Mila Adjukak Kamingoak doesn’t have to run a race for the MLA’s seat in Kugluktuk but she’s planning to seek input from residents anyway.
“I’m still going to go out and campaign door to door and hear what my constituents want – what issues they have and what kind of concerns they have,” she said, adding that she finds it “humbling” to be a member of the legislative assembly. “I truly care about our community.”
The 31-year-old mother of five said she didn’t expect to be acclaimed. News of Premier and Kugluktuk incumbent MLA Peter Taptuna’s decision not to run again came as a surprise, she said. Although she was prepared to take him on, she offered praise of his tenure.
“He did wonderful. I want to acknowledge him for all the hard work he’s done for our territory,” she said. “He (leaves) big shoes to fill.”
Among the general issues that Kamingoak outlined as needing attention are mental health, education, daycare, development, employment and training opportunities.
“I won’t go into detail right now. I’m just new at this,” she said, adding that she will rely on guidance from constituents. “I come into this (with) a fresh mind. It’s an inspiration to know that I can try to help our community.”
Kamingoak, an administrative assistant with the Department of Culture and Heritage, has no previous political experience or local board or committee involvement.
“I’m just a busy working mom,” she said, adding that she had plenty of backing from her husband and children to become MLA and make trips to Iqaluit for sittings of the legislative assembly. “I have amazing support… I wouldn’t have done it without their support.”
Kamingoak said she also hopes to inspire more women to get involved in politics, especially working mothers.
“Anything is possible when you set your mind to it,” she said. “It takes a hard-working mom to move things, right?”