Nunavut has lost a well-known and beloved Inuk elder.

Annie "Paingut" Peterloosie of Pond Inlet passed away over the weekend. She was in her 70s.

Peterloosie was a counsellor, and a healer. She was also an actor, appearing in John Houston's films "Diet of Souls" and "Kivioq"


Peterloosie was known for her work as an actor, healer, adviser and counsellor. The Pond Inlet elder passed away this weekend. (2011 National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation)

"Anybody who has the idea that these people are special, they have special things to contribute, catch it now, catch it fast because the example that we learned again this week with the loss of Annie Paingut Peterloosie, they're not going to wait forever. If you want to do anything special with them, they're ready. They are not going to be there forever," said Houston.

Peterloosie was born in Akunniq on Baffin Island. She lived off the land for many years, and maintained a traditional lifestyle even after settling in Pond Inlet.

Peterloosie also acted as an adviser to Nunavut judges on cultural issues related to sentencing convicts.

Earlier this year, she was given a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for the Culture, Heritage and Spirituality category. The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation says Peterloosie had an extraordinary ability to connect with all people.

Funeral details have not been announced.