The University of Prince Edward Island was deeply saddened to hear the news last month of the passing of honorary degree recipient and highly respected Nunavut Elder Dr. Donald Uluadluak. He passed away on Thursday, April 24 at the age of 81 and is survived by his wife Ruth, 13 children, and large extended family.
Dr. Uluadluak received an honorary degree at last year’s special convocation ceremony held in Nunavut in May. His daughter Nancy is a graduate of UPEI’s first Master of Education Cohort in 2009. During the 2012–13 semester, Dr. Uluadluak travelled from his community in the Arviat region of Nunavut to spend time with students, and to pass on his wisdom through a course held in Rankin Inlet. He will be remembered for his many years of service to education, and for being a highly respected knowledge-keeper who shared his wisdom in a gentle and generous way.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Uluadluak in Nunavut at last year’s special convocation ceremony,” said UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “I know that his passing is a great loss to his community and the Inuit people, as well as to his extended family in the Faculty of Education here at UPEI. On behalf of the University, I extend sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew him.”
Dr. Uluadluak worked as a cultural instructor and Elder in local schools in Arviat, as well as an Elder advisor with the Nunavut Department of Education in 2000, until his retirement in 2011. He also completed a certificate in teaching to prepare for his work with children and young people. His knowledge has deepened students’ understanding of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.