Our Elder Advisors

Meeka Arnakaq

Meeka is from Pangnirtung on Baffin Island. She is a community leader who has been recognized for her work in developing healing programs for Inuit. She has been involved with her local church, and taught life skills and Inuktitut at Nunavut Arctic College for more than 30 years. Outside her home community, she has worked with such Inuit organizations as Tungasuvvingat Inuit and the Mamisarvik Healing Centre in Ottawa. With Mamisarvik Healing Centre, her work focused on healing trauma and addiction through Inuit traditions and culture. She also writes her own music.

Meeka received a Wise Woman award in 1994 and she received an honorary degree from the Board of Governors of the Nunavut Arctic College in 2009. Meeka has also served on the Elders Advisory Council for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).

Meeka has five children, 10 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She is looking forward to time on the land this camping season.


Helen Iguptak
Rankin Inlet

Helen grew up traveling with her family between Cambridge Bay and Garry Lake. Her family eventually moved to Baker Lake and then to Rankin Inlet, after the community’s nickel mine was built. When she was seven years old, she was sent to the residential school in Chesterfield Inlet.

Helen worked in schools teaching children from kindergarten to grade nine for more than 40 years. She is now retired but says that working with young children has built her desire to help them. She feels it’s important for children to have an adult who will listen to them and help support their voice throughout their childhood.

Today, Helen is a mother to three daughters, as well as a son who has passed away. She has 16 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys doll making, knitting, and sewing traditional clothing. People often ask her to make hand-crafted items for them.


Lucy Makkigak
Rankin Inlet

Lucy was born and raised in Rankin Inlet. She loves life in the Kivalliq region and is very proud of her hometown. She works as a public school counsellor and enjoys helping children when they need support. Lucy is rich in Inuit knowledge and she cherishes the opportunity to teach children and youth what she knows.

Lucy loves to spend time outside. In the fall, she enjoys hunting caribou because their skins are best to harvest then. In the spring, she enjoys camping; drying fish and meats; and collecting seal skins with her husband, son, and three son in-laws. All year long, Lucy works to preserve her harvest for her family for the winter season.

In addition to her son, Lucy also has three daughters, and 15 grandchildren.




Miriam Nilaulaaq Aglukkaq
Gjoa Haven

Miriam is an active teacher and advocate for Inuktut as it is spoken in the Nattilik region of the Kitikmeot. She was the first chairperson for Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Katimajiit, serving two terms, 2003 -2006 and 2006 -2009. She also serves on the ISV committee, the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Curriculum Committee, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, and the Nunavut Elders Justice Committee.

Miriam started a dictionary in the Nattilingmiut dialect over concerns that there are not enough language resources for her dialect.





Moosa Akavak

Moosa has worked in different capacities throughout his life. He is a retired Special Constable with the RCMP, with over 30 years experience in Community Corrections and Justice services, as well as Search and Rescue. As an avid hunter/gatherer, he has an advanced level of skill and experience in traditional Inuit ways and culture, including land and survival. He loves to share his knowledge, recently having taught a group of young Inuit how to build a traditional qayaq (kayak), which was showcased to the royal couple who visited Iqaluit in 2017.

When not teaching and facilitating various programs and workshops, you will find him working with his hands outdoors or at his campgrounds in Aqukkaluit, on the outskirts of Iqaluit, where he is currently building his retirement home/cabin.
Moosa is a loving husband to Pitsiulaaq and a wonderful father of five children. He was born in Kimmirut, Nunavut.
Pitsiulaaq Akavak
Pitsiulaaq was born in an outpost camp near Kimmirut, Nunavut.
She is a trained counselor and an active member in the community of Iqaluit, where she now lives. She has been involved in many initiatives including: social work; School Community Counselor; and has worked alongside her husband facilitating various programs and workshops, including running an outpost camp for the Department of Justice’s Corrections. Most recently, she has been working with Ilisaqsivik, a community-based organization of Inuit, that is dedicated to promoting community-wellness and self well-being.
Pitsiulaaq is married to her life-long partner, Moosa, and they have five children: Jonah, Joshua, Lena, Jamie, and Inuusiq. She is a loving grandmother to 23 grandchildren. Pitsiulaaq enjoys sewing traditional and hunting clothing for her family. She loves the outdoors and spends countless hours fishing.
Pitsiulaaq is supportive of using ISV in daily life and helping the RCYO to further incorporate it into their work.