Tagak Curley

Tagak Curley, born at his father’s hunting camp at Coral Harbour in the summer of 1953, is president of the Nunavut Construction Company, which is building the infrastructure for the Nunavut government. His father raised him to know the traditional culture and lifestyle of the Inuit, but wanted to make sure his son also knew English and understood non-Aboriginal culture. School was not a great experience for him, but he developed a love for reading. When Mr. Curley noticed that the Inuit were no longer hunting, living traditionally, or speaking their language, he took on the position of community development officer with Indian Affairs and Northern Development, which allowed him to help organize the Inuit politically and develop their leadership. He edited the first bilingual Inukitituk-English newspaper in Canada, the¬†Keewatin Echo. He formed a national organizing committee of Inuit leaders that became the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC), and was elected its first president in 1972. He immediately envisioned a separate Inuit territory, Nunavut, and set out to see it become a reality through his many positions within the ITC, the Inuit Cultural Institute, the Nunasi Corporation, the Northwest Territories legislative assembly, and the Sakku Investment Corporation. He believes that the Inuit must have economic opportunities in order to gain self-reliance and self-government.