Youth Recipient (2016)
“Quviagijait nanilugu piniluguk piyungnarnirnut tamaat.”
Working in downtown Toronto, Killulark (Laura) Arngna’naaq is thousands of miles from her home community of Baker Lake, Nunavut. But the young Inuk doesn’t see a daunting mass of buildings. Rather she sees opportunities for social development as the Accounting Manager for Habitat for Humanity GTA.
Killulark is one of the few Inuk Chartered Accountants in Canada. She graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2011 and was the first Indigenous student to be accepted into the prestigious Master of Management and Professional Accounting program at the University of Toronto. She completed her Master’s degree in 2013 and achieved all her professional qualifications in 2015. While studying at Trent, Laura served as the Aboriginal Student Ambassador.
While she is based in Toronto and has lived in southern Ontario since 2000, she has worked diligently to stay connected to her Inuit roots: she taught herself to carve soapstone, and worked on her Inuktitut language skills through self-study and by auditing an Inuktitut course at the University of Toronto. She is even building a kayak in her few spare hours and is now learning the traditional Inuit game of throat singing. She also volunteers for organizations serving Indigenous people and has taken on the challenge of bringing awareness of Inuit heritage and history to her financial sector colleagues.