Canadian North announces first Inuk CEO

A Canadian North aircraft in the tarmac.
Photo: Canadian North

Canadian North, an Inuit-owned airline, has announced a strategic leadership transition that underscores its commitment to serving remote and northern communities in Canada’s Arctic.

Shelly De Caria, the current Vice President for Sales, Marketing, and Distribution, has assumed the role of Interim President and CEO, making history as the first Inuk to lead Canadian North.

This pivotal shift in leadership not only marks a significant milestone but also signifies a strong dedication to community engagement and service improvement.

First Inuk to lead Canadian North

Shelly De Caria, born and raised in Kuujjuaq, Québec, embodies the core values and commitment to community engagement that Canadian North holds dear.

Her journey to this leadership role has been marked by unwavering dedication to the communities she serves.

Photo Credit: Canadian North


Prior to her tenure at Canadian North, she played a crucial role at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, where she advanced the rights and interests of Canada’s Inuit population.

At Canadian North, Shelly De Caria’s leadership has been instrumental in the development of a wide range of community investment programs.

These programs have had a substantial impact on education, sport, nutrition, and mental health in the regions served by the airline.

With over a decade of experience, she brings a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that these communities face.

Commitment to Community

The transition to Shelly De Caria’s leadership reinforces Canadian North’s commitment to community engagement, service improvement, and adaptability to new challenges.

The company’s enduring mission of providing essential services to remote and northern communities in Canada’s Arctic remains resolute.

As she takes the helm, her extensive experience, particularly her pivotal role in community investment, aligns seamlessly with Canadian North’s mission, ensuring that communities continue to be well-served and supported.

Johnny Adams, Canadian North’s Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, emphasizes the airline’s dedication to this transition, saying,

“Shelly’s extensive experience, notably her pivotal role in community investment, aligns seamlessly with our mission, ensuring our communities continue to be well-served and supported.”

“The board of directors and the executive team extend their full support to Shelly in her new role as interim president and CEO.”

A Canadian North ATR turboprop on a snow-covered runway.
Photo Credit: Canadian North

A Bright Future for Canadian North

As this leadership transition unfolds, Canadian North remains fully committed to its strategic goals and the well-being of the communities it serves.

While further details regarding the selection of a new CEO will be shared in due course, there’s an undeniable sense of optimism and purpose surrounding this transition.

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to step into the role of interim president and CEO at such a pivotal time for Canadian North. I extend my gratitude to Michael Rodyniuk for his dedication and contributions,” said Shelly De Caria.

“As an Inuk, I am immensely proud to lead an organization that is deeply rooted in community and committed to serving the unique needs in our regions.”

“With the unwavering support of our talented team, I am confident that we will continue to uphold our mission and make a positive impact in the communities we serve. Our enhanced operational focus will ensure timely delivery of scheduled services for passengers and robust cargo operations.”

About Shelly De Caria

Canadian North proudly welcomes Shelly De Caria as its interim president and CEO while she continues her role as VP of Sales, Marketing, and Distribution.

Her journey from Kuujjuaq, Québec, to this leadership role is a testament to Canadian North’s unwavering commitment to its Inuit roots and community engagement.

Shelly’s leadership reflects a holistic approach to community betterment, spanning education, sport, nutrition, and mental health.

With over a decade of experience, Shelly’s leadership is set to steer Canadian North towards an even brighter future while staying firmly rooted in its mission.

Her role as a mother to two amazing children and as a wife further enriches her perspective and dedication to community-oriented initiatives.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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