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Profile: Harry Flaherty

More about some of the people from the 8th Fire TV series.

Entrepreneur and Inuit Leader:


The Inuit are famous for their resilience and Harry Faherty's life illustrates that. His personal story is linked to one of the darkest chapters of Canadian history; the relocation, in the 1950's, of several dozen Inuit families of the Far North to the High Arctic - 1200 km further North. They were attracted by the promise of a better life on a much larger territory. The Canadian government's intention was, in fact, to ensure a Canadian presence on inhabited islands. Literally abandoned to their fate, without decent housing or provisions, these families were decimated by hunger, disease and desperation.

Harry Flaherty's mother was among the survivors. Harry himself was born in Grise Fiord.

More than fifty years later, Harry has become one of the main leaders of Nunavut. He's president of Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, Baffin's economic development corporation.

Harry Flaherty knows that economic development is crucial to Nunavut's success. "We brag about our high graduation rates, but we don't know what to do with the graduates. They finish their schooling and are left to fend for themselves."

He also believes that development cannot depend on government alone. "Most of the people here depend on the government, but the private sector must do its share."


Canadian Geographic: Grise Fjiord