Poet, storyteller and teacher born in Puvirnituq (Nunavik) in 1954 – died in Montréal (Québec) in 2009.
Emily Novalinga was born in 1954 in Puvirnituq, a northern village in Nunavik and spent her adult life there as a professional teacher, developing into an accomplished Nunavimmiut poet and storyteller.
She received a teaching certificate from the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. She taught the school curriculum in Inuktitut to Puvirnituq children. She worked with other educators to create the Puvirnituq School Project and actively trained teachers in emerging Inuktitut pedagogy.
Emily Novalinga supported the artistic development of her teaching colleagues as the Writer in Residence for the Nunavik Educator’s Bookmaking Workshop in 2008 in Salluit. She read from her first book of poems, Listening North (2005) for workshop attendees, emerging as a powerful role model and inspiring poet and author. Listening North, which unpublished in English, is translated and published into French under the title of L’écho du Nord (2005). Emily Novalinga's poem “Sounds of wind and sounds of storms / all is heard and all is joy / for I can hear northern lights” (2005) was used by Michel Goulet in his 2008 sculpture Rêver le Nouveau Monde celebrating the 400th anniversary of Québec City which is on permanent display at Place de la gare. Another poem “Sparkling Igloo” (2005) was featured in the short film Étincelante, directed by Brigitte Lebrasseur, a Puvirnituq filmmaker. Emily’s final book which she also illustrated, Foggy these Days (2008) is based on the legend of the Kuuttaaq river, north of Inukjuak.
Her work was recognized in 2009, when she received the first Aumaaggiivik grant for literature, awarded by the Nunavik Arts Secretariat.
Emily Novalinga’s life ended suddenly in Dorval on October 10th, 2009.