Gerry Philip was born in Iqaluit (South Baffin Island) in the Nunavut Territory. The town was then called Frobisher Bay, and it was part of the Northwest Territories. Gerry’s father was a Special Constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Nanisivik, which is located in north Baffin Island. (Nanisivik was a mining community, which is now closed and has since been made into a port for the Canadian Navy.) Inuit Special Constables were employed by the RCMP for their expertise on the land and culture where RCMP members were stationed in throughout the Territory. He moved around Baffin Island throughout his father’s 27-year career, and his postings included Iqaluit, Nanisivik, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet, and Igloolik. Gerry graduated from high school in Iqaluit and chose to work before going to college.
In 1998 he was employed with the Interim Commissioner of Nunavut, until Nunavut and the Northwest Territories split creating the new Territory of Nunavut. When the Nunavut Government came into effect he held administrative positions until 2002 when he was then employed by Internal Audit Services under the Department of Finance. He held this position for 12 years and, seeking something different, he was then employed by the Office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut as their Research and Investigations Officer for the Inuit Language.
You’ll learn from Gerry that hunting and fishing are a way of life in this region. He killed his first (and so far only) narwhal when he was 12 years old. He was also once issued a very rare polar bear hunting tag, but due to bad weather he was unable to go out on the land to search for a bear during the three days his tag was valid. He has travelled abroad, namely in the Netherlands, Taiwan, Mexico, Argentina, and the United States, but finds it is always very nice to go back up to the Arctic.
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