Qujannamiik / Thank you / Merci  Minister Miller.

I am honoured to join you from Baker Lake, Nunavut — where it is minus 56 degrees with windchill today — to accept the Women, Peace and Security Civil Society Leadership Award on behalf of former and current board members and staff of Pauktuutit. 

I also accept this award on behalf of Inuit women and gender-diverse people, across the four regions of Inuit Nunangat: Nunavut, Inuvialuit, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut — as well as those who live in the south. 

Congratulations to the other award recipients and finalists. Pauktuutit is honoured to be in your company.

For almost 40 years, Pauktuutit has worked to address the gaping inequalities and systemic discrimination faced by Inuit women in the areas of health care, food insecurity, and economic opportunity.   

Pauktuutit has also worked to improve the personal safety of Inuit women who experience gender-based violence at a rate 13 times higher than other women in Canada.      

Today’s award is important recognition that there is still much work to be done to protect and promote the human rights of Inuit women and gender-diverse people and that the leadership of Inuit women is imperative to achieving progress.   

I would also like to highlight that Pauktuutit’s work is sustained and enhanced in three ways:

  • By collaboration with Inuit partners.  
  • By strong allies in other Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations; and
  • By the partnership of government leaders and departmental officials in departments such as CIRNAC, ISC and WAGE.

In the coming months and years, Pauktuutit will build on the momentum we have collectively established to elevate Inuit women’s voices — and empower Inuit women’s leadership — at all the decision-making tables – from municipal councils, to F/P/T governments and Land Claims Organizations.