Eva Annahatak1 has pursued two careers at the Sautjuit School, Kangirsuk’s2 primary and secondary school, in Northern Québec: teacher and school secretary.

“Early on, I taught kindergarten in Inuktitut,” explains Eva. A mother of three, she changed careers to avoid having to leave her family to take part in a three-week professional development training during the summer.

And so, 21 years ago, she became the Sautjuit School secretary, where 150 students come to learn each day. “But, she adds, even today, what I love about my work is to see those happy children, especially the little ones who are just starting school.”

A wide range of tasks

“My duties are varied: I oversee things when the principal is away, and take care of the children’s registration or their transfer to schools in other villages. I handle administrative tasks and take care of the necessary purchases to make sure everything runs smoothly,” she explains.

Twenty years of union activism

In addition to her work as secretary, Eva Annahatak has also been union delegate since 1999: “I love helping others. Many of our elders speak very little English: my job is to understand their needs and discuss different issues with the management team. I also have to stay up to date with the latest changes to the collective agreement.”

She represents 10 employees. “I don’t have huge responsibilities, except during negotiations, special consultations or when organizing events.” And when grievances are involved, she can always count on the AENQ-CSQ’s3 support.

After all these years of union activism, Eva Annahatak would like to see younger people get involved. “I hope I’ll be able to count on our next generation of union activists, because it’s extremely important,” she concludes.

1 Eva Annahatak is a member of the Association of Employees of Northern Québec (AENQ-CSQ).
2 Kangirsuk, which means “the bay”, is an Inuit village located 13 kilometres from the western coast of the Ungava Bay, in Northern Québec.
3 Association of Employees of Northern Québec (AENQ-CSQ).