In October 2008, Eva Aariak became Nunavut’s second premier, replacing Paul Okalik. She is the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Iqaluit East.
Aariak is the sole woman elected to Nunavut’s third legislative assembly. She was elected in the territorial election held in 2008. Prior to entering politics, Aariak was the territory’s languages commissioner from 1999 to 2004. She returned to the role in an acting capacity in 2007 following the resignation of her successor. She left the position, and her role as chair of the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce, to run for political office.
She was employed in public affairs with the Office of the Interim Commissioner of Nunavut, the organization that implemented the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and established a public government. Aariak was also a journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and a human resources specialist with the Government of the Northwest Territories. She has also served on several education councils.
Aariak originates from the northern Baffin Island community of Arctic Bay. She has lived in Iqaluit for more than 20 years. She owns and operates Malikkaat, an Inuit arts and crafts shop in the capital. She has four children and is also a grandmother of two.