• Eunice Nasogaluak, 2018 Active Elder Award Winner_October 24, 2018 (Photo by Angela Gzowski)

2018 NWTRPA Award Winner Profile: Eunice Nasogaluak

 March 6, 2019
Posted by NWT Recreation and Parks Association

For over 20 years the NWTRPA, through our Awards Program, has been celebrating and recognizing recreation professionals and volunteers in northern communities for their continuing efforts and achievements in promoting recreation and active living for all northerners. This, the third in a series of profiles on the 2018 NWTRPA Award Winners, features Eunice Nasogaluak. Eunice is the 2018 winner of the Active Elder Award for her work in Tuktoyaktuk.

Eunice Nasogaluak. Photo by Angela Gzowski.

Eunice has lived in Tuktoyaktuk for the past 52 years and enjoys being part of the community. She gives back in so many ways, through music, teaching, sharing her language, and volunteering at community events.

Eunice has been part of the Walk to Tuk challenge for the past few years, keeping active and encouraging others to do the same. She is also an active singer, dancer, and drummer, and is always ready to share her skills with the youth. She has raised money, written proposals, and organized trips for the dance group to Nome, Barrow, Edmonton, Haines Junction, and Whitehorse. Eunice enjoys playing bass guitar for old time dances and community gatherings, and volunteering with the Tuktoyaktuk Music Festival. She is also an excellent sewer, who always joins in for local sewing projects.

Eunice takes advantage of every opportunity to share her language and culture with young people in the community. She brings traditional foods, such as geese and caribou, to the school so students from junior kindergarten to grade nine can learn how to process meat. She shows the students how to clean, cut, and prepare the foods, while also teaching them the different parts in Inuvialuktun. Eunice has taught Inuvialuktun for many years in the community. She encourages graduates to continue to use their Inuvialuktun language. She is also a strong proponent of education, supporting young people to go on to college or university as they are the community’s future leaders. At every event or opportunity, she is there to cheer on and encourage the youth.

Recently, we got in touch with Eunice to ask her a few questions and help everyone get to know her even better. Here’s what she had to say!

L to R: Julia Trennert, Eunice Nasogaluak, and Doreen Nitsiza. Photo by Angela Gzowski.

Why is recreation important to you?

Ever since I can remember, my father had us do traditional games in our house. It was mainly for the boys, but I’d join in with my three older brothers. Later I did traditional dancing before getting into rock and roll dancing and square dancing. Recreation is fun! It helps you connect and keeps you fit. You are with people you know, the whole family is involved, and all ages can join in and take part.

What are your favourite ways to stay active?

Traditional dance, rock and roll dance, the twist, and limbo. I LOVE jiving. Any fun ways to be active at any age. I try to keep as active as possible to feel my best.

What is one random fact about yourself?

Everyone knows me, but they might not know that I use to be very shy and hide! Now I’m outgoing, play bass guitar, and love to sing. When you’re too shy, you can miss out on a lot of good stuff. I only did Arctic Sports at home when I was young because I was too shy in public.

I also was a bit of a tomboy growing up and love the outdoors. I’d chop wood and haul ice, which people might not know about me.

What would be the hardest thing for you to give up for a week?

Once upon a time, it would have been cigarettes, but I quit that cold turkey. Now it would be hard to give up sweets: chocolate, gum drops, pies, and cakes. I’m working on it. I have a real weakness for sweets.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

I’ve thought about this a lot! I’d love to fly. I’d love to just sprout wings and fly. I’ve wanted to learn how to fly a plane since I was young but didn’t get the chance. My grandma would tell stories of shamans that could turn into a crow and fly.

Nominate someone for a 2019 NWTRPA Award! Nominations close, July 15, 2019.

To learn more about our Awards Program and past award winners, click here.