Kiviaq (David Charles Ward)

Class of 1980-1981

Born to an Inuk mother in 1936 and raised in Edmonton, Kiviaq holds the distinction of being Canada’s first Inuit lawyer. As a child, Kiviaq endured the racism of schoolyard bullies, and developed prowess as a fighter. As a young man, he had a distinguished athletic career that included boxing and football.

Kiviaq went on to serve on the Edmonton City Council as an alderman, a position to which he was elected in 1968. He attended Louisiana State and Washington State universities on scholarships, and later undertook his legal education at UBC. He is pictured above with Chief Justice Bora Laskin (left), who received an honourary doctorate on the day of Kiviaq’s graduation.

Kiviaq was a lifelong advocate for Inuit and aboriginal peoples. His accomplishments include securing the right to use his Inuktitut name, a claim which was initially denied due to an Alberta law requiring each individual to have both a given name and a surname. Kiviaq was also a popular CJCA radio host in Edmonton. In recognition of his numerous and varied accomplishments, in 2003 the City of Edmonton declared March 14th to be Kiviaq Day.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.