Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq announced Thursday that she won’t seek a second term in office.
“Even though I will not be running again, for the remainder of my term, I will continue to fight for Nunavummiut. I will continue to focus on basic human rights and work with leadership to ensure that the expansion of the Mary River Mine respects all stakeholders and that the COVID assistance provided is what is needed in Nunavut,” Qaqqaq wrote on her Facebook page. “I will also be tabling legislation to get Indigenous languages on federal ballots. In Nunavut, 64.5 per cent of individuals’ first language is Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun. As a step toward reconciliation and to ensure democracy, Indigenous languages should be included on election ballots.
“As we know, federal institutions like the House of Commons, aren’t easily changed and governments don’t help Indigenous peoples without an immense amount of pressure. From raising awareness with my housing tour to raising issues in the House of Commons in question period, and in committees, I have taken every chance I could to fight and speak out.
”I have had the pleasure of meeting so many who have been kind and open to sharing their stories of resilience. From the first day of the campaign until today, I could not have done it without all the support and encouragement. Together, we have been able to show the reality we face in the North - the rates of death by suicide, the low availability of housing, and the struggles people face every day just for their own basic human rights - to the rest of Canada.
“I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity to be able to bring a voice to the House of Commons that speaks truth and reality. And, just because I have decided that this institution is not the place for me right now, all Inuit, youth, and Nunavummiut should know that change is possible and our voices matter. You can do anything you set your mind to, and if you have room in your life to try to help others, please do so.”
Qaqqaq, who was raised in Baker Lake, was elected in 2019 at the age of 25. She captured 40.8 per cent of the popular vote as the NDP candidate.
The governing Liberals may decide to call the next election sooner, but the latest it can by held by legislation is Oct. 16, 2023.