Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut December 31, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Nunavut artist, educator of Inuit youth named to Order of Canada

Nunavut’s Order of Canada honours go to quiet contributors

DAVID MURPHY
Christine Lalonde, the National Gallery of Canada's associate curator of indigenous art, poses with Elisapee Ishulutaq in front of Ishulutaq's nine-metre-long work entitled
Christine Lalonde, the National Gallery of Canada's associate curator of indigenous art, poses with Elisapee Ishulutaq in front of Ishulutaq's nine-metre-long work entitled "Nunagah," which was part of the gallery’s 2012 Canadian Biennial exhibit. (FILE PHOTO)
Morley Hanson, Nunavut Sivuniksavut co-ordinator for 25 years, is currently on leave in Rwanda, where he is volunteering on an education project at the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali. (FILE PHOTO)
Morley Hanson, Nunavut Sivuniksavut co-ordinator for 25 years, is currently on leave in Rwanda, where he is volunteering on an education project at the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali. (FILE PHOTO)

A well-known Nunavut artist and an Ottawa-area man who has worked with Inuit youth for 25 years will become members of the Order of Canada, Governor General David Johnston announced Dec. 30.

They are among 90 new appointees to the order announced by Johnston.

These include 88-year-old Elisapee Ishulutaq of Pangnirtung, whose prolific contributions to the contemporary art world earned her an entire wall at the National Gallery of Canada in 2012 as part of its prestigious 2012 Canadian Biennial exhibition.

Ishulutaq was added as a member of the Order of Canada “for her progressive artwork and for her contributions to the cultural and economic health of her community as a role model and mentor.”

According to the National Gallery of Canada’s website, Ishulutaq started carving and drawing in 1970, and she has contributed more than 94 original images as part of Pangnirtung’s annual collection.

Ishulutaq is the “last living artist who participated in the first [Pangnirtung] print collections,” the National Gallery says.

In 2010, Ishulutaq contributed two prints to the Pangnirtung collection, one of which included a stencil print that depicts Vancouver condominiums.

Alongside more modern themes in her prints, Ishulutaq’s art work also features the Inuit traditional way of life, from hunting to natural landscapes.

Another Nunavut-related award recipient is Morley Hanson, the Chelsea, Quebec resident who has coordinated the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program for Nunavut youth in Ottawa for more than 25 years.

Hanson received his Order of Canada membership for “his work to empower Inuit youth.”

Hanson oversaw a move in 2012 that saw the school relocate into a new two-storey building.

The college for Inuit youth has graduated more than 350 Nunavut students since it opened its doors nearly 30 years ago.

Before starting work at NS in 1988, Hanson worked with young offenders at wilderness camps, He also worked in the Katimavik program for Canadian youth and taught in northern Saskatchewan.

Hanson is currently on leave from NS in Kigali, Rwanda, where he is volunteering with CUSO, the Canadian University Service Overseas program, on an educational project at the Genocide Memorial Centre.

Hanson holds a masters degree in education from the University of Ottawa.

The Order of Canada, established in 1967, is one of the highest honours in Canada. The advisory council for the Order of Canada recommends appointments for the order.

Ishulutaq and Hanson will receive their medals at a ceremony to be held in Ottawa later this year.

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