Born in Churchill Manitoba, Susan moved around the Northwest Territories for the first twelve years of her life with her father, (a Pentecostal minister), mother and seven brothers and sisters. They eventually settled in Arviat, NWT., a community of 1,300 people on the northwest shore of Hudson Bay. After completing high school, she moved to Ottawa, where she was employed by the Canadian Department of Indian & Northern Affairs as a linguist. Susan later accepted the position of Executive Assistant to the political lobby group, Inuit Tapirisat (Brotherhood) Of Canada. Shortly after taking this position, her musical career began to take off.
The three short years since Susan Aglukark gave her first live performance at a festival in her home town have been remarkable ones. First CBC radio included her in a compilation of Eastern Arctic performers and writers, which due to extraordinary demand, Susan independently released as "Dreams For You". The video "Searching" followed, which garnered a MuchMusic award for outstanding cinematography.
In 1992 Susan released her first independent recording, Arctic Rose, which met with tremendous critical and commercial acclaim in the North. In 1993 Susan signed a worldwide recording contract with EMI Music Canada. EMI released Susan's independent Christmas album in December 1993, featuring the single "Little Toy Trains" and followed with a re-released version of Arctic Rose in April 1994. The first single and video "Song Of The Land", as well as the second successful single "Still Running" were specially re-recorded for the EMI release.
Susan is no stranger to Canadian television and radio audiences, having appeared on The Journal, MuchMusic, Musique Plus, and The Rita MacNeil Show, as well as several appearances on CBC Radio's highly rated "Morningside" and "Swinging On A Star".
Numerous interviews and profile pieces have appeared in such prestigious publications as Saturday Night Magazine, and The New York Times. In 1993, Maclean's Magazine named Susan on of "Canada's 100 Leaders To Watch For", as well, Up Here Magazine named her "Northerner Of The Year". Susan has performed twice for HRH Queen Elizabeth at 1992's Canada 125 celebrations, and at 1994's Commonwealth Games Gala, as well as for Canadian Prime Ministers, Mulroney and Cretien. Susan was also honoured with the first ever Aboriginal Achievement Award in the Arts & Entertainment field in 1994. Susan received her first music industry award in September 1994, as the Canadian Country Music Association awarded her the Vista Rising Star Award.
Her first newly recorded CD for EMI, 'This Child', was released in Canada in January 1995 and would eventually find its way to Australia and New Zealand plus the Pacific Rim. It was produced by Chad Irschick (The Rankin Family), and features 11 songs, the majority co-written by Susan. The first single and video was "O Siem", the title being an Indian exclamation of joy at seeing friends and family.
"Hina Na Ho (Celebration)" is a tale of surviving a winter, written by John Landry (an aboriginal songwriter from the Western Arctic), Susan and Chad Irschick.
The title track, "This Child", deals with the tragedy of suicide. It was written to accompany the film broadcast of "Trial At Fortitude Bay", which aired in Canada on CBC-TV in December 1994. "Trial At Fortitude Bay" tells the powerful story of the southern white legal system attempting to impose their laws and justice on a Northern Inuit community.
Aglukark maintained a busy performance and speaking schedule including the Melbourne Music Festival, the WOMAD Festival and at the Davvi Suuva Music Festival in Sweden. In addition to her musical activities, Susan is the official Spokesperson for the North West Territories - Economic Development & Tourism/Arts & Crafts, as well as the National Spokesperson for the Aboriginal Division Of The National Alcohol And Drug Prevention Programme (RCMP 1994-1995). She also represented Canadian Inuit at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna.
She received a Juno in 1995 as "New Solo Artist" and Arctic Rose received a 1995 Juno as "Music of Aboriginal Canada Recording,"
Susan Aglukark and husband Jacques, had their first child, Cameron Joseph Allyaq, October 16, 1996. She appeared with Ben Heppner on Pamela Wallin Live in 1996.
In February 1997 she appeared on the nationally televised Aboriginal Achievement Awards and was part of the official opening of the World Special Olympics.
Little Toy Trains (EMI)
Song Of The Land (EMI)
Still Running (EMI)
Breakin' Down (EMI)
Hina Na Ho (Celebration) (EMI)
O Siem (EMI)
Suffer In Silence (EMI)
Dreams For You [cassette] (Independent)
Arctic Rose (Independent)
Christmas [re-issue] (EMI)
Arctic Rose [re-issue] (EMI)
[re-recordings of the songs "Song Of The Land" and "Still Running"]
This Child (EMI)
"Song Of The Land"
"Hina Na Ho (Celebration)"
Official Susan Aglukark Website
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