Ottawa, ON, February 14, 2024 – Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada’s Board of Directors selected this year’s Inuk Young Woman of the Year and Inuk Woman of the Year.

“The Inuk Woman of the Year award honours those who embody the vibrant spirit, strength, and determination of our beautiful Inuit culture. By championing language revitalization programs and creating platforms for youth engagement, these remarkable women are not only preserving our cultural heritage but also ensuring its flourishing for future generations,” said Gerri Sharpe, Pauktuutit President.

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, presented the Inuk Woman of the Year and Young Inuk Woman of the Year awards at Pauktuutit’s Annual General Meeting today in Ottawa.

“We are pleased to have Minister Ien with us to present this award today. Her presence underscores the significance of celebrating the achievements and contributions of Inuit women within our community,” added President Sharpe.

Inuk Woman of the Year

Janine Lightfoot from Makkovik (Maggovik), Nunatsiavut, is this year’s Inuk Woman of the Year.

Janine is a passionate advocate for revitalizing Inuit language and culture in an area deeply affected by language erosion. Janine holds a degree in Political Science and Native Studies and completed the Aurniarvik Program at the Pirurvik Centre in Iqaluit, where she resided and worked for several years, and whose work inspires Janine to find ways to incorporate Inuktut into all areas of her life.

In addition to her academic achievements, Janine’s efforts include initiating free weekly Inuktitut classes for learners, organizing enriching workshops centered around hunting, culture, and revitalization, and establishing a memorial bursary for high school students prioritizing Inuktitut, all done in loving memory of her Anaansiak, Clara Ford. Currently, Janine resides in Makkovik with her family, including their fierce and thoughtful 11-year-old, Panik Aaju Morgan, who dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Young Inuk Woman of the Year

Alyssa Carpenter, originally from Inuvik, is this year’s Young Inuk Woman of the Year.

Alyssa is a northern social worker currently residing in Whitehorse, Yukon, with her partner and daughter. A majority of her work experience is within the grassroots and non-profit sector, working with various levels of government in both the Yukon and Northwest Territories, primarily with Arctic and Northern Indigenous youth.

Alyssa is the leading founder and Project Director of the Western Arctic Youth Collective, a youth-led organization based in Canada’s Western Arctic region that focuses on empowering young people and promoting positive change in the community through on-the-land programming. Alyssa is a Laureate of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Youth Category for 2020.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is the national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada. Its mandate is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women and to encourage their participation in community, regional, and national concerns about social, cultural, and economic development.

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