Among the 125 appointments to the Order of Canada announced by Governor General Julie Payette in the final days of 2017, four were recognized as instrumental to the history and culture of Northern Canada and Nunavut.
Gjoa Haven historian Louie Kamookak, who earlier this year received the Order of Nunavut, is now an Officer of the Order of Canada “for his relentless dedication to collecting and showcasing the stories of the Inuit of Nunavut.”
Kamookak spent years collecting oral history in his home community of Gjoa Haven, cross-referencing stories with traditional place names and conventional historical written accounts. This work proved instrumental in the search and eventual finds of Sir John Franklin’s HMS Erebus and HMS Terror wrecks.
Kamookak was previously invested as a Member of the Order of Canada.
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. vice-president James Eetoolook of Taloyoak was named a Member of the Order of Canada “for his contributions as an advocate for Inuit rights, notably in protecting and fostering culture and heritage.”
Graphic artist Andrew Qappik of Pangnirtung who designed the territory’s Coat of Arms, is now also a Member of the Order of Canada, “for his contributions to defining the visual culture of Nunavut as a master printmaker and sculptor.”
The Coat of Arms, the result of Qappik’s drawings being chosen from more than 800 entries received during a contest, was approved by the late Governor General Romeo Leblanc.
“It was an honour for a little guy like me up here,” Qappik said at the time.
Nunavut’s former long-time heritage director, archaeologist Douglas Stenton was also named a Member of the Order of Canada “for his enduring contributions to the preservation of Canada’s Northern heritage.”
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of the nation’s highest civilian honours, recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation, according to a news release. Almost 7,000 Canadians have received the honour to date.
Recipients will accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.