Edna Elias

Ottawa, Ontario
12 May 2010

A respected educator and language specialist, Edna Elias’s years of service to her territory have made her an ideal choice to serve as Commissioner of Nunavut.

Ms. Elias’s home community is Kugluktuk, Nunavut, where she has served as both a councillor and the mayor.

Ms. Elias’s distinguished career began as an elementary school teacher in Kugluktuk and Arctic Bay in 1980.  In the 1980s, she served as Co-Chair of the Northwest Territories Aboriginal Language Task Force, as well as Director of the Language Bureau of the Department of Culture and Employment.

In the 1990s, she worked as a school principal in Kugluktuk, and as an Executive Assistant at Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. in Cambridge Bay.  In 2000, she was the Supervisor at Family and Community Support Services in High Level, Alberta, and in the following years she worked in child and community development in the Northwest Territories.

Ms. Elias has also worked as an Inuktitut interpreter and translator.  She has worked as an interpreter in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut as well as in surveys of Nunavut residents.  Most recently, she has worked for the Nunavut Department of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs on a survey of housing needs for Nunavut residents.

Throughout her long career, Ms. Elias has been dedicated to the promotion of Inuit culture.  She oversaw the delivery of Aboriginal and Official Language services for the Government and Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, founded the Edmonton Inuit Cultural Society and owned and operated her own interpretation, translation and consulting business.

Ms. Elias is the mother of three children and speaks English and Inuktitut.