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Leona Aglukkaq

Politics (2012)

“Never give up, never lose hope, find strength within yourself and with others, and always continue to dream.”

Distinguishing herself as a powerful political leader and negotiator, The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq has worked to make a difference and improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples. She is the Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Member of Parliament for Nunavut. When elected in 2008, she became the first Inuk to hold a position in Federal Cabinet. As Minister of Health she led Canada’s response to the H1N1 pandemic threat and renewed funding of $190 million for the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative. Her political career began in a six year term as councilor for the Cambridge Bay municipal government. She then went on to serve in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly as the MLA for the district of Nattilik. During her time as an MLA, she was chosen to sit on the Executive Council served as Finance Minister, House Leader, Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister for the Status of Women. Throughout her career she has voiced issues to drive change on behalf of her community and continues to do so.