Canada has a new Inuk senator

The appointment was announced in mid-December.

By Sarah Rogers, Nunatsiaq News - January 9, 2019
Inuvialuk Margaret Dawn Anderson was appointed to the Senate of Canada last month. (Courtesy PMO via Nunatsiaq News)

The Senate of Canada once again has an Inuk member, with the recent appointment of a Northwest Territories public servant to its ranks.

Margaret Dawn Anderson, who is Inuvialuk, was one of four new and independent Senators appointed last month, the Prime Minister’s Office announced on Dec. 12.

At the time of her appointment, Anderson was enrolled in a master’s program studying Indigenous governance. She also worked as a policy analyst for the Inuvialuit Regional Corp., where she has taken part in Inuvialuit self-government negotiations with the territorial and federal governments.

Anderson previously worked in community justice and policing, and helped develop the N.W.T.’s restorative justice-focused Wellness Court.

“On behalf of all Inuvialuit, we offer [Anderson] our congratulations! She will do us proud,” said Duane Ningaqsig Smith, IRC chair and CEO.

“We will certainly miss her at IRC, but know that she continues working with and for the people throughout the N.W.T.,” he said in a Dec. 12 release.

“She will bring traditional values and culture to Ottawa while making our voices heard.”

Anderson’s appointment comes several months after the retirement of Canada’s only other Inuk senator, Charlie Watt, who resigned last spring after he was elected as president of Nunavik’s Makivik Corp.

With her appointment, the Senate now has its full complement of 105 senators for the first time in eight years.

There have been 49 appointments to the Senate made under the current Trudeau government, though it is the Governor General who actually makes the appointments following the PM’s advice.