Since graduating from Trent in 2011, Killulark (Laura) Arngna’naaq has taken her Trent experiences, combined them with passion for celebrating her Indigenous heritage and desire to work with and support Indigenous communities, and is making a mark in her chosen profession. In recognition of her work, she was recently presented with an Indspire Award in the youth category.
Speaking of the honour, Ms. Arngna’naaq, who originally hails from Baker Lake, Nunavut and was a student ambassador with the First Peoples House of Learning (FPHL) during her time at Trent, said: “It means a lot to me. I think the Indspire Awards are important because they provide role models for others in the community. For myself, I hope that individuals from my region of Kivalliq can see that post-secondary education is an option, and if you work hard you can accomplish your goals.”
Since graduating from Trent with a degree in Business Administration, Ms. Arngna’naaq completed her master’s degree and professional CPA, CA designation. She is now an accounting manager with Habitat for Humanity GTA. Also a volunteer for several organizations that serve Indigenous people, she feels breaking into the not-for-profit work within her profession is a huge accomplishment.
Outside of the office she works just as hard to maintain strong ties to her Inuit heritage.
“Over the last year or so Inuit in Toronto have started to come together and build a community,” she stated. “I plan to continue connecting with my fellow urban Inuit and to learn as much as I can from them.”
Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in Indigenous people and helps them reach their highest potential. Its vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. The Indspire Awards recognize Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement, and promote self-esteem and pride for Indigenous.
Ms. Arngna’naaq received her Indspire Award in Vancouver at a gala event in February and the celebration aired nationally on Friday, June 24, 2016. Ms. Arngna’naaq’s sister Sarah, a graduate from Trent’s International Development Studies and Business Administration program, was a previous winner in 2014.