Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

January 20, 2011 18:11 ET

Statement of Condolence: President of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, Jose Kusugak

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians issued the following statement today on the passing of Jose Kusugak, president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association and former president of both the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (now the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami) and of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

"I wish to express my profound sadness at the passing of Jose Kusugak, whose numerous accomplishments remain an inspiration to Inuit, Northerners and all Canadians. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Jose Kusugak.

Mr. Kusugak used his communications skills throughout his life, as an educator, broadcaster, leader and advocate for Inuit issues. As president of the Inuit land claim organization, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, he was instrumental in negotiating the creation of Nunavut with the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories.

A former student of residential schools, he promoted education as the key to preserving Inuit culture. Through his work as a cultural and language advisor, Mr. Kusugak contributed to the preservation of the Inuktitut language. As a diabetic and cancer patient, Mr. Kusugak used his experiences to educate Inuit about health issues.

Mr. Kusugak was proud of the Inuit way of life and will be remembered for his role as a much admired ambassador for his passionate promotion of Inuit culture."

This statement is also available on the Internet at

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The Inuktitut version of this release is available at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada