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Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak in Iqaluit, on May 30, 2009.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed a former Nunavut premier as the territory’s next commissioner.

Eva Aariak, who served as Nunavut’s second premier from 2008 to 2013, will take over the job from Nellie Kusugak, whose five-year term expired in June.

A commissioner of Nunavut is similar to a province’s lieutenant-governor.

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Territorial commissioners give royal assent to bills passed by the legislative assembly and swear in newly elected members.

Trudeau describes Aariak as a lifelong champion for Nunavut, and its Inuit languages and culture.

Aariak, who served as the territory’s first languages commissioner, was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2018 for her work to protect Inuit languages.

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