Kiviaq (lawyer)

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Edmonton City Councillor
In office
Personal details
Born David Charles Ward
(1936-01-23) January 23, 1936 (age 79)
Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut
Alma mater Northwestern State University
Washington State University
Occupation Lawyer

Kiviaq (born David Charles Ward;[1] January 23, 1936) is a Canadian Inuit lawyer, politician, and former sportsman.[2] He was the first Inuk to become a lawyer, and is responsible for several important advances in establishing the legal rights of the Inuit people; in 2001, he won the legal right to use his single-word Inuktituk name.[3][1]

Born outside what is now Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, he was raised in Edmonton, Alberta. He served on the Edmonton City Council as an alderman, and (unsuccessfully) ran for mayor in the 1970s; in 2003, Edmonton mayor Bill Smith declared March 14 "Kiviaq Day".[4]

Athletic career[edit]

In Edmonton, Kiviaq took to boxing to deal with racially-motivated abuse from other children. He won his first Golden Gloves championship at age 13, and later became a prizefighter, winning 102 of 108 fights. In 1955, aged 19, he became the first Inuk (or "Eskimo") to play on the Edmonton Eskimos football team.


Kiviaq has Ménière's disease, and is unable to ride on an airplane without becoming physically ill; consequently, he is unable to return to the Arctic, and remains in Edmonton.


He is the subject of the documentary film Kiviaq vs. Canada, by award-winning producer Zacharias Kunuk.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b >Kiviaq Versus Canada presskit, at Catbird Productions; 2006; retrieved January 9, 2013
  2. ^
  3. ^ Names and Nunavut: Culture and Identity in the Inuit Homeland, by Valerie Alia; published by Berghahn Books, 2008; via Google Books
  4. ^ "Atanarjuat director celebrates modern-day champion". CTV television network. 2006-04-25. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 

External links[edit]