January 27, 1967 in Churchill Manitoba, Canada
Susan Aglukark spent her childhood moving throughout the
Keewatin Region of the Northwest Territories. Eventually
her and her family settled in Arviat, NWT, a small community
on the Hudson Bay.
musical career began in the early 1990s, after leaving
her community to work as a linguist for the Department
of Indian & Northern Affairs in Ottawa. Her earliest recording
appeared on a CBC radio compilation of Eastern Arctic
artists; her first video, for "Searching",
won a Much Music Award for outstanding cinematography.
Susan's first full album was 1992's independently released
Arctic Rose, a hit with country
and aboriginal music fans alike. EMI delivered a worldwide
deal in 1993, and quickly released her Christmas
album, featuring the song "Little Toy Trains".
Arctic Rose was re-released
in 1994 and resulted in two hit singles", Song
of the Land" and "Still Running". It earned
her Juno Awards for Best New Solo Artist and Best Aboriginal
Canadian Recording and the Canadian Country Music Association's
Vista Rising Star Award. Susan was also awarded the first-ever
Aboriginal Achievement Award in the Arts & Entertainment
field in 1994.
This Child rocketed Susan
to the top of Canadian music charts. Her first single",
O Siem" reached number one on the Adult Contemporary
charts and into the Top ten on Christian and Country radio.
In 1996, the hits "Hina Na Ho" and "Breakin'
Down" followed and led to five Juno Award nominations.
Unsung Heroes is rich with
messages of personal strength, love for community and
optimism for the future. In April 1999, Arviat became
part of Nunavut, Canada's newest territory, which returns
the governing of the land to its native residents. This
exceptional moment in history is celebrated on the joyful
"Turn of the Century", in which Susan writes
from her own personal point of view. Yet Susan Aglukark
also explores the often-sorrowful history of Canada's
Inuit people. The ballad "Never Be The Same" speaks
for the victims of tuberculosis who were taken from their
northern homes and sent to urban hospitals, often dying
far from their families. "It's about how as soon
as you leave your homeland, wherever that is, you lose
your innocence", said Susan. This is followed by
"E186", a solemn remembrance of a government
policy initiated in the late 1930s where 'her people'
were identified with dog tags. Susan describes it as a
"dark little song", with a positive message from
which the title Unsung Heroes is taken. Unsung Heroes
documents Susan's experience as an Inuk, but also as a
woman finding her place in the world.
her music, Susan spread uplifting messages to her own
community and the nation at large. She was praised extensively
in publications such as The New York Times, Saturday Night,
Macleans, Modern Woman and Chatelaine, who touted her
on its cover as a "pop star with a purpose". As an
ambassador of Canadian culture, Susan has performed twice
for HRH Queen Elizabeth, for Prime Ministers Mulroney
and Chretien, for Nelson Mandela and at the World Special
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