Ms. Kuptana became involved in Inuit rights issues in 1975 at a time when discussions regarding Inuit land rights between Inuit and the Government of Canada were taking place. In 1979, she joined the CBC, and subsequently joined the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation as a Production Co-ordinator and it’s President from 1983-1988. From 1986 to 1989, she was the Canadian Vice-president for the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. From 1991 to 1996, she served as President of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada where she led negotiations seeking recognition of the inherent right of self-government of indigenous peoples and came close to winning. In 1995-1996, Ms. Kuptana was President of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference and helped establish the Arctic Council by conducting research and recommendations for the Indigenous Participants. Ms. Kuptana has received many awards for her service in the protection of Inuit culture and Inuit rights from a holistic Inuit perspective. She was instrumental in ensuring that the Migratory Convention Act 1995 was passed.
In the last 10 years, Ms. Kuptana worked on the Inuit Residential School experience and ensured that Inuvialuit received compensation. As well, Ms. Kuptana has written articles and worked on the emergent issue of Arctic Sovereignty and Security. (The Inuit Sea).