Tara Tootoo Fotheringham
(formerly Rankin Inlet)
Amautiit Board Meeting
There are several ways to get involved with Amautiit. We have a few projects underway to improve access to information about justice and health services in Nunavut and we are preparing for our next Annual General Meeting. Please contact us by email at email@example.com to find out more.
Madeleine Redfern (President, Amautiit)
Madeleine Redfern is an Indigenous woman involved in high-tech and innovation. Actively involved in transformative technologies in telecommunications, transportation and energy. Currently, Redfern is the President of Amautiit: Nunavut Inuit Women’s Association, President of Ajungi Consulting Group; Chair of Nunavut Legal Services Board; Advisor to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Trudeau Foundation Board Member (former Trudeau Foundation Mentor); Co-Chair with Gordon Munk Arctic Security Program; Board member of Maliiganik Legal Aid. Madeleine is from Iqaluit, Nunavut and a graduate of the Akitsiraq Law School with an LLB from the University of Victoria. She was the first Inuk to be given a Supreme Court of Canada clerkship.
As a businesswoman and a strong social advocate for transformative initiatives, Redfern has a great deal of governance and volunteer experience with Indigenous and Inuit organizations, including, but not limited to, Inuit Non-Profit Housing Corporation; Tungasuvvingat Inuit Community Centre, and one of the founding members of Wabano Aboriginal Health Centre and Inuit Head Start in Ottawa. Redfern was also the executive director of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, a commission that reviewed the “effects of federal government policies on Eastern Arctic Inuit” between the 1950s and 1980s.
Redfern’s advocacy, professional, and governance work shows dedication and passion towards the development and delivery of programs assisting Indigenous, Inuit, northerners and Canadians that reflect their values, needs, and priorities. Redfern received the Indspire Award for Public Service to acknowledge and celebrate all her hard work, commitment and contributions.
Tara Tootoo Fotheringham (Vice President, Amautiit)
Tara Tootoo Fotheringham has a strong history of involvement with Rankin Inlet, and currently resides in Headingley, Manitoba. She is an established entrepreneur since 2000 and is celebrated for providing services promoting accessible services based on the community’s needs and its traditions. She is an advocate for Indigenous issues and “will always speak up for the Northern communities to ensure that they have everything they need.” Tootoo Fotheringham is also a member of the Amundsen board, Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce, and sits on the Kivalliq Legal Services Board.
For decades, Tootoo Fotheringham was a hamlet councilor and an influential role in the decision-making for the community. She was instrumental in the implementation of Rankin Inlet’s second daycare centre and worked for the local government as a custom adoption commissioner, arranging Inuit baby adoptions. Through these experiences, she developed one of her first successful businesses: a Bed and Breakfast resulting from a need for pregnant women from surrounding communities to have a place to stay to birth the baby. Several years later, she opened Sugar Rush Café: an all-inclusive gathering space for the community that encouraged patrons from youth to elders. As a result of these inspired businesses, Tootoo Fotheringham won the BDC’s Young Entrepreneur Award for Nunavut.
Tara Tootoo Fotheringham is now CEO of Arctic Buying Co-Kivalliq, active for over a decade. This delivery and freight service supports Northern Communities to ensure they have access to goods, services, and essentials to thrive.
Priscilla Kuksuk, originally from Arviat, Nunavut, has lived in Ottawa, Ontario since 2016. Prior to her move, Kuksuk worked at the Government of Nunavut in the department of Economic Development (Iqaluit) and Education (Baker Lake). Upon moving to Ottawa, Kuksuk noticed a lack of Inuktitut/Inuktut speaking Early Years Educators for her own young children, and has since completed Early Childhood Education at Algonquin College in 2021. During the course of her studies, she also struggled to find financial assistance for research support. This experience resulted in her taking the role of Inuit Post Secondary Education Project Coordinator at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in order to provide support to Inuit students with the same struggles.
Language and travel has always been a fascination with Kuksuk. She grew up speaking only Inuktitut/Inuktut, and takes pride in her fluency, her ability to read, write, and share with others. She is able to understand many dialects in Inuktitut/Inuktut, and is also learning German and Arabic through classes and her social circles. Gender equality and human rights are also an important issue with Kuksuk; she has a particular investment in understanding the needs of Inuit girls, women, and families, so that she might assist in finding solutions to the challenges they face within their communities.
Kuksuk is a proud Inuk mother of three, and attributes her motivations and inspiration to her children.
Jasmine Redfern (Treasurer, Amautiit)
Jasmine Redfern is based in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and graduated from the Nunavut Law Program in 2021 with the University of Saskatchewan. While in the program, she won awards for both academic performance and community involvement. Jasmine is passionate about advocacy, community-building, and social inclusion; she has training in interest-based mediation and is interested in alternative dispute resolution processes. She is a current member of the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal, National Indigenous Law Student Association, and the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund advisory committee. Prior to returning to school, Jasmine held the position of Assistant Director of Social and Cultural Development at Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Her past work also included the Aboriginal Program Coordinator at YOUTHCO and Vice-President of Embrace Life Council. She was also a longstanding member of the National Indigenous Young Women’s Council and the National Aboriginal Council for HIV/AIDS. Her focus has often highlighted health issues for Indigenous women and youth, as well as LGBTQ2S communities.
Dorothy Tootoo (Elder Advisor, Amautiit)
Dorothy Tootoo is well known across Nunavut and beyond for her twelve years of dedicated service as a commanding officer for the 3019 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (RCACC) in Rankin Inlet, as well as her years as a student counsellor for Nunavut Arctic College in Rankin Inlet. Tootoo is a vigilant advocate for education, helping students to achieve their goals and persist in the pursuit of education. For example, she notably initiated a mentoring program for students with the support of local elders. More recently, she has co-led a several week international entrepreneurship program in Rankin Inlet (2021); the program not only promoted creative and experimental learning, but also fostered cross-cultural networking and exchanging methods of education.
Ningeolaa Killiktee lives in Kimmirut, Nunavut and has lived there her whole life. She had been elected mayor of Kimmirut, Nunavut, in 2018 at the age of 24, making her the youngest elected official in the territory. Killiktee has had a passion for community change and advocacy since she started working at 13. Killiktee credits her early success to a strong work ethic and a love of listening, skills she inherited from her mother. Her goal is to advance the causes of the residents of Kimmirut and help the community evolve. Killiktee is an outgoing person and a proud mother of four children. Whether volunteering, parenting, or effecting change in her community, Killiktee is motivated to better the lives of others.
Megan Porter (Youth Advisor, Amautiit)
Megan Porter is the current Mayor of Hamlet of Gjoa Haven. Porter was elected in 2019, and will finish her term in 2023. Porter also works full time with the Government of Nunavut as the Government Liaison Officer.
Nellie Taptaqut Kusugak is well respected across Nunavut, having served as the fifth Commissioner of Nunavut from 2015 to 2020, and as the Deputy Commissioner of Nunavut prior to her appointment, from 2010 to 2015. Kusugak is also a retired professional bilingual teacher with an extensive background in traditional and cultural education, teaching English as a second language and working with community Elders.
Fluent in Inuktitut and English, Kusugak has been a prominent member of the education community since 1986. She has held teaching positions in both the public school system and Nunavut Arctic College, a post-secondary institution. In these educational positions, Nellie has taught a range of grade levels and a variety of college courses with a focus in the Nunavut Teachers Education Program, a program in which she herself is a graduate receiving a Bachelor of Education in 1996.
Nellie’s passion is preserving and strengthening her Inuit culture, tradition and language and she enjoys both teaching and sharing it with others.