Susan Aglukark

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Susan Aglukark
ᓲᓴᓐ ᐊᒡᓘᒃᑲᖅ
Susan Aglukark 2007.jpg
Susan Aglukark at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, June 2007
Background information
Born (1967-01-27) 27 January 1967 (age 52)
Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
OriginArviat, Nunavut
Years active1992–present

Susan Aglukark, OC (Inuktitut syllabics: ᓲᓴᓐ ᐊᒡᓘᒃᑲᖅ suusan agluukkaq), (born 27 January 1967[1]) is an Inuit musician whose blend of Inuit folk music traditions with country and pop songwriting has made her a major recording star in Canada. Her most successful song/single is "O Siem", which reached No. 1 on the Canadian country and adult contemporary charts in 1995. Overall, she has released seven studio albums and has won three Juno Awards.


Early life[edit]

Aglukark was born in Churchill, Manitoba and raised in Arviat, Northwest Territories (now in Nunavut).[2] She endured sexual abuse as a child and has been vocal about this trend in some of the first nations in Northern Ontario.[3] After graduating from high school, she worked in Ottawa, Ontario as a linguist with the Department of Indian & Northern Affairs, and then returned to the Northwest Territories to work as an executive assistant with the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada.[4]


While working with the Inuit Tapirisat, she began to perform as a singer, and quickly became a popular performer in Inuit communities. She soon attracted the attention of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, who included her in a compilation of Arctic performers. In 1992, she released an independent album, Arctic Rose. The following year, she signed to a major record label, releasing an album of Christmas music that year.[4]

Aglukark has also acted as spokesperson for several non-profit groups working with aboriginal and Inuit youth, notably through her writing workshops for Attawapiskat youth [5] and her involvement in Northern Canada's food crisis.[6] However, she has said that while she is proud to be a role model for aboriginal people in Canada, she ultimately sees herself as an artist with a universal message of self-respect and strength to which she hopes that people of all cultural backgrounds can relate.[7]

This Child[edit]

This Child, released in 1995, became her breakthrough album. The first single from that album, "O Siem", went to number one on the Canadian adult contemporary and country charts that year, making Aglukark the first Inuk performer to have a Top 40 hit. "Hina Na Ho (Celebration)" and "Breakin' Down" became hit singles as well. The album was eventually certified triple platinum (300,000 copies sold) in Canada.

Unsung Heroes[edit]

In 2000, Aglukark released Unsung Heroes, which spawned another pop hit with "One Turn Deserves Another." This album also included "Turn of the Century," a song about the creation of Nunavut. In 2004, she released Big Feeling.

She sometimes deals with painful subjects in her songs. "Kathy" is about her niece who committed suicide, and "Still Running" is about the trauma of sexual abuse. Aglukark has also recorded a version of "Amazing Grace" in Inuktitut.

Her song "Never Be the Same" was featured on Dawson's Creek in Episode No. 3–14 ("Valentine's Day Massacre"), as well as her song "One Turn Deserves Another" in Episode No. 3–15 ("Crime And Punishment").

Aglukark's second holiday album, Dreaming of Home, was released on 5 November 2013.

She currently resides in Oakville, Ontario.[8]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2004, Aglukark was awarded an honorary DFA from the University of Lethbridge. She was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005,[9] and in the same year received an honorary LL.D. degree from the University of Alberta. In the summer of 2006, she performed nightly in the evening grandstand show at the Calgary Stampede.



Title Album details Peak chart
(sales threshold)
CAN Country CAN
Dreams for You
  • Release date: 1990
  • Label: Self-released
Arctic Rose
  • Release date: 1993
  • Label: EMI Canada
This Child
  • Release date: 1995
  • Label: EMI Canada
1 25
  • CAN: 3× Platinum[15]
Unsung Heroes
  • Release date: 1999
  • Label: EMI Canada
Big Feeling
  • Release date: 2003
  • Label: EMI Canada
Blood Red Earth
  • Release date: 15 August 2006
  • Label: Arbor Records
White Sahara
  • Release date: 4 October 2011
  • Label: EMI
Dreaming of Home
  • Release date: 5 November 2013
  • Label: E1 Music
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
1990 "Searching" Dreams for You
1993 "Little Toy Trains" Christmas
1994 "Song of the Land" 31 4 55 Arctic Rose
"Still Running" 17
1995 "O Siem" 1 1 3 This Child
"Hina Na Ho (Celebration)" 19 3 30
"Breakin' Down" 10 32
1996 "Shamaya" 38 71
"Suffer in Silence"
1999 "One Turn Deserves Another" 19 Unsung Heroes
2000 "Turn of the Century" 55
2004 "Whaler's Lullaby" Big Feeling
2006 "I Will Return" Blood Red Earth
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Famous Canadian Women ISBN 978-0-9736246-0-1
  2. ^ "Biography: Susan Aglukark – A Leading Voice in Canadian Music". First Nations Drum. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  3. ^ Denette, Nathan. "Inuk artist Susan Aglukark says sex abuse is at the root of indigenous suicide crisis".
  4. ^ a b "Susan Aglukark – A Leading Voice in Canadian Music". First Nations Drum. Archived from the original on 10 January 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Susan Aglukark to provide workshops for Attawapiskat youth". CBC News.
  6. ^ "Why Susan Aglukark is tackling Northern Canada's food crisis". CBC Radio.
  7. ^ Famous Female Musicians Gr. 4-8, Ruth Solski, On The Mark Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-55495-024-9
  8. ^ "Susan Aglukark Biography". shopEMI. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  9. ^ "You oughta Juno: What happened to those artists voted most likely to succeed? Part 2 — 1986 – 1999". National Post, David Berry and Rebecca Tucker | March 14, 2015
  10. ^ a b c d e "Juno Awards Artist Summary – Susan Aglukark". Juno Awards. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  11. ^ "CARAS Scores A Hit With 2004 Juno Awards". Soul Shine. 2004-04-05
  12. ^ Order of Canada citation
  13. ^ "Aglukark to mentor aboriginal students at University of Alberta". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  14. ^ Governor General's Performing Arts Awards
  15. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Susan Aglukark – This Child". Music Canada.

External links[edit]