Bill Lyall can now add "author" to his lengthy resume.
The Arctic Co-operatives director and former Central Arctic MLA before division, launched his book yesterday Iqaluit.
Helping Ourselves by Helping Each Other: The Life Story of William Lyall tells the story of the co-operative movement in the Arctic, as well as Lyall’s own biography.
Lyall says in many ways today's co-ops reflect how people lived many years ago.
"We're here because because we helped each other survive in this harsh place to live,” he says. “And I thought about putting together a book on the co-operative movement because I'd been involved with it for the better part of my life.”
Co-ops have long been a fixture of daily life in Nunavut, with almost all communities boasting a community-owned retail store, and several with holdings in other businesses such as hotels, taxis, and in some cases, real estate.
In the book, Lyall recounts how he got his first job at a fishery co-op in Cambridge Bay.
“Most of the co-ops started as fisheries co-ops, carvings co-ops and evolved later into what we are today.”
Lyall is walking in the footsteps of another northern author.
In 1979, his father, Ernie Lyall, published An Arctic Man: Sixty-five years in Canada’s North.
In 2011, it was republished, with an intro by Bill, to rave reviews.
Bill Lyall's new book was published as part of a series on Inuit Leadership and Governance, organized by a group called CURA Leadership and Governance in Nunavut and Nunavik based out of Laval University, in partnership with the Nunavut Research Institute.
It's available — where else? — at local co-op stores throughout Nunavut.