The woman who heads the organization representing Canada’s 55,000 Inuit will let someone else lead her people into their future.
Mary Simon’s work on behalf of the aboriginal people of the North spans more than four decades. She was one of the negotiators for the Inuit when Canada’s Constitution was being crafted.
In her six years as leader of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, she has witnessed the settling of the last major Inuit land claim, she has heard an apology from the Prime Minister for the treatment of the aboriginal children at residential schools, and she has seen increasing recognition of the Inuit title to the vast resources of Canada’s North.
”œThere has never been a day when I didn’t like my job,” she said during a recent interview in her office in downtown Ottawa.
But Ms. Simon, 64, has told The Globe and Mail she will not seek a third term when the ITK, which represents Inuit in 53 communities in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Northern Quebec and Labrador, holds its presidential election in early June.