posted by Nunavut Inuit on

    All the keyboard warriors, uaqai.. even if you live in the south doesn’t make you less Inuk also there’s a lot of reasons one of the fastest growing population of Inuit is in the south.. oh just small things like lack of housing, education, jobs, facing lateral violence, spousal abuse, nepotism in workplaces, to name a few! Congratulations to these hard working ladies, it shows that hard work does pay off! Great role models for the next generation!

  5. Posted by Congrats on

    Congrats to these fine ladies, There is a elder who works hard to pass on his traditional knowledge, for free, I am surprised he was not mentioned in this.

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