Daisy Arnaquq didn’t plan on becoming Qikiqtarjuaq’s mayor, but was happy to step up when community found itself in need of one.

Arnaquq has lived in the community of roughly 600 people her whole life, and currently works full-time at the local school. She took on the role of mayor in January 2023, when former mayor Harry Alookie resigned from the position.

She did not intend to serve as mayor long-term, but when no other candidates put themselves in the running for the position in the coming municipal elections, she decided to serve the community again.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” she said. “I was born here, and I love it here.”

“There was nobody running for mayor, and it’s important for the community to have a mayor,” she added. “I wasn’t going to be running for mayor if somebody else was running, but since nobody else was running, I went ahead and filled out nomination papers.”

Arnaquq’s first 10 months as mayor have been busy, she said, particularly as she continues to juggle the demands of the job with her duties at the school. However, she plans to reduce the time she spends at the school in the near future, in order to devote more time to her work in public office.

Arnaquq was reluctant to name the biggest issues facing Qikitarjuaq, but said one of her main focuses as municipal leader will be finalizing unfinished projects and working on local bylaws.

“I have to talk to our chief administration officer about the biggest issues in our community,” she said when asked about the most pressing items on her to-do list. “I don’t like to make any promises that might or might not happen.

“There’s some business that we have to complete that’s uncompleted the last couple of years because of absent councillors, but I’m really going to be pushing on that, to finish all our unfinished business.”

“There’s going to be quite a bit of projects going on in our community over the next couple of years.”

As Arnaquq gears up for her first full term as Qikiqtarjuaq’s mayor, she encourages her neighbours in the community to continue working together in pursuit of their goals.

“The only way that I can say it is we need to work together as a community,” she said. “That’s the only way I can put it. We can’t work alone. The mayors, the councillors, we can’t work alone. We need to work together as a community.”

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