Ruth Annaqtuusi Tulurialik

A few months after her birth, Ruth Annaqtuusi Tulurialik arrived in Baker Lake with her adoptive parents, Thomas Tapatai, and his wife, Elisapee Unuqnuq where she grew up somewhat removed from the semi-nomadic hunting and fishing life practised by her ancestors. Tulurialik's adoptive father was a native catechist and an assistant to the Anglican Church, and through him she was exposed to the beliefs and the way of life of the non-Inuit, or qablunat. When she was in her twenties she was hired by the Government of the Northwest Territories, where she worked mainly as an interpreter.

After various earlier attempts, in 1969 a printshop project directed by consultant artists Jack and Sheila Butler was successfully launched in the community, and became a source of revenue. Encouraged by Jessie Oonark, who was already a well-known artist, Tulurialik submitted her first drawings. The medium of drawing best illustrates the quality and originality of her art.

Photo: Paul von Baich
© Indian and Northern Affairs Canada