150+ Canadians Day 31: Rosemarie Kuptana

Rosemarie Kuptana contributed to peace by advocating for the recognition of Inuit self government. #Canada150

Ms. Kuptana has worked for the advancement of Inuit language and culture and has been a tireless leader in the area of human rights since 1975.  From 1983 to 1988, she served as the President of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC).  During this time, Ms. Kuptana played a vital role in developing a communications system to express and reflect Inuit culture and society.

She has also represented Inuit in other forms, including serving as co-chair of the International Arctic Council and, from 1986 to 1989, as the Canadian vice-president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.

She also researched and published No More Secrets (full text PDF here), an examination of child sexual abuse in Inuit communities for Pautuutit, the national Inuit women’s association.  The work has helped Inuit across Canada better recognize and treat this extremely difficult problem.

In April 1991, Ms. Kuptana was elected to a three-year term as president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the national voice of Canada’s 35,000 Inuit.  In addition to its self-government efforts, under the Ms. Kuptana’s leadership, the ITK has participated in research and represented Inuit on Arctic environmental issues, pursued acknowledgement of human rights abuses in the relocation of Inuit to the High Arctic during the 1950s, assisted in the settlement of Inuit land claims and developed educational and other programs for Inuit youth.