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Read the English translation of Qapik Attagutsiak's Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech

Qapik Attagutsiak is recipient of the 2021 Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award.
Qapik Attagutsiak is recipient of the 2021 Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award. (Indspire)

Inuk elder Qapik Attagutsiak, who celebrated her 101st birthday on June 11, 2021, is the recipient of the 2021 Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Indspire Awards recognize Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement on a national level in a variety of fields.

Attagutsiak spent her lifetime traditionally — raising dog teams, assisting with camp life, practicing midwifery and child rearing. She was recently honoured by Parks Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces as a "Hometown Hero," and is the only known surviving representative of the wartime efforts by Inuit communities during the Second World War. 

The award presentation included a musical tribute by singer-songwriter Beatrice Deer and featured Attagutsiak speaking in Inuktitut.

The 2021 Indspire Awards airs Tuesday, June 22 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, the CBC Listen app and APTN.

Here is the English translation of the presentation.


QAPIK ATTAGUTSIAK (INUKTITUT):
We should all live in harmony
Live as though you are siblings
As though you are friends
If an unhappy moment comes to you 
Fight it with what makes you happy

Inuk and Mohawk singer-songwriter Beatrice Deer performed a musical tribute to Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Qapik Attagutsiak as part of the 2021 virtual ceremony. (Actaeon, www.beatricedeerband.com)

BEATRICE DEER SINGS (INUKTITUT):
ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

When I was a little girl, they used to tell me
Listen to your mother and father 
If you want to live a long life on earth 
You must have listened to your mother and father
Because you have a long life 

Qapik, Qapik, for 100 years 

QAPIK (INUKTITUT):
My late in-laws were great role models
The family I married into
They provided me with shelter
They were humble people
They also provided structure in our lives 
And were able to assign me responsibilities.
I thank them for giving me the skills and knowledge.

BEATRICE SINGS (INUKTITUT):
ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

You have guided so many 
with your love and wisdom 
By bringing people to life, you helped 
your people, and the world 

I thank those who helped me because my knowledge didn't come from me. It came by people feeding me wisdom.- Qapik Attagutsiak

QAPIK (INUKTITUT):
No one should ever give up.
Adversities, feeling inferior, and happiness
Are all part of the circle of life.
I started absorbing knowledge without being aware
I was being taught.  I thank those who helped me
Because my knowledge didn't come from me
It came by people feeding me wisdom.

BEATRICE SINGS (INUKTITUT):
ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Qapik, Qapik
We are grateful for you
Your heart and your wisdom
We will always cherish

BEATRICE NARRATION (INUKTITUT):
You have served us all for over one hundred years.  
Qapik, your hands, your heart and your mind have done so much to help others.
Canada and the world asked for aid during the second world war.
Your hands helped to collect the bones they called for.
Families, hunters and children need warm clothing.  
Your hands sew, each stitch a connection to you.
You have brought so many lives to the north. 
How many smiles are here because of your midwifery?
We, who are pregnant, dream for a midwife as dedicated as you.
When the community fears losing its language and tradition.
Your heart beats with stories and knowledge.
Your mind holds sacred the teaching and language.  
Qapik Attagutsiak you are a revered elder, and 
the Inspire Award Lifetime Achievement Recipient.

Whether it is an Inuk, a white person, a Black person or an Indigenous person — I am grateful for all the help I get from everyone.- Qapik Attagutsiak

QAPIK (INUKTITUT):
I am in full bounty of being supported.
Whether it is an Inuk, a white person, a Black person
Or an Indigenous person I am grateful for all the help I get from everyone.
My heart is overwhelmed.  Even a smile from a young person
Everyone helps me.  I have received tremendous support.

BEATRICE SINGS (INUKTITUT):
ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Qapik, Qapik
We are thankful for you
Qapik

Translation by Looee Arreak, Win Translation and Beatrice Love

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