APRIL 1, 1999


Born on April 15, 1931, in Bernard Harbour, Northwest Territories (NWT), Helen went to school in Aklavik, NWT.  Moving with her family to Cambridge Bay (CB) in 1961, Maksagak worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and as community worker & manager of the transient center. Helen also served civically on the NWT Round Table on the Environment, Social Appeal Committee for Social Services, CB Housing Association Board, and Drug & Alcohol Management Board for the Kitikmeot. From 1992-94, she served as the NWT Deputy Commissioner & as Commissioner from 1995-99–the 1st woman & 1st Inuk to hold these positions. In March 1999, she was chosen as the 1st Commissioner of the newly created Nunavut Territory. Helen held that post until April 2000 and then as Assistant Commissioner until her death in CB, on January 23, 2009.  She also served on the Board of Directors for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation & received the Order of Canada in 2002.

Sources:  "Backgrounder - Biography of Mrs. Helen Maksagak - Nunavut Deputy Commissioner," About INAC, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 2005 News Releases, 11/4/2008.  Retrieved 8/8/2021,  http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/aiarch/mr/nr/s-d2005/02732bk-eng.asp
Photo: Commissioner of Nunavut Official Page.  Fair Use.  Source: www.commissioner.gov.nu.ca/en/fcommissioner.aspx. 

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