Women You Should Know – Pitseolak Ashoona

Pitseolak Ashoona (1904-1983)

Pitseolak Ashoona was born in Nottingham Island in the Northwest Territories. She was raised on Baffin Island and became a renowned Inuit Canadian artist. Pitseolak grew up living a traditional Inuit lifestyle that is reflected in her extensive artwork. She and her husband raised 12 children, some of whom followed her artistic path. Pitseolak’s art collection is comprised of over 7,000 images, with many focusing on the day-to-day life of the Inuit people. She received many honours during her life, including becoming an elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 1974. In 1975 she was awarded the Canada Council Senior Arts Grant. Her most prestigious award is the Order of Canada that she received in 1977 and is the highest award a civilian can receive. In 1977 she was also recognized by having her picture displayed on a Canadian stamp in celebration of International Women’s Day. Pitseolak Ashoona died on May 26, 1983.

Source for additional information:

Internet Public Library (n.d.). Native American Authors Project: Pitseolak Ashoona, 1904-1983. Retrieved April 4, 2005, from http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A254.

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