Leona Aglukkaq, PC, MP (Inuktitut syllabics: ᓕᐅᓇ ᐊᒡᓘᒃᑲᖅ) (born June 28, 1967) is a Canadian politician, who was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Conservative in the 2008 Canadian federal election for the riding of Nunavut. Aglukkaq was named the Minister of Health on October 30, 2008, and is the first Inuk in Canadian history to be appointed to the Cabinet of Canada. Jack Anawak and Nancy Karetak-Lindell previously held parliamentary secretary positions, which are not part of the cabinet itself.
Aglukkaq was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and raised in, Thom Bay, Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven (formerly in the NWT but all three are now in Nunavut). She is married to Robbie MacNeil and has a son, Cooper.
Prior to running as an MP she was an MLA in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, representing the electoral district of Nattilik. First elected in the 2004 Nunavut election, she held the seat until stepping down on September 10, 2008 to run in the federal election. She was the Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women in the Executive Council of Nunavut.
Before becoming an MLA, Aglukkaq was a longtime employee of the Government of Nunavut and served on the Hamlet Council of Cambridge Bay.
Aglukkaq was reelected in 2011 with nearly 50 percent of the vote, defeating a field of challengers which included former Premier of Nunavut Paul Okalik, who ran as the Liberal nominee.
On August 23, 2012, Prime Minister Steven Harper announced that MP Aglukkaq will serve as chair of the Arctic Council when Canada assumes the Chairmanship from Sweden in May, 2013.
April 5, 2012