Premier of Nunavut

Nunavut Paul Okalik Paul Quassa
Premier of Nunavut
Joe Savikataaq.jpg
Joe Savikataaq

since June 14, 2018
StyleThe Honourable
AppointerCommissioner of Nunavut, on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly
Inaugural holderPaul Okalik
Formation1 April 1999

The Premier of Nunavut is the first minister for the Canadian territory of Nunavut. The Premier is the territory's head of government and de facto chief executive, although their powers are somewhat smaller than those of a provincial premier.

Unlike most other premiers who are officially appointed by a Lieutenant-Governor or Commissioner on account of their leadership of a majority bloc in the legislature, the premier of Nunavut (and the cabinet) is directly elected by the non-partisan members of the Legislative Assembly, in accordance with the system of consensus government. He is then formally appointed by the Commissioner of Nunavut, who is bound to act on the Assembly's recommendation by both the Nunavut Act and convention.[1][2]


The territory's first premier, Paul Okalik, was elected after the 1999 general elections. He was re-elected to a second term after the 2004 general elections.[3] Although Okalik was re-elected to a third term after the 2008 general elections in the Iqaluit West riding, he was defeated by newly elected MLA Eva Aariak in the premiership vote on November 14.[4] On 15 November, 2013, Peter Taptuna beat out Paul Okalik and Paul Quassa for the position of premier.[5] Paul Quassa was elected in 2017 but lost a confidence vote in 2018 which lead to the election of Joe Savikataaq.

Premiers of Nunavut

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Electoral mandates (Assembly)

Paul Okalik.jpg
Paul Okalik
(b. 1964)
MLA for Iqaluit West
1 April 1999

19 November 2008

Premier Eva Aariak cropped.jpg
Eva Aariak
(b. 1955)
MLA for Iqaluit East
19 November 2008

19 November 2013

Peter Taptuna 2014-01-29 (01).jpg
Peter Taptuna
(b. 1956)
MLA for Kugluktuk
19 November 2013

21 November 2017

No image.svg
Paul Quassa
(b. 1952)
MLA for Aggu
21 November 2017

June 14 2018

Joe Savikataaq.jpg
Joe Savikataaq
(b. 1960)
MLA for Arviat South
14 June 2018

Living former premiers

As of June 2018, four former premiers are alive. Since the creation of the office in 1999, no former premier has died.

Name Term Date of birth
Paul Okalik 1999–2008 (1964-05-26) May 26, 1964 (age 56)
Eva Aariak 2008–2013 (1955-01-10) January 10, 1955 (age 65)
Peter Taptuna 2013–2017 1956 (age 63–64)
Paul Quassa 2017–2018 1951 (age 68–69)

See also


  1. ^ Legislative Assembly of Nunavut Frequently Asked Questions
  2. ^ The Role of the Commissioner of Nunavut
  3. ^ "Constituency Profiles". CBC. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Nunavut names new premier" Archived 2008-11-17 at the Wayback Machine, The Globe and Mail, November 14, 2008.
  5. ^ MLAs choose Peter Taptuna to serve as Nunavut premier