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People

Helen Mamayaok Maksagak

Photograph: Iqaluit mayor Jimmy Kilabuk congratulates Nunavut first commissioner Helen Mamayaok Maksagak at her swearing-in on March 31, 1999

Source

Iqaluit mayor Jimmy Kilabuk congratulates Nunavut first commissioner Helen Mamayaok Maksagak at her swearing-in on March 31, 1999.

(April 15, 1931 - )

Helen Mamayaok Maksagak was born at Bernard Harbour, Northwest Territories (N.W.T.). As a private citizen, she worked as a civilian employee of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as a community worker, and as the manager of a transient center. She also worked with such organizations as the N.W.T. Round Table on the Environment, and the Canada Committee of the International Year of the Family, as well as local social appeal and housing committees.

She was approached to act as the deputy commissioner for the Northwest Territories in 1992, a post she held until 1994. In October of 1994, she became acting commissioner, and in December 1994 she was officially appointed commissioner, a post she would hold until April 1999. (She was the first woman, and the first Inuk, to hold these positions.) In March of 1999, she was chosen as the first commissioner of the newly created Nunavut Territory; her term lasted until April 2000.

Sources

Commissioner of Nunavut appointed [online].  --  Indian & Northern Affairs Canada : news releases, January-April 1999.  --  [Cited November 29, 2000].  --  Access: www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/nr/prs/j-a2000/2-00112_e.html

Backgrounder : biography of Helen Mamayaok Maksagak [online]. -- Indian & Northern Affairs Canada : news releases, January-April 1999 (backgrounder). -- [Cited November 29, 2000]. -- Access [Website not currently available]: www.ainc.gc.ca/nr/prs/j-a1999/98143bk.html

"Maksagak, Helen Mamayaok".  --  Canadian parliamentary guide / guide parlementaire canadien, 1999.  --  Ed. Kathryn O'Handley.  --  Detroit : Gale Group, 1999.  --  P. 1102.