99 year-old honoured as a Hometown Hero

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Inuk elder Qapik Attagutsiak, 99, was honoured as a Hometown Hero on Jan. 27. Parks Canada recognized Attagutsiak for her contributions during the Second World War.

Inuk Elder Qapik Attagutsiak sits between her daughter Kataisee Attagutsiak and Ray Coutu from Parks Canada. photo courtesy of Parks Canada

The elder had played a vital role during this period by voluntarily gathering animal bones and carcasses, which were then shipped and made into munitions, aircraft glue and fertilizer in southern Canada.

She is the last known surviving person who collected bones in the Arctic for the war effort.
The commemorative ceremony took place at the Canadian Museum of History. Hundreds of attendees had the opportunity to hear traditional throat singing and see drum dancing by Inuit students.

There was an unveiling of a story panel showcasing Inuit contributions to the Second World War.

In honour of Attagutsiak there was also a presentation of a large inunnguat (an inuksuk-like figure in the shape of a human) which was covered with drawings from students.