A new president for NIYC

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Inuit youth voted to make Crystal Martin-Lapenskie, originally of Hall Beach, their new president June 4.

Crystal Martin-Lapenskie takes over the National Inuit Youth Council presidency from Ruth Kaviok after a June 4 election which saw nine candidates running for the position.
photo courtesy Crystal Martin-Lapenskie

Martin-Lapenskie will lead the National Inuit Youth Council (NIYC) for two years. She was one of nine vying for the position, including Nigel Adams, Ashley Rose Komangaapik Cummings, Alexia Galloway-Alainga, Donovan Gordon-Tootoo, Avianna Mackenzie, Brian Pottle, Tamara Takpannie and Gail Wallace.

“I am humbled and honoured to have been elected president of the National Inuit Youth Council. I am encouraged to see so many strong Inuit youth candidates who took part in this election. They are inspiring and are absolute change-makers in our communities,” stated Martin-Lapenskie.

“I recognize this was not an easy decision to make and I am thankful the NIYC has instilled trust in my leadership to support Inuit youth and the NIYC across the country at the national and international level.”

Martin-Lapenskie also thanked her supporters.

“This would not have been possible without any of them.”

Education, employment and health care services are the new president’s priorities.

“I will wait to meet with the NIYC to further flesh out NIYC’s current priorities and identify next steps for NIYC’s agenda,” she said.

Martin-Lapenskie is president and chief executive officer of Okpik Consulting, as well as the Nunavut regional manager for economic development at the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).

Further, Martin-Lapenskie received the 2016 Rising Technology Star Award from the Women of Color STEM Conference for her work in Arctic communities and was nominated for the Inuit Woman of the Year through Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.

As NIYC president, Martin-Lapenskie will serve as the national voice for Inuit youth, sitting on the ITK Board of Directors as a permanent participant and the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee as an observer.