Hunter Tootoo has been named the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard by Prime Minister Trudeau. He was elected to represent the riding of Nunavut in October 2015. Before running for the House of Commons Tootoo represented Iqaluit Centre as an MLA for 14 years. During that time he served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Minister Responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, Homelessness, the Qulliq Energy Corporation and as Minister of Education.
Before working as an MLA, Tootoo served as Recreation Coordinator for the hamlet of Arviat, the Administrative Officer for the Department of Economic Development and Transportation and the Assistant Director for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation in Iqaluit.
Tootoo also worked in the private sector as a businessman. He co-founded the Iqaluit branch of Arctic Insurance Brokers Ltd. He also served on the Northwest Territories Coop Business Development Board and the Sport North Board of Directors. Through his provincial role, Tootoo developed a deep understanding of the challenges facing the territory of Nunavut and its people.
Tootoo was born in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. He is the cousin of NHL player Jordin Tootoo and the nephew of Manitoba MLA George Hickes.