APRIL 5, 1977

INUK WILLY ADAMS APPOINTED SENATOR–FIRST INUIT TO SIT IN PARLIAMENT

Born June 22,1934, in Fort Chimo, Northwest Territories (now Kuujjuaq, Nunavut), Adams became an electrician and later a businessman.  Appointed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Adams recalled not being particularly excited when he was first asked to join the Senate by Warren Allmand, then minister of Indian and northern affairs.  “I asked him, ‘What’s the Senate?’ ” Adams said.  Allmand told him it was easy work with an annual salary of about $60,000 — far more than the $7,500 he was making at the time.  Adams said he’d take it.  He was appointed to the Northwest Territories seat, and was later named Nunavut senator when that territory got its own seat.  The former Rankin Inlet businessman and electrician retired in 2008 as the Senate’s longest-serving member.  Retirement is mandatory at 75 for senators.  Once retired, Adams said he hoped to have more time to visit the North and go hunting.  As for his replacement, he said he hopes the next Nunavut senator will also be an Inuk. 

Source:  “Nunavut senator nears retirement,” CBC, 12/22/2008.  Retrieved 1/25/2020, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/nunavut-senator-nears-retirement-1.751418?ref=rss
Photo:  Government of Canada (Parliament), 2009.  Permissive Use.  Source:  Senate Report on Activities 2009 - Senators on March 31, 2009 (sencanada.ca)

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