April 29, 2016

On the Passing of former MLA James Arvaluk

YELLOWKNIFE) Friday, April 29, 2016 – The Speaker of the 18th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories expresses condolences to the family of James Arvaluk, who passed away on Wednesday evening.

“On behalf of Members of this Assembly, it is with great sadness that we offer our condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of James Arvaluk,” said Speaker Jackson Lafferty.

Mr. Arvaluk was first elected as a Member of the 12th Legislative Assembly in the Northwest Territories and represented the electoral district of Aivilik from 1991-1993. He was elected to the Executive Council and served as Minister for the Department of Education and the Department of Culture and Communications.

During Nunavut’s first election in 1999, Mr. Arvaluk was elected in the electoral district of Nanulik and was Nunavut’s first Minister of Education. He served until 2003. In a 2006 by-election, he was elected to represent the electoral district of Tunnuniq, re-elected in 2008 and served until 2011.

Mr. Arvaluk was born in Igloolik and lived there until 1964. He attended Churchill Vocational Centre and went on to study at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Later, he attended Arctic College in both Fort Smith and Rae Edzo.

Prior to serving as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Arvaluk was president of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada from 1974-1976, president of the Baffin Regional Inuit Association from 1979-1981, and served as a member of the Nunavut Land Claim Negotiation team. He was a past member of the Board of Governors for the Arctic Institute of North America and the Board of Directors for the National/Provincial Parks Association. He also worked as a CBC announcer and operator for two years.

“Mr. Arvaluk was a dedicated spokesperson for the North and a strong proponent for the creation of Nunavut,” said Speaker Lafferty. “He will be sorely missed."

Flags will be lowered to half-mast at the Legislative Assembly building in Yellowknife on the day of Mr. Arvulak’s memorial service.

For more information, please contact:

Honourable Jackson Lafferty, Speaker
Legislative Assembly of the NWT
Phone: 867- 767-9133 or 1-800-661-0784
Email: Jackson_Lafferty@gov.nt.ca