Pair honoured as Pauktuutit’s women of the year
Malaya Bishop, Nikki Komaksiutiksak take home annual awards
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.