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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 2, 2002 - Issue 73


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Inuit Educator and Activist Receives Governor General's Award

The Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons CaseIQALUIT, Nunavut (October 18, 2002) - Minister of Education Peter Kilabuk today congratulated Inuit educator Elisapee Ootoova of Pond lnlet, Nunavut, on receiving the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

"Women have always made significant contributions to our history," said Minister Kilabuk. "Elisapee Ootoova has been a life-long educator, advocate for preserving Inuit traditional knowledge and language and role model to Inuit women."

The Government of Canada established this Governor General's award in 1979 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Persons Case decision. Prior to 1929 women could not be appointed to the Senate because women were not "qualified persons" according to the British North America Act. The Persons Case of 1929 was a landmark ruling that stated that women were "qualified persons" and therefore eligible for appointment to the Senate.

The award acknowledges the contributions to equality for women, which have resulted in positive change.

"It is the spirit of women such as Elisapee Ootoova that allow women today to take on leadership roles in academic, political, social and economic arenas to improve the quality of women's lives and advance equality for women and men," added Minister Kilabuk

This year six women will receive the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

For more information, contact:

Seemee Nookiguak
Corporate & Public Affairs Coordinator
Department of Education
Box 1000, Station 910
Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
Tel (867) 975-5600
Fax (867) 975-5605

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