Nellie Cournoyea – Inuit, politician

As a child, Nellie Cournoyea ran away from her residential school, a story she retold for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She was hidden and sheltered by an Indigenous families throughout her escape.

First elected to the NWT Legislative Assembly in 1979, she became Premier in 1991, making her only the second woman at the time to lead a provincial or territorial legislature.

She has been awarded an Indspire Award, many honourary doctorates, an Order of Canada, and is a member of the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.