In 2008, a group of dedicated Inuit volunteers incorporated the Manitoba Urban Inuit Association (now known as the Manitoba Inuit Association). Since then, we have worked to obtain financial support, connect with Manitoba organizations, conduct research and lay the ground work to start linking Inuit to a range of services that meet the needs of both long-term Inuit residents, and newly arrived Inuit.
Board Members 2015
Fred Ford (President/Chairperson)
Fred was born in Ontario, but lived in Baker Lake for 25 years, connecting to his family from the Kivalliq region in Nunavut, where his father was born. His grandmother was from Labrador (now Nunatsiavut). He was educated at Brock and York Universities and went North in 1980 where he remained, until he and his wife Gela relocated to Winnipeg in 2006. Fred has a long career working with Inuit artists - in both visual and performance art. He and is now officially ‘retired’, putting in many volunteer hours supporting MIA and various other organizations dedicated to promoting art, music and community in Winnipeg.
Wayne Voisey Clark (Past President / Chairperson)
Born in Churchill and raised in Winnipeg, Wayne’s family is originally from the Kivalliq region in Nunavut. Professionally, Wayne Voisey Clark is the Director of Aboriginal Health Programs – Health Services for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He oversees support and services for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis individuals and their families who are receiving medical care in Winnipeg. He sits on committees for the University of Manitoba including the First Nations, Metis and Inuit Health Research Working Group and the International Networks Indigenous Health Knowledge Development 2014 Conference. Currently working toward a doctorate of education degree, Wayne has written on communicating electronic health information to Inuit and the lack of available health data for First Nations, Inuit and Metis populations in Canada.
Marissa Ford (Secretary/Treasurer)
Marissa was born in Churchill, Manitoba to parents of Inuit and Cree ancestry, tracing her Inuit roots to Nunavut and Nunatsiavut. From 2011 to 2013, Marissa worked for MIA as the first membership and events coordinator, a part time job she held while completing her studies in Business Administration at Red River College. Today, she works in Finance at the Richardson International, and has recently returned to MIA as Board Treasurer.
Grace Voisey Clark - Elder
Born in Nunavut, Grace is the second child of John & Frances Voisey. Grace lived at Wilson River on her father’s trap line for 7 years before moving to Churchill where she grew up and went to school. Grace is now a Nunavut Elder, and has resided in Winnipeg for the last 38 years. Professionally, Grace works as a Retail Manager, and has worked at Asham Curling Suppliers in Winnipeg over the past 21 years
Mary Nirlungayuk - Vice President
Mary grew up in the remote community of Kugaaruk, formerly Pelly Bay, in the central Arctic. She moved to Winnipeg in 1998 and is fluent in Inktitut. In 1981, Mary joined the Co-operative System in the Arctic as the Office Manager of the Koomiut Co-op in Kugaaruk, Nunavut. In 2000, Mary joined Arctic Co-operatives Limited. Presently, Mary oversees and administers the democratic structure of Arctic Co-op and manages the departments of Offices Services, Corporate Travel and Communication Department.
Grace Tookoome - Board Member
Grace is originally from Baker Lake, Nunavut and has been living in Manitoba for the past 18 years. Drawing on her own experience moving from a Nunavut community to Winnipeg, she understands the challenges other Inuit face in making this transition. She brings her experience to help guide MIA to develop the appropriate programs and services that truly assist Inuit in making a successful transition to Manitoba. Professionally, Grace works at the Kivalliq Inuit Centre, a medical boarding home supported by the Government of Nunavut for Inuit from Nunavut’s Kivalliq region who come to Winnipeg for health services.