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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Germaine Arnaktauyok

Settlement: Iglulik / Igloolik

(1946) — E5-472

Alternative Names: Arnaktauyok Arnaktauyok, Germaine Arnaktauyok

First Name: Germaine

Last Name: Arnaktauyok

Full Name: Germaine Arnaktauyok

Name in syllabics: N/A

Alternative Names: N/A

Date of birth: 1946

Place of birth: Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada

Date of death: N/A

Place of death: N/A

Community / Heritage: Inuit

Sex: Female

Disc Number: N/A

Website: N/A

Art Media: Drawing, painting, printmaking, lithographs, etchings, serigraphs, textile.



Germaine Arnaktauyok is an Inuit artist born in 1946 in Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada. She is the daughter of carvers Therese Nattok and Isidore Iytok.


Arnaktauyok is renowned for her talents as an illustrator and master printmaker. At an early age, she liked to draw on any material she could find. When Arnaktauyokwas nine, she was sent to a residential school at Chesterfield Inlet, where she received art lessons. At age eleven, she sold her first painting.


Arnaktauyok participated in a variety of art courses, including spending one year at the University of Manitoba in the Fine Arts program enrolled in a printmaking course sponsored by the Arctic College and Arts in Induvik, Canada. She also studied commercial art at the Pembroke Campus of Algonquin College in Ottawa in 1969. 


While in Ottawa, Arnaktauyok was employed by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs as an illustrator for various Inuit publications. She later moved to Iqaluit, where she worked for the Frobisher Arts and Crafts Centre for five years. While in Iqaluit, the Pembroke branch of Algonquin College offered her the opportunity to participate in a year-long course involving historical and cultural techniques of crafting.


For several years, Arnaktauyok worked in educational positions before returning to Iqaluit to study printmaking at Arctic College in 1992.


Arnaktauyok had her first public exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1998. The exhibition featured her drawings and prints from 1970–1997. 


In 1999, she designed a special edition two-dollar coin commemorating the founding of the territory of Nunavut for the Royal Canadian Mint.


Arnaktauyok had great success as an illustrator of children’s books written in both Inuktitut and English. Her illustrations are included in children’s books from the Baffin Divisional Board of Education, Hyperion Press in Winnipeg, and the books of Nick Nicol, a Canadian author published in Japan. She is also the a co-author and illustrator of “My Name is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok” published in 2015.


Arnaktauyok developed a unique technique whereby she draws many fine coiled lines, creating rich texture. Apart from drawing, she works and experiments with different mediums, including lithographs, etchings, serigraphs, prints and textile. She is best known for depicting Inuit myths, legends, traditional ways of life, stories and feminist narratives centred on birth and motherhood.


The artist now lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Her works can be found in many international and Canadian collections, including the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Amway Environmental Foundation Collection, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, the Indigenous Art Collection at Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada in Gatineau, and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.


  • 1981: “The Inuit Sea Goddess”, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1989: “The Great Northern Arts Festival”, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • 1992: “The Inuit Print and Sculpture 1960-1980”, Westdale Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 1993: “Arts from the Arctic”, Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
  • 1993: “Germaine Arnaktauyok”, Orca Art, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • 1994: “Creatures of the Sea and Snow”, Snow Goose Associates, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • 1995: “Northern Vignettes: The Enchanted Palette of Germaine Arnaktauyok”, Ancestral Spirits Gallery, Port Townsend, Washington, USA
  • 1998: “Germaine Arnaktauyok”, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2000: “Millenium Print Collection”, Nunavut Legislative Assembly, Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
  • 2001: “Germaine Arnaktauyok: A New Portfolio of Etching and Aquatints”, Arctic Artistry, New York, NY, USA
  • 2002: “Visual Insights: Recent Works by Germaine Arnaktauyok”, Indigenous Art Collection at Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
  • 2008: “Germaine Arnaktauyok”, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2009: “Combs of Our Ancestors”, Museum of Inuit Art, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2014: “Germaine Arnaktauyok: Retrospective Of Works 1993-2010”, Craft Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2020: “Piujut Arnaqsiutit”, Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum, Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada



  • Indigenous Art Collection at Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
  • Glenbow Museum Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • Canada Council Art Bank Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • CanadaAmway Environmental Foundation Collection, Ada




  • 1970: Illustrated "Harpoon of the Hunter" a book published by the Department of Indigenous and Northern Development.
  • 1976: Dominion Glass Ltd featured original drawings Arnaktauyok made for their own Glass production.
  • 1994: "Things in the Sky" was featured on the cover of the 1994-1995 Northwest Territories telephone directory.
  • 1999: Arnaktauyok's "Waiting in Silence" selected for the cover illustration for the Nunavut Annual Report.
  • 1999: Designed the back of the two-dollar coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint to commemorate the establishment of the province of Nunavut.
  • 2000: Her print "Laughter in the Air" was featured on the cover of the Christmas card for the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
  • 2000: The Royal Canadian Mint used Arnaktauyok's the "Mother and Child" image for the cover of cards used for Danielle Wetherup.
  • 2000: Designed a two hundred dollar special edition gold piece issued by the mint as part of the Native Cultures and Tradition Series.
  • 2000: Prime Minister Jean Chretien honoured Arnaktauyok at a ceremony for her creation of "Drummer" and "Mother and Child" designs.



Title Last Sold At Auction
QUIET TIME; MY SWEET BOY 2016-08 (August 2016)
ANCIENT MASK 2021-06 (June 2021)
BOTH UNTITLED 2013-10 (October 2013)
CYCLE OF LIFE 2017-03 (March 2017)
DRUMMER 2017-03 (March 2017)
FIRST BORN 2017-08 (August 2017)
FOOD PROVIDER 2014-02 (February 2014)
GODDESS OF THE SEA 2019-06 (June 2019)
HOW CARIBOU CAME TO BE 2017-05 (May 2017)
HOW DAY AND NIGHT WERE MADE 2010-11 (November 2010)
IN RETURN I GIVE WATER 2017-03 (March 2017)
MOON SPIRIT II 2014-02 (February 2014)
NEEDLES AND NEEDLE CASES 2008-02 (February 2008)
NIGHT AND DAY 2014-06 (June 2014)
NUNAVUT NAMES 2010-11 (November 2010)
ONE POWER OF TUNNIQ 2017-03 (March 2017)
OWL AND LEMMING 2012-02 (February 2012)
PRECIOUS MOMENT 2014-06 (June 2014)
QUIET TIME 2017-03 (March 2017)
TATTOOS 2021-06 (June 2021)
THE SHAMAN'S COAT 2021-06 (June 2021)
THE SHAMAN’S APPRENTICE 2018-09 (September 2018)
THE SUN AND THE MOON 2014-03 (March 2014)
THE THINGS IN THE SKY 2010-11 (November 2010)
THEN AND NOW 2020-02 (February 2020)
THUNDER AND LIGHTNING 2010-09 (September 2010)
ULLURIAT 2014-02 (February 2014)
UNTITLED 2021-10 (October 2021)
UNTITLED 2021-10 (October 2021)
UNTITLED 2010-12 (December 2010)
UNTITLED 2010-12 (December 2010)
UNTITLED 2021-10 (October 2021)
WAITING IN SILENCE 2019-11 (November 2019)
WHEN THERE WAS NO LIGHT 2015-01 (January 2015)

Recent Auction Results

Estimate: 400 — 600
Sold: Oct 2021 — Sold For: $360
Estimate: 200 — 400
Sold: Jun 2021 — Sold For: $510
Estimate: 200 — 400
Sold: Jun 2021 — Sold For: $480
Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Jun 2021 — Sold For: $1,080
Estimate: 300 — 500
Sold: Feb 2020 — Sold For: $360
Estimate: 300 — 500
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $360

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