Meet the team

Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre’s operations are managed by a team of people who share the vision and values of our community.

2021-22 Board of Directors

Beth Kotierk

Lawyer

Beth is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa where she studied to become a lawyer. She articled at Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik and is currently working with Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa on land and housing issues through the Canadian Bar Association. Beth is interested in food sovereignty, indigenous rights and international law.

Jessie Hale

Editor

Jessie began volunteering with Qajuqturvik shortly after she moved to Iqaluit in November 2019. She also volunteers with Frontier College and Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line and is one of the cofounders of Nunavut Theatre Company. Jessie works in educational resource development and spends her free time reading, cooking for friends, and walking her dog.

Amelia Rajala

Occupational Therapist

Amelia has been involved with Qajuqturvik since 2015. She works as one of Inuvik’s occupational therapists and is passionate about health, mental health and human rights. She is originally from Vancouver and obtained her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy in Edmonton. She believes in the power of community and the power of good food.

Kimberly White

Social Worker

Kimberly White came to Nunavut temporarily in August 2017 and moved permanently in July 2018. She has been working in women’s shelters and other residential programming since 2008 and currently works at the Department of Family Services in Iqaluit.

Jane Tagak

Former Teacher

Jane has lived most of her life in Nunavut, currently residing in Iqaluit. She is a retired teacher and has volunteered with QCFC for many years

Eva Tache-Green

Lawyer

Eva loves food for its ability to bring people together and build communities. She believes that food security is a human right and looks forward to working with others at QCFC to continue improving dignified access to food for all Nunavummiut. Eva enjoys eating, cooking, and sharing recipes. She is an appellate lawyer at Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik in Iqaluit.

Current Staff

Rachel Blais

Executive Director

Rachel has worked in the education and arts fields in Nunavut for 4 years. She is passionate about food sovereignty, food literacy, and investigating how food intersects with identity. Rachel believes that connections, friendships, and movements can begin with a shared meal.

Nancy McPhee

Food Access Coordinator

Nancy started out volunteering before becoming our full-time baker. Along with the baked goods she also provides much-needed humour in the kitchen.

Joshua Mark

Food Access Coordinator

Born and raised in Iqaluit, Josh enrolled in our pre-employment training program in 2019. Soon after graduating, Josh was hired as a Program Assistant where his culinary skills continued to grow. Josh now holds the position of Food Access Coordinator. 

Wade Thorhaug

Finance Officer

Wade began volunteering with QCFC back in 2014 and within a year found himself not only on the board but serving as its chair. After many years of fundraising efforts, he assumed the newly-funded role of Executive Director in 2018. He presently serves as its Finance Officer.

Saimo Kopalie

Program Assistant

Saimo has lived in Iqaluit all his life. He began coming to Qajuqturvik as a community member and soon began working in the kitchen. Saimo was one of our first training program participants and began working as a Program Assistant soon after graduating from the program.

Stamatis Papadopoulos

Food Skills Coordinator

Stamatis has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. He has experience creating and implementing training programs, organic supply chains and working directly with food producers. Stamatis has a diploma in culinary arts and loves connecting with others who share a passion for food.

Paul Atagoyuk

Program Assistant

Paul is a hunter who was born and raised in Iqaluit. Paul completed our pre-employment training program in 2021 and began working as a Program Assistant soon after. He loves to cook, hunt, camp, and create art.

Kenny Merkosak

Country Food Access Coordinator

Kenny is a hunter and has lived in Iqaluit for most of his life. After working at the mines for many years and hunting part-time, Kenny joined QCFC as our Country Food Access Coordinator. Kenny is an avid fisher and enjoys spending time out on the land with his family.

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How you can help

The support we receive from our community has a direct impact on hundreds of Iqalummiut on a daily basis. You can help us in the following ways: