JANUARY 23, 1936


Ward was born in Chesterfield Inlet, Northwest Territories, but grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. Given the Inuktituk name, Kiviaq, by his Inuit mother at birth, he later 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, Ward became the first Inuk to play on the Edmonton Eskimos football team though injuries quickly ended his season. In 1968, David was elected to Edmonton City Council where he served for two terms as an alderman. He ran his own radio show and was the first Inuk to become a lawyer in 1983. As an attorney, Ward helped establish the legal rights of Inuit people and, in 2001, 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 was made into the film Kiviaq vs. Canada.  Kiviaq 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:  Courtesy University of British Columbia Archives, Photo by Jim Banham [UBC 41.1/969-2].  Source: Kiviaq (David Charles Ward) | historyproject.allard.ubc.ca

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