Curtis Konek is a Grade 12 Inuk student at John Arnalukjuaq High School in Arviat, Nunavut on the western coast of Hudson Bay. A member of the Nanisiniq Arviat History Project with the University of British Columbia School of Social Work and a proud Master Corporal serving with the 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, Curtis has been a dedicated mentor and role model to almost 200 Junior Canadian Rangers. Fluent in Inuktitut and English, Curtis has presented traditional knowledge and Inuit perspectives on climate change at international conferences such as International Polar Year in Montreal and COP17 in Durban, South Africa.
In his travels, he has shared the experiences of disabled residents of Phelisanong in Lesotho, and rallied with them in drawing attention to the ravages of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. With confidence, pride and with the knowledge gained through his participation in the Nanisiniq project and the Canadian Rangers, Curtis’ commitment to dignity is helping other Inuit youth take pride in who they are: their history, culture and what they have to offer to the world.