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Fighting for Our Rights
The Life Story of Louis Tapardjuk
Inuit Leadership and Governance, Volume 3
“When I was growing up, I realized that there were some people in the community who were considered to be superior beings. It was as if we had to carry out their will; if we did not do what the white people wanted, it was bad. I wondered why it had to be that way. Why did we have to look up to the white people and do what they wanted? And this, even if what they expected from us was contrary to our beliefs and cultural values. I could not understand why that was happening, and maybe that explains why I have become somewhat of a radical, constantly trying to find ways for us Inuit to do things the way we want.”
Louis Tapardjuk is a former Mayor (Igloolik), MLA (Amittuq) and Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth. Louis was a leading contributor to the Igloolik Oral History Project, where he conducted hundreds of Elder interviews and translations. Louis continues to be highly active in cultural and language development in Nunavut and serves as a board member of Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit (Inuit Language Authority). Louis is currently working on a book version of the Noah Piugattuk interviews.