Photo Essay

Portraits of Women in Nunavut

A visual companion to Lisa Gregoire’s “Madam Premier

From the January/February 2011 magazine
Photograph by André François
Four-year-old Jenina savours a seal bone at lunchtime in Iqaluit, Nunavut’s largest city.
Photograph by André François
Monica Nuqingaq, Jenina’s foster mother, takes a smoke break before preparing bannock. It’s a rare moment to herself: in addition to taking in children like Jenina, she’s raising six of her own.
Photograph by André François
Kate Darling moved her three kids and her husband over 800 kilometres from Igloolik to Iqaluit, so she could attend nursing courses at Nunavut Arctic College.
Photograph by André François
Julie Alivaktuk, outside her grandmother’s house in Pangnirtung, a community of 1,500 just below the Arctic Circle. She leaves for college in Ottawa next fall.
Photograph by André François
Alivaktuk enjoys a cup of homemade arctic tea with her uncle Joavi, a hunting guide. The family has lost several members to suicide, which is ten times more prevalent here than elsewhere in Canada.
Photograph by André François
Salia Nakashak sews up holes in a sealskin before stretching it over a wooden frame to dry, which takes about a day.
Photograph by André François
Nakashak and her daughter Alookie (shown) will tailor this skin for outerwear or sell it to a local trapping association.
Photograph by André François
Pond Inlet resident Arlene Komangalik shows off a photo of her youngest son. Like many Nunavummiut, they were both born far from home, at Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit.
Photograph by André François
Leah Inutiq, who works for the territorial government, visits with her son Qilaluqaq, recently returned from university in Ottawa.
Photograph by André François
Inutiq’s collection of ulu knives hangs next to her stainless steel refrigerator—a juxtaposition of traditional and modern that’s typical in the territory.
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