Rhoda Kayakjuak is one of Canada’s most prominent Inuktitut interpreters and translators, and has earned distinction as an ambassador for Canadian Aboriginal culture. Growing up facing the tension of navigating both a traditional and a colonized lifestyle, she found that her language skills were a bridge between the two and a vessel to share her culture. In 1984, Ms. Kayakjuak completed coursework at Thebacha Campus, NWT, and has pursued additional study in translation and localization through Lionbridge.
In 1990, Ms. Kayakjuak was welcomed to the Canadian government’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, where she served as a communications officer and public engagement team leader until 1994. Between 1995 and 1999, she worked directly with the Nunavut Planning Commission as an Inuktitut to English interpreter, and provider of voiceover translations for video and audio materials. In 2000, Ms. Kayakjuak established Uqausiit Communication Services to bring her lifetime of experience in translation for business, arts and government applications directly to clients.
Ms. Kayakjuak remains active as the owner and translator for Uqausiit Communication Services, where she currently focuses on video narration and voiceover content. As the sole operator of her company, Ms. Kayakjuak is constantly tasked with various assignments, but occasionally works alongside others to complete major objectives. A spontaneous and hands-on businesswoman, her work has included Inuktitut interpretation for the Prime Minister of Canada, an engagement with an Italian museum and several audiobook narrations, including a volume of poetry titled “Poems on the Edge of Extinction: An Anthology of Poetry in Endangered Languages,” published in 2019. Additionally, she has provided research materials for clientele and has provided her services to various private sectors. She is likewise a member of the Federal Interpreters Advisory Board.
In a career filled with several highlights and achievements, Ms. Kayakjuak is proud to have been able to preserve the Inuktitut language within several urban communities in the Southern parts of Canada, as well as the internet and mainstream media. Additionally, she is happy to have worked alongside various prime ministers and was crucial in political debates concerning members of the Canadian government. Inspired by her own upbringing, Ms. Kayakjuak felt it was her calling to keep the culture alive and utilizing her natural abilities as a writer was a step in the right direction.
Outside of her professional circles, Ms. Kayakjuak maintains a visual arts practice and enjoys time spent with her family, including her 10 granddaughters and a great-grandson. Currently, she resides in Ottawa, ON, Canada. In the coming years, Ms. Kayakjuak hopes to author more books concerning the importance of the Inuktitut culture.