Nunavut Arctic College
P.O. Box 600
My name is Meeka Kilabuk and I am originally from Pangnirtung, Nunavut but living in Iqaluit. I was born and raised in Pangnirtung, 200 miles north of Iqaluit on Baffin Island. I have three daughters and five grandchildren.
I am Senior Instructor for the Fur Production and Design Program at the Nunavut Arctic College. Before that I was a student in this Program and earned Diploma. As a student I’ve participated in the national and international fashion design competitions and have won twice on national level. I’ve made the finals on the international level competing against 300 fashion designers from 22 countries in Milan, Italy. I am the only indigenous person in fashion design that ever made it to this level and representing Canada. I will bring my portfolio and the winning garments to Yellowknife.
I am founding member of the national Inuit organization Inuit Tapirisat of Canada now known as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatamii as an elected first Secretary Treasurer in 1971 and held that position til 1978. I was the first and only woman Inuit leader at that time. I’ve been Secretary-Treasurer of the Baffin Region Inuit Association now called Qikitani Inuit Association and a President of the same organization. I’ve been a member of different Committees, Working Groups, Councils, and Commissions such as Southeast Baffin Beluga Committee which resulted in Co-Management of Inuit and DFO; Bowhead Whaling; Land Claims Negotiating Team, and Nunavut Implementation Commission as their Secretary-Treasurer from 1993-1999 that resulted in the creation of Nunavut Territory and it’s government, to name few. I was also first Inuk Special Assistant to the Cabinet Minister John Munro, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs in 1981 during the constitutional talks that resulted in Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.
I can talk about leadership from the time when it was Inuit traditional way, when the leaders were elected not by ballots as they do today. I address other Arctic College programs and the Baffin Region Youth Councils on the leadership and getting our own territory moving from colonialism.
I’d like to attend the conference because I have some many years of experience in leadership, and the accomplishments on Nunavut speaks for itself which I was part of with Inuit team. I was on a Commission that Nunavut Act created to plan, design and establish third Territory in Canada with it’s seat of government and I lead the creation of the Nunavut flag and Coat of Arms. I can put on a fashion show of the sealskin garments that were made by the students at our Program. I can speak about the initiative that led to the Nunavut Arctic College establishing very important Program that teaches both Inuit traditional design concepts as well as contemporary fur fashion that are made of sealskins and other fur.
There’s lot more to tell you but this should give you an idea how important my participation is to your upcoming conference. I am also looking forward to learning new and different idea coming out of this gathering, exchanges of many aspects of cultural art, songs and other unique talents of the Arctic.