APRIL 24, 2016

INUIT LAWYER ACTIVIST KIVIAQ (DAVID CHARLES WARD) DIED

Born on January 23, 1936, in Chesterfield Inlet, Northwest Territories, David’s family moved in 1940 to Edmonton.  Given the Inuktituk name, Kiviaq, by his Inuit mother and Caucasian step-father at birth, he was renamed David Ward.  Small in stature, he took to boxing to defend himself and became a prizefighter, winning 108 of 112 fights, capturing several provincial and Golden Glove championships.  In 1955, he became the first Inuk to play on the Edmonton Eskimos football team though injuries quickly ended his season.  In 1968, Ward was elected to the Edmonton City Council where he served for two terms as an alderman.  He ran his own radio show and became the first Inuk to become a lawyer in 1983.  As an attorney, he helped establish the legal rights of Inuit people.  In 2001, Ward won the right to change his name back to Kiviaq.  In 2003, Edmonton declared March 14 “Kiviaq Day.”  His battle for equality for Inuit people inspired the film Kiviaq vs. Canada.  He died on April 24, 2016 in Edmonton.

Source:  Wayne Larsen, "Kiviaq, Canada's first Inuit lawyer, won right to use his name," The Star, 5/15/2015.  Retrieved 6/28/2019, https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/05/15/kiviaq-canadas-first-inuit-lawyer-won-right-to-use-his-name.html
Photo:  Author unknown, 10/10/1974.  Fair Use:  This is not being used for profit and is done for educational purposes only.  Further Fair Use justification provided upon request.   Only source for this photo:  Edmonton Journal, 10/10/1974, p. 18, https://web.archive.org/web/20110705052715/http://www.epl.ca/edmonton-history/edmonton-elections/biographies-mayors-and-councillors?id=W. A search by the paper did not locate the photo.  

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