Former US Vice President Al Gore has some tough competition for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize: Sheila Watt Cloutier.

Makivik President Pita Aatami expressed the pride of the Inuit of Nunavik for Watt Cloutier’s nomination. “We believe that Sheila’s hard work has brought the attention of the globe to the importance of preserving and promoting Inuit culture by way of guarding the Arctic environment. This is an important milestone, which has brought more attention to our cause. We are proud of you, Sheila!”

Her work with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, which she chaired from 2002 to 2006, championing the rights of her fellow Inuit, brought her to the Nobel board’s attention.

Watt Cloutier, an Inuk born in Kuujjuaq, was earlier involved in youth issues. After several years working for the Kativik School Board, she devoted part of her time working for the Nunavik Education Task Force, from 1990 to 1992. She was Corporate Secretary of Makivik from 1995 to 1998 and worked on social issues, especially for the support of youth in Nunavik.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced next October.