Aaju Peter becomes member of Order of Canada Nov. 23
"She has raised global awareness of the challenges confronting Canada's most northern inhabitants"
On Nov. 23, Aaju Peter of Iqaluit will be invested into the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
A lawyer and a clothing designer, Peter was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2011 for social service: her volunteer work promoting and preserving Inuit culture.
Peter was born and raised in Greenland, and moved to Iqaluit in the early 1980s.
The mother of five is a graduate of Akitsiraq Law School and is well-known for her sealskin creations.
An accompanying biographical note to the notice of the investiture ceremony says “Aaju Peter is an ardent defender of the rights of Canada’s northern Indigenous people. An Inuk clothing designer, lawyer and activist, she is committed to preserving Inuit culture and language. Travelling internationally, she has raised global awareness of the challenges confronting Canada’s most northern inhabitants. She also speaks about issues related to sustainability and resources, and their impact on the traditional way of life.”
Peter was the only Nunavut resident to be named to the Order in 2011, although Ottawa photographer Hans Blohm was also recognized for his work documenting Canada’s Far North.
Established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada, the centrepiece of the Canadian honours system, recognizes a lifetime of “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.”
The insignia of the Order is a stylized snowflake of six points, with a red centre, which bears a stylized maple leaf with the Latin motto of the Order, Desiderantes meliorem patriam, (They desire a better country), topped by St. Edward’s Crown.
All Canadians are eligible for the Order of Canada, with the exception of federal and provincial politicians and judges who still hold office.
The order’s constitution also permits non-Canadians to be considered for honorary appointments.
But there are no posthumous appointments.