Tununiq MLA David Qamaniq used his member’s statement in the legislative assembly on May 27 to pay tribute to Elder Elisapee Ootova, who recently passed away.

Referring to her as “one of my most distinguished constituents,” Qamaniq said all of Pond Inlet is in mourning over her death.

He noted that Ootova was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her many contributions to the community and the territory.

Among those distinctions was the Order of Canada in 2002. He read aloud the official citation that came with that particular award: “For over 30 years, Elisapee Ootova has been committed to helping the community of Pond Inlet adapt to changes to their traditional society. She has an extensive record of voluntary service in areas such as education, health care, counselling and restorative justice where her leadership and encouragement have been of great benefit. Also highly regarded as a language specialist, she is the co-author of an encyclopedia of Inuit traditional knowledge and an Inuktitut dictionary. She is a role model for all those seeking to preserve and reinforce Inuit heritage and culture within a modern society.”

Qamaniq summed up: “I was very proud to have known the late Elisapee Ootova, and I want to conclude by saying that her contributions will be with us for many years.”

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