The Pirurvik Centre has developed its reputation on the basis of the strength of its employees, affiliates and, most importantly, our Elder advisors. Each person brings with them a unique interest and depth of experience working in the area of Inuit culture, language and wellbeing.
Leena is the founder and President of the Pirurvik Centre. In her career as an educator, she has worked as a teacher, principal and curriculum developer. Her extensive management experience in business, Inuit organizations and government have been essential to Pirurvik’s growth and success. As Pirurvik’s vision keeper, Leena keeps the emphasis on building programs and productions of the highest quality that are grounded in Inuit authenticity.
Gavin is co-founder of Pirurvik and has been instrumental in establishing the operations of the business and ensuring its success. He is a social entrepreneur with a strong interest in supporting innovation and solutions that come from communities. He is known for designing and implementing projects that use technology to improve the ability of communities to access and share information, especially in Inuktut.
OUR ELDER PROFESSORS
Meeka is well-known as an adult educator, healer, musician and cultural knowledge-keeper. She has also written a series of manuals on Inuit approaches to child rearing and healing and working in cross-cultural environments. These were published by Nunavut Arctic College. Meeka was born and raised in the area of Cumberland Sound and today lives in Panniqtuuq. Meeka is a lead instructor for our Inuktut First Language programs, as well as our Ingalangaitukuurvik initiative. Her career as a unilingual Inuktut speaking adult educator has prepared her to lead the team of Elder lecturers in developing and delivering Ingalangaittukuurvik.
Miriam (Nilaulaaq) Aglukkaq
Miriam has maintained a life-long commitment to the advancement of Inuit culture and language. Originally from the area around Gjoa Haven, her knowledge of Inuktut, particularly the Nattilingmiut dialect, has been demonstrated in her work on dictionaries, Inuit songs and drumming and the archiving of traditional Inuit knowledge. Miriam is an Elder professor who has participated on Pirurvik initiatives since 2011. She brings a wealth of experience in delivering lectures and seminars to the project.
Joanasie Qappik, a respected Elder born in the Netsilik area, later settling in Pangnirtung, has been an invaluable resource for Pirurvik’s Uqqaritsautit traditional terminology course, and the Ingalangaittukuurvik program. A hunter, carpenter and community worker with a broad range of knowledge of traditional Inuit life, he has been a strong contributor to many Nunavut organizations, including the Inuit Heritage Trust, Hamlet Office, Inuit Co-op, Hunters and Trappers Organization and many others.
Director of Productions
Chris leads our team of developers and designers, taking our materials from ideas to final production. After obtaining a Masters in Spanish from the University of Toronto, he moved to the Northwest Territories, arriving in Iqaluit in 2000. He has been studying and learning Inuktut ever since. Pirurvik’s focus on language, culture and wellbeing drives a steady need for teaching and learning resources in multiple dialects. All of the materials Pirurvik uses in its programs – both print and digital – are original productions that we have developed.
Marlene Angnakak is a senior member of the instruction team at the Pirurvik Centre. Originally from Panniqtuuq, she has lived much of her life in and around Cumberland Sound, acquiring strong skills in Inuit language and knowledge. Marlene brings to Pirurvik over 20 years of experience as an educator, both in early childhood education and in adult learning. She also served as the Co-ordinator for North Baffin, Communtiny Programs at Nunavut Arctic College. Marlene holds a Bachelor’s of Education from McGill University and a Certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis‐Xavier University.
Amanda is a graduate of the Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP) who started her career teaching in Apex, and later at Iqaluit’s Joamie School. As the Executive Director for Tumikuluit Saipaaqivik, she led Iqaluit’s only Inuktut immersion daycare. Amanda grew up in a rich Inuktut speaking and cultural environment in Panniqtuuq with her maternal grandparents. As well as teaching courses in our Inuktut Revitalization program for Inuit and Inuktut Second Langauge, Amanda assists with the design, writing and teaching of new programs and learning resources.
Myna has over 15 years of experience as an Adult Educator and Inuit Language and Culture specialist in Nunavut. She holds diplomas from Nunavut Arctic College in the areas of Social Work and Inuit Studies. As a young person she grew up on the land near Pangnirtung. This experience provided her with an extensive education in Inuit knowledge and traditional camp life. Myna is also the host of a popular television program, and has done extensive work in film-making. Her new award-winning documentary film “Qipisa” explores the themes of Inuit traditions in modern society.
Program Manager, Language Training
As a graduate of the English Literature program of Queen’s University, Cathy has always been intrigued by linguistics and the crucial role of language to society. In past roles in office management, technical development and digital editing she acquired a broad range of skills and an attention to detail. Cathy plays a pivotal role in co-ordinating Pirurvik’s range of activities throughout Nunavut, ensuring that instructors, students and resources all come together at the right time and place.
Senior Graphic Designer
Jiddu has over 18 years of experience in creating and overseeing the production of magazines, books, packaging, advertisements, digital interactive publications and marketing materials. Some of his multinational clients have included: AVON, Nestlé, Schering-Plough, Supermaxi and Pronaca. In his new role at Pirurvik, he works tirelessly to bring our productions to life, creating consistent and professional designs to complement our growing library of publications in Inuktut.
Eva Qamaniq Aariak
Pirurvik was very fortunate to have Eva join our executive team to lead the development and delivery of our Inuktut programming. Throughout her career, as Nunavut’s Premier, and Languages Commissioner, as an educator and a journalist as well as the owner of Malikkaat a successful Inuit gift shop, Eva has been a tireless promoter of Inuit language and culture. As we research and document the most advanced forms of Inuktut, Eva plays an invaluable role in working both with our Elder knowledge keepers and with Pirurvik students who will become those knowledge keepers in the years ahead.
Janet Tamalik McGrath
Inuktut Language Consultant
Janet Tamalik McGrath is a fluent speaker of Nattilingmiutut and well versed in many other Inuktut dialects. She was educated in the Arctic and worked as a translator before completing her PhD in Canadian Studies and Political Economy at Carleton University. Tamalik is a strong proponent of supporting Nunavut communities in developing their own research interests and approaches. With Pirurvik she has contributed extensively to our Inuktut program development, instructional techniques and documentation.
Elizabeth Aapak Fowler
Curriculum Development Consultant
Liz is an independent consultant with many years of work experience in Inuit education and curriculum development. Originally from Iglulik, Liz places a high value on excellence in the Inuit language. She contributes to Pirurvik’s projects, in particular our work to develop new tools to assess fluency in Inuktut.