Eva Aariak was appointed as the new Commissioner of Nunavut in January 2021. She has been a lifelong champion for Nunavut and Inuit languages and culture. Throughout her career as an educator, journalist, entrepreneur, public servant, and elected official, she promoted the use and understanding of Inukut.
As the first Languages Commissioner of Nunavut, Ms. Aariak also helped make Inuktut a working language within the territorial government and recommended to the Nunavut Legislative Assembly the groundbreaking Inuit Language Protection Act, which was subsequently passed into law. Ms. Aariak was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut and served as the second Premier of Nunavut from 2008 to 2013. As Nunavut’s first woman premier and an advocate for equity and gender equality, Ms. Aariak has contributed greatly to advancing the role of women in Canadian public life. During her time as premier, she also led innovative and inclusive poverty reduction efforts to strengthen local economies, improve food security, and increase access to housing across the territory. Ms. Aariak has served her community as a volunteer over several decades. In recognition of her numerous achievements, she was named as a member of the Order of Canada 2018