Krista Ulujuk Zawadski, an Inuk researcher, curator and anthropologist, made it to the finalist round for the 2022 Talent Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The prestigious award, which carries with it a $50,000 prize, sees only three finalists selected from across Canada and recognizes academic excellence, a talent for research and knowledge mobilization and potential to be a future leader in academia or other sectors.
The shortlist was announced October 25 on the SSHRC website and also included Nazlee Maghsoudi, University of Toronto, and Semra Sevi, Western University, who was announced as the 2022 recipient of the Talent Award on December 1. In 2021 Sevi and Zawadski were both finalists for the Talent Award, one of four Impact Awards reserved for scholars whose work is supported by SSHRC scholarships or fellowships.
Also honoured in the 2022 round of Impact Awards was Cindy Blackstock (McGill University), who received the Gold Medal for her work on systemic inequalities affecting First Nations children, youth and families.
Originally from Igluligaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet), NU, and now based in Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU, Zawadski is a scholar and writer with a passion for promoting Inuit access to collections of Inuit archival materials. She holds a master of arts (MA) and a bachelor of arts (BA) in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia and Carleton University, respectively.
Zawadski’s interdisciplinary studies combine art history and anthropology, and she brings an Indigenous research methodology to her research and curatorial practice. As part of her doctoral project, which focuses on Qatiktalik in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, she curated Nuvisi: Threading Our Beads at Qatiktalik at the Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG) in 2021.
She was one of the student curators of Echoing the Land, which is on display in Ottawa’s Clarendon and York Courtyards until March 2023, and was one of four Inuit curators of INUA, the inaugural exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq (2020). She was also co-curator of Breaking Ground: Freda Diesing, Helen Kalvak, Janet Kigusiuq, Rita Letendre at the National Art Centre (2019) in Ottawa, ON.
For her research in Qatiktalik, Zawadski received a 2020 Polar Northern Resident Scholarship from the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS). She has also been recognized with the 2019 Inuit Cultural Repatriation Award from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
Zawadski is a frequent contributor to the Inuit Art Quarterly. In 2021, the IAQ was nominated for Best Short Feature Writing at the National Magazine Awards for Zawadski’s article “Threading Memories” (IAQ 33.1, Spring 2020). She is co-author, with Frank James Tester, of a book titled Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Inuit Relocations, Resilience and Reconciliation, forthcoming in 2023 from Formac Lorimer Books.