Charlie Watt was elected President of Makivik Corporation for the third time in January 2018 during Makivik’s 40th anniversary year. He was Makivik’s founding President from 1978-1982, and was President again from 1988-1994. He was also the founding President of the Northern Quebec Inuit Association (NQIA), and lead the negotiations leading towards the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) in 1975.
Charlie Watt was appointed to the Canadian Senate by the late former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Senator Charlie Watt represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of Inkerman. He has served in the Senate of Canada since January 16, 1984.
Over the years he has been involved with Parliamentary groups including the Canada-Russia Parliamentary Group and the Canada-Mexico Parliamentary Association. His particular area of interest and specialization is Aboriginal issues. Special interests and pastimes include hunting, fishing, and raising and training Husky dog teams.
Charlie Watt’s varied career background includes experience in both the public and private sectors. He is a hunter and businessman. His private career includes serving as: a Northern officer with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (1969-79); Founding President of the Northern Quebec Inuit Association (1972-78); Founding President of Makivik Corporation (1978-82), for which he also served as Treasurer (1987-88) and President (1988-94); President of Air Inuit Ltd. (1988-94). He was President of Makivik when First Air was purchased in the early 1990s and served as First Air Chairman from 1990-1993. He has also served as Chairman of a number of companies, including Seaku Fisheries (1988-94), Uttuulik Leasing (1988-94) and Kigaq Travel (1988-94).
His public career includes serving as Co-Chair of the Inuit Committee on National Issues (1979-84), Member of the Nunavik Constitutional Committee (1985-95) and as a Board Member of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (1988-94).
An Officer of the National Order of Quebec (1994), Senator Watt is also the 1997 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals.
Charlie Watt was was born in Kuujjuaq, and educated at schools in: Kuujjuaq, Quebec; Yellowknife; Kingston; Ottawa; Montreal; Halifax, and Brandon.
He is married to Ida (Epoo), and father to Donald, Robert, Lisa, Billy, and Charlene. And grandfather to many.