Johnny Issaluk Biography

Johnny Nurraq Seotaituq Issaluk is a well-known Inuk actor, athlete, and cultural educator who hails from the territory of Nunavut. He was born on August 1, 1973. His most notable parts were in the television series The Terror on AMC, which was produced by Ridley Scott; the film Indian Horse, which was produced by Clint Eastwood; and the BBC show The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan. He is most recognized for these performances. In May of 2019, he was given the title of Explorer-in-Residence by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


Early life 

Igluligaarjuk, which is also known as Chesterfield Inlet, is located in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. He spent his childhood there.





His first appearance in front of the camera was in a short film named “Inuit High Kick,” which was screened at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in the year 2010. Later on, he played the lead role in the film Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. It was one of the first films made by Inuit to be screened at a major international film festival. Since then, he has made appearances in movies, on television, and in the play The Breathing Hole, which premiered at the 2017 Stratford Festival. This was the first time that Inuit actors were cast in Inuit characters in a play that was performed at a major festival. He played the role of Sam in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, which was produced by Clint Eastwood, and he toured native American towns that screened the film in 2018.

It was heralded as a huge step forward in Inuit representation in cinema and television when he was cast as the Netsilik Hunter in AMC’s The Terror in 2017, which was based on the novel by Dan Simmons. The novel was written by Simmons.

Most recently, he appeared as a guest star alongside British comedian Romesh Ranganathan in The Christmas Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, which was first broadcast on the BBC on December 20, 2018. In the episode, “traveling across frozen wastelands to spend a week in the largest territory of Canada,” Ranganathan is guided by his host, Inuit athlete, movie star, youth ambassador, and renowned hunter Johnny Issaluk, and he “witnesses an The episode was rated four out of five stars by the Telegraph as well as the Times.

Additionally, he has appeared as “The Most Interesting Man in Nunavut” in multiple episodes of the comic sketch show Qanurli?, which airs on APTN.



Traditional Inuit Games and community work 

Before he began his career in acting, he was most recognized for his accomplishments as a successful athlete in the Traditional Inuit Games. He competed locally, nationally, and internationally for twenty years, racking up over two hundred medals along the way. In the short film “Inuit High Kick,” which he stars in, he competes in the Inuit High Kick competition in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The film has also been shown at other festivals around the world, such as the Tromso International Film Festival. He is no longer active in competition, but he travels to one hundred schools across Canada each year to educate students about Inuit games and culture. Additionally, he is the author of the book Traditional Inuit Games for Elementary Students.

As a result of his activism on behalf of the people of Nunavut, he was honored with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, making him one of the first sixty Canadians and the first Nunavummiuq to do so. As a participant in the 2012 Arctic Jubilee Expedition, he was one of the people who attempted to scale the highest peak in the Queen Elizabeth Islands in Nunavut. After reaching the summit, they recorded a video message to send to Queen Elizabeth II. A total of roughly 17,400 pupils had the opportunity to learn about Inuit culture thanks to an expedition that was sponsored by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and followed by schools in both Canada and the United Kingdom.

In addition to this, he has served as an ambassador for the Canada 150 celebrations (during which he issued one of the #Next150 national challenges and demonstrated Inuit Traditional Games at the Canadian Parliament), and he has been involved in a wide variety of educational programs, such as Students on Ice and the Sedna Epic Expedition. Because of his work in “The Terror” and his advocacy for the community, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2018, and the following year, he was given the position of the sixth Explorer-in-Residence at the RCGS.

Issaluk was honored with a medal of the Order of Canada in 2019. On August 31, 2022, his position as an appointed member of the order was dissolved.

Issaluk was recognized as a deserving recipient of one of Indspire’s awards on February 4, 2020, when the company made the announcement. This prize was taken off the table by Indspire on February 6 after allegations were made by a filmmaker from Nunavut named Alethea Arnaquq-Baril that Issaluk had made an inappropriate sexual move toward her at a gathering several years ago. Issaluk offered an apology on February 7 in the form of an open letter, which was then widely distributed.