Two Nunavummiut were honoured with induction to the Order of Canada during a Dec. 29 ceremony, where Canada’s Governor General Mary Simon announced 135 appointments to the order.
Kugluktuk’s Asger Rye ‘Red’ Pedersen was recognized for his contributions to the growth and development of public government in Canada’s North.
Born in 1935, Pedersen said he has seen significant change take place in the North over the his many years as the area administrator for Kugluktuk, Pangnirtung and Behchoko, NWT.
“The North has gone from traditional fur trading economy where people in Nunavut still lived in snow houses and built dog teams to hunt,” said Pedersen, to what it is now.
“Inuit have gone from the stone age to the space age in one generation,” he adds.
Cambridge Bay’s Charlie Kakotok Evalik was also awarded the Order for his leadership as a chief negotiator in the Nunavut Agreement and architect of social and economic development in Nunavut.
“I’m particularly pleased to be inducted into the Order at the same time as Charlie Evalik from Cambridge Bay, who I knew since he was born,” said Pedersen.
Millie Evalik, Charlie’s wife, added her pride in her husband’s achievement, congratulating him “on this great and humbling honour to recognize all the tireless work, effort and determination it took to further the causes of our Inuit people and Nunavut as a whole.”
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is a way for Canada to honour people who make significant contributions to the nation. The Order’s motto, Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam means “they desire a better country.”
“Each of you has made an outstanding contribution to Canada’s well-being through your achievements, accomplishments and discoveries,” said Simon, in a video message announcing the new appointees.
“Enjoy this moment with your loved ones, who have supported you along the way.”