OTTAWA, FEBRUARY 16, 2024 – Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada announces that Gerri Sharpe, President of the Board, has made the difficult decision not to seek reelection. As a result, Pauktuutit is excited to announce that Nancy Etok has been named Interim President following Pauktuutit’s Annual General Meeting in Ottawa this week.

President Sharpe has been an invaluable leader for Pauktuutit during a time of great change and growth for the organization and we share deep gratitude and appreciation for her tenure. Her commitment, passion, and unwavering dedication to the success of the organization have been demonstrated through her countless hours of meetings, interviews, events, and passionate advocacy. The Board of Directors accepts Gerri’s decision with respect and admiration.

Under President Sharpe’s guidance, Pauktuutit has achieved numerous milestones nationally and internationally, including participating in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues advocating for Inuit women in the resource extraction industry, meeting with Māori and government leaders in Aotearoa-New Zealand, and attending ITK board and Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee leaders’ meetings.

The cornerstone legacy of President Sharpe’s time with Pauktuutit will be Inuit women’s leadership and empowerment. In a quote shared, former President Sharpe expressed her hopes for the future of the organization,

“The role of Pauktuutit is more important now than ever. The issues our communities face continue to grow – Inuit women face the highest rates of violence in Canada, struggle to access culturally appropriate midwifery and health services, and work tirelessly to feed their families while battling high rates of food insecurity in Inuit Nunangat. My vision for Pauktuutit is that all Inuit women’s voices are heard, regardless of where they live.”

The organization will soon begin the process of identifying a permanent candidate to fill the role of President and lead Pauktuutit forward. Until that time, Nancy Etok has been named Interim President to ensure the organization continues to deliver crucial resources, research, and political advocacy as the national representative of Inuit women in Canada.

In response to her new role, Interim President Etok shared,

“On behalf of Pauktuutit’s Board of Directors, we are grateful for the leadership, time, and commitment that former President Sharpe has given Pauktuutit. Gerri has set the organization on a strong and clear pathway forward and I am deeply honoured to be taking on this role for Inuit women. I look forward to working with the board in the coming months to continue the critical work of Pauktuutit.”

Reflecting on Gerri’s tenure and impact on the organization, Executive Director Rosemary Cooper stated,

“During her time with us, President Sharpe built strong relationships with government, partners, and Pauktuutit staff. Her humility, strength, and passion for advocating for Inuit women, girls, and gender-diverse Inuit at every table set the tone and standard for our entire team. We wish her success, prosperity, and well-deserved time with family and friends.”

In addition to the changes in board leadership, Pauktuutit also welcomes new board members in the following seats:

  • Nunatsiavut: Vanessa ‘Sissy’ Webb, acclaimed new board member
  • Qikiqtani North, Nunavut: remains vacant
  • Kivalliq: Nancy Uluadlauk–Gibbons, elected new board member
  • Kitikmeot: Josephine Tucktoo, acclaimed returning member
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut: Elisapee Sheutiapik, elected, returning member
  • Yellowknife, NWT: Pauline Saturgina Tardiff, acclaimed new board member
  • Inuit Nunangat Youth (18‐35 years old): vacant


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