In 2011, Malaya Qaunirq-Chapman walked through the doors of APTN News in Iqaluit after winning the Miss Nunavut competition.
A year later, she was working as a journalist for APTN in Nunavut.
While working for news, she was moonlighting for an IBC (Inuit Broadcasting Corporation) Inuktitut comedy show and turned her character Qanurli into a starring role.
Shortly after leaving APTN, she produced a movie about her own life story that was shown around the world.
At the moment, she’s working on a show called Nunavummi Mamarijavut, which translates into the food we love in Nunavut.
It literally is a dream job,” she said. “I don’t know anyone that loves food more than I do. Having this job, I even hesitate to call it a job. I get to travel to the communities, and I get to go hunting and get to eat it.”
Her current project is perhaps her most ambitious.
She is one of the starts in a feature film set in Nunavik called Restless River.
“This is during the time that the Americans were living in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, and occupying the space, and things happen along the story line that tell the whole featured film.
In eight years, Qaunirq-Chapman has gone from rookie reporter to feature film star.
Her advice to any Inuk who wants to follow her path is simple.
“Keep going, you can’t stop,” she said. “If this is something that interests you, you’re going to have hard days… that’s life. But if you really want to do it, do it.”