Pauktuutit honours two Inuit women for their strength and resilience

Inuit women’s organization cites “inspiring leadership and achievements” in recognizing women of the year

Sharon Edmunds, winner of the Pauktuutit’s Inuk Woman of the Year Award. (Pauktuutit photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Pauktuutit, the national Inuit women’s association, is emphasizing the qualities of strength and resilience in awards they’ve bestowed on two exceptional Inuit women this year.

“After such a tough year with the pandemic, our communities needed examples of strength and resilience more than ever, and we found it in the inspiring leadership and achievements of these two women,” Pauktuutit’s president, Rebecca Kudloo, said in a news release Friday.

Annie Buscemi, 23, of Iqaluit is the winner of Pauktuutit’s Young Inuk Woman of the Year award for 2020, a new category for women aged 16 to 35.

Annie Buscemi, winner of Pauktuutit’s Young Inuk Woman of the Year Award. (Pauktuutit photo)

She received it because of her contributions to suicide prevention and mental health that she made after suffering an injury while working as an apprentice electrician, the organization said.

She did this by posting “reasons to stay alive” on a variety of platforms, including Instagram and TikTok, where’s she has attracted 10,700 followers.

“I know some Inuit youth who really struggle with their identity, so I love to point out unique aspects of our culture that we can find strength in,” Buscemi said in the news release.

Pauktuutit’s other award recipient is Sharon Edmunds, who won in the over-36 category, Inuk Woman of the Year.

Edumnds, who is originally from Nunatsiavut, won because of her contributions to health research and building scientific knowledge among Inuit.

That includes her work in helping to establish a testing service to ensure that walrus meat is free from the trichinella parasite.

Right now, she’s finishing a PhD in population medicine at the University of Guelph, where she’s doing research on the trichinella parasite, a microscopic roundworm that infects walrus meat, a food that Inuit often eat raw.

The symptoms of trichinella infection can be moderate to severe nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, fever and sometimes death, when lots of larvae are consumed.

“I want to arm Inuit with knowledge about the parasite and the existence of a test that limits the potential for developing trichinellosis infection in people and communities,” Edmunds said in the news release.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Siboola on

    there is this inuk women working as maintainer for GN . Not sure how many supervisors she had gone through during her work , she gets challenged a lot by her local Inuit men peers , she’s always told to grow some balls , she’s been told that she should smell like a women not a man , she does more work than any man she has worked with , she grew up as an outsider because her grandparents had to move where she lives now . when pandemic first started in Nunavut which is feb,2020 you would see her alone working because of her co workers had quit . This women is constantly challenged by her own men because she is considered working in a mans work place . Inuit men are constantly sexualizing her , making fails report on her . Even when her own men treat her like that she feels she cannot complain about them knowing she can loose her job and does not want to give a bad gn name to herself I guess (I don’t blame her) because where she lives if she waves her hands at anyone she is looked at as flirting . A women , Inuit women .

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    • Posted by Nancy Lushman on

      Amazing strength! !! It’s so heartbreaking this this treatment has been our reality. If we speak up it’s often pathologisized on us. Speak the truth even if your voice shakes! Stay strong Inuk Warrior! Much respect! 💙💚❄️

  2. Posted by Paul Irngaut on

    Congratulations to both women So proud of you both . You have done so much for Nunavut Inuit , in terms of health and safety of Inuit . There are a lot of women in Nunavut that have done so much without giving much thought to themselves My Nassaq goes off to you all . If it was not for the bravery and strength of Inuit women our Inuit society would have been worst off .

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  3. Posted by Nancy Lushman on

    Congratulations to our two Inuit Women of the year— Annie Buscemi and Sharon Edmunds!! Wow!! Your contributions to helping keep us mentally strong and food safe very inspirational! Nakummek!! 💙💚❄️

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