Oo Aqpik

Oo Aqpik was born in Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories as namesake to Ooa Alainga. The Alainga’s are family relations and as naming is a strong Inuit tradition; when Oo was born she was already mother, granny and is great granny to members of the Alainga family. Oo was born with a surname, unlike the dehumanizing of the 1940’s Federal administrative policy where her parents were given an Eskimo disc; Simeonie E7-215 and Patsaow E7-128.

Oo is the youngest to Simeonie and Patsaow, the only other child born in a hospital out of the ten her mother bore. With five brothers and four sisters, two of her siblings were adopted by extended family. Oo only knew them as cousins until her teenage years. Born at the Baffin Regional Hospital, she grew up in Frobisher Bay when her family moved to Lake Harbour by snowmobile. Her childhood was mostly in Lake Harbour now known as Kimmirut. She was surrounded by the traditions and culture of family and community. The family traveled through ancient traditional camps seasonally on land and sea, her favorite pass time.

She attended residential school in Iqaluit, leaving her quaint community and family at 15 years old. During high school she was involved with the Baffin Region Inuit Association as the Treasurer then the Chair of the Baffin Youth Committee exposing her to the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement. Oo has held various administrative positions for the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and has been a host for various Inuit language programming in both radio and television. She opted to stay in Iqaluit after high school but 15 years later, she moved to Ottawa to work for the Government of Nunavut in the Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs department. She still resides in Ottawa, one of Canada's largest urban Inuit community with her 10 year old son, Gabriel Simeonie Billard and husband to be, James Kierstead.

She claims she is from a world of the assimilated, saved by the radical Inuit, giving Inuit a voice; the true north strong and free of the forgotten tax payers and the aging infrastructures of yesterday. English is her second language, Inuktitut being her first.

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