Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Saturday, October 20th is a special day for the community of Tuktoyaktuk. I am grateful to witness the 100th birthday celebration for Mrs. Persis Gruben along with her family, friends, relatives, and many people from other communities around the Northwest Territories. This day is a milestone for Persis, her family, and the community of Tuktoyaktuk. She is the first person who anyone knows who has reached the milestone age of 100 years old in Tuktoyaktuk.
Mr. Speaker, Persis has seen throughout her century on earth a challenging yet rewarding lifetime for her and her late husband Charlie Gruben. Together, they had 12 children who they raised and passed on their traditional knowledge and culture as Inuvialuit to their children. To date, Persis has a thriving, huge family from an estimated number of 60 to 70 grandchildren, 110 great-grandchildren, and over 65 great-great-grandchildren.
Mr. Speaker, Persis was born to Sarah Kay and her biological father, Lymin Koe, on October 20, 1918, at the Peel River. Lymin had tragically and unfortunately passed on in an accident before Persis was born.
Mr. Speaker, Persis is fluent in Gwich'in and Inuvialuktun and speaks both languages better than anyone they know. Her mother, Sarah, remarried an Inuvialuit man, Lennie Inglangasuk, whom she called "Dad" and loved him dearly, and he accepted and loved Persis as his very own. Mr. Speaker, Lennie taught Persis the Inuvialuit way of life and the language that she speaks today and orally shares her teaching of the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit cultures and traditions to all generations after 1918.
Mr. Speaker, she is the eldest of five children Sarah and Lennie had. Today, she still lives in Tuktoyaktuk in her very own home, where she feels the most comfort and familiarity with her surroundings. Today, I would like to commend Persis Gruben for her almost 100 years on earth and the sharing of her knowledge, tradition, and culture to all who cross her path. Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, October 20th, please take a moment to think about Persis as she turns 100 years old. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.