Lifetime Achievement (2019)
Atuat’s life is an illustration of strong, resilient and adaptable Inuit. She was born and raised in Aggu in a nomadic Inuit life, lived through a forced relocation of her community, and has seamlessly adapted to the sedentary community lifestyle while continuing to strongly advocate for the incorporation of Inuit worldviews. As a member of the Nunavut Department of Education’s Elder Advisory Committee since 2004, Atuat has helped develop curricula rooted in Inuit culture. Expertly skilled in Inuit skin preparation and clothing, her work on many films and documentaries with Isuma Productions led to a 2010 Genie Award for Best Costume Design. As one of the foremost Elder professors at the Pirurvik Centre, she readily shares with younger Inuit her deep knowledge of Inuit culture and life. She is known to remind Inuit about the importance of using Inuit culture as a foundation even in a modern sedentary lifestyle. Her contributions are essential to the efforts underway in Nunavut to ensure that the Inuit way of life is sustained for future generations. At 83 years old, Atuat continues to practice her culture and is well-respected for her contributions to Inuit life and thought. Atuat Akittirq embodies the tremendous resiliency of Inuit knowledge and language.