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Two women honoured by the Queen
Angela Philips and Daisy Eyegetok awarded Diamond Jubilee medals

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two Cambridge Bay women were awarded the Diamond Jubilee medal late last month one for her advocacy work in health and the other for her sports coaching and mentoring.

NNSL photo/graphic

Commissioner Edna Elias, left, and Cambridge Bay MLA Keith Peterson, right, present Daisy Eyegetok with the Diamond Jubilee medal in Cambridge Bay on May 21. - photo courtesy of the Office of the Commissioner of Nunavut

Angela Philips and Daisy Eyegetok received the medal on May 21 from Commissioner Edna Elias and Cambridge Bay MLA Keith Peterson. The latter nominated both women. The medals commemorate the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the Throne in 1952.

Philips, a breast cancer survivor, was honoured for her advocacy in early prevention and detection as well as treatment for breast cancer. She participates in the fundraising event the Weekend to End Breast Cancer every year and has raised money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

"I was surprised. I was definitely honoured to have been chosen to receive one of the awards," she said. "It is an honour and I am grateful for the recognition of the fundraising I've been part of helping fight cancer that's the main thing."

Philips arrived in Cambridge Bay in 1990 from Prince Rupert, B.C. The 56-year-old is the community's postmaster.

Peterson recognized Philips at the legislature on June 4.

"Her personal story of courage and determination inspires and encourages women that cancer can be beaten," he said.

Eyegetok was honoured for her dedication as a coach, leader and mentor for young women in her community. She has coached the junior female basketball team since 1999 and helped mentor two coaches at the elementary level. Eyegetok also coached the female basketball team representing Nunavut at the 2006, 2008 and 2010 Arctic Winter Games.

"I was very shocked. In a way, it was overwhelming but also an honour," she said. "It's a high award and it comes down from the Queen and I really don't see myself as that kind of person. I see other deserving people that probably should have gotten the award."

Born in Yellowknife, Eyegetok lived in Cambridge Bay around five years before moving to Edmonton, where she lived until she was 16. She then returned to Cambridge Bay. The 32-year old mother of two daughters, ages 5 and 8, will graduate from the Nunavut Teachers Education Program on June 9. Eyegetok will teach kindergarten at Kullik Ilihakvik in Cambridge Bay this September.

"I am very excited to be having my own classroom and working with some great students," she said.

Peterson also recognized Eyegetok at the legislature on June 4.

"She is an inspirational leader and role model to young girls," said Peterson.

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