An Inuvik road will soon be named for one of the North’s trailblazing Indigenous female politicians. The question is: which one?
The Town of Inuvik is asking whether residents prefer Ethel Street or Leona Street, options each inspired by prominent, female former MPs. The road in question is located at a military installation near Inuvik’s airport.
Ethel Street takes its name from the first Indigenous woman elected to Canada’s parliament, Ethel Blondin-Andrew. Born in Tulita in 1951, Blondin-Andrew was a teacher and later a language specialist and assistant deputy minister with the territorial government.
Blondin-Andrew, who is Dene, became Canada’s first Indigenous, female MP in 1988, representing the Western Arctic. She served in federal politics for 17 years.
Leona Street takes its name from Nunavut’s former Conservative MP Leona Aglukkaq, who was born in Inuvik.
Aglukkaq spent time in Nunavut territorial politics before being elected to parliament in 2008. As minister of health, Aglukkaq became the first Inuk to hold a federal cabinet post. She served two terms in federal politics.
Anyone who wants to have their say on the name can email development officer Kecil Joseph by December 4, or call (867) 777-8614.