Where to shop this holiday season to support Inuit businesses
This holiday season, support Inuit businesses in the Qikiqtani region. Here’s a list of Inuit-run business with great gift items for everyone.
If you are looking for one-of-a-kind jewellery try Mathew Nuqingaq’s collection online or at his studio. Nuqingaq is an Iqaluit-based artist with a talent for working with metal.His desire to represent Inuit culture and traditions through his work result in unique, wearable pieces of art.
If you are looking for handmade soaps and lotions made with ingredients from the Arctic – try UasaU Soap’s beautifully made creations. The company is a family run business spearheaded by Bernice Clarke and her husband who use ingredients harvested in the Inuit Nunangat to make special soaps and lotions that capture the essence of the tundra and ocean.
If you have an art lover you need to shop for, try Dayle Kubluitok’s digital art. Kubluitok’s artwork Four Corners, is the official cover image of Northwestel’s 2019/20 phone directory. She specializes in digital designs that depict stylized depictions of Inuit characters, legends and scenes reflective of Inuit life. While her images are extremely contemporary their subject is rooted in Inuit culture.
If you are shopping for a someone who loves to sew try the selection of fabrics and sewing supplies in Iqaluit’s Miqsuqta.
Dan Wade is a talented jeweller born in Frobisher Bay, near Iqaluit. Wade was inspired by the carvers in his family to pursue the arts and take up jewellery. He is best known for his Northern Lights ring.
Located in downtown Iqaluit, Malikkaat provides “all things Inuit” including traditional tools, authentic Inuit carvings, silver, brass, ivory, baleen and antler jewellery, prints and Inhabit media books. There is also a wide selection of seal skin products such as mitts, slippers, head bands available for purchase at the store.
Located in Iqaluit, Nunatta Sunakkutaangit is the only museum in the Territory. The museum offers a permanent gallery of Inuit artifacts and art and a temporary gallery of exhibitions of contemporary art. You can find various prints, carvings, jewellery as well as other arts and artifacts for purchase at the museum.
Carvings Nunavut has a large selection of Inuit art and carvings from all over Nunavut. With thousands of pieces in inventory there is new art added to the gallery daily.
The Uqqurmiut Centre serves the entire arts and crafts community of Pangnirtung, with facilities and equipment for the Pangnirtung Print Shop, the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio, and a retail Craft Gallery,. The Uqqurmiut Centre is a great place to purchase various knitted products like the famous Pang hats and scarves. The Centre also houses a large collection of prints for sale. The gift shop sells carvings and jewellery made by local artists.
Inhabit Media has collaborated with QIA for many years in an ongoing partnership to help support Inuktitut literacy. You can find a large collection of books, particularly children’s books in both English and Inuktitut written by Inuit writers at Inhabit media, including a number of books published in partnership with QIA. Inhabit Media is the first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic that aims to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of the Arctic, while also supporting research in Inuit mythology and the traditional Inuit knowledge of Nunavummiut.
Alianait has a large collection of CD’s and compilations featuring the work of Inuit artists for sale as well as merchandize from their annual festival. You can also purchase festival passes, annual memberships and annual concert series passes from Alianait for the music lovers in your life. Alianait’s mission is to help build a healthier Nunavut through the arts. Alianait sets the spotlight on Inuit and other circumpolar artists while bringing together exciting world-class musicians, circus acrobats, dancers, storytellers, actors, filmmakers and visual artists from across the globe.
Becky Qilavvaq has various items of clothing and art available for purchase on her website. Becky is a self-taught artist from Pangnirtung who provides inspiring and fun clothing and products that celebrate the unique Inuit identity and heritage. Becky is also the designer of innovative learning tools such as the Atii Game Show, and co-designer of the ‘Ilinniarnarsivuq: Time for School’ App.
The Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (NACA) is an excellent place to go to purchase arts and crafts made by Inuit. Since its foundation in 1998, the NACA has worked to benefit Nunavut artists. NACA is a non-profit incorporated society that supports and promotes the development and growth of Nunavut’s arts and crafts community through advocacy, communications, artist development, education and marketing.
Hinaani designs clothing and accessories that promote Inuit culture, language, and lifestyle to foster positive self-esteem and pride in Inuit.
If shopping for a foodie – try ordering a cake, cookies or cupcakes from Sadie Vincent-Wolfe’s I Like Cake. Vincent-Wolfe also offers catering for events – so why not treat a family or friend to a catered meal for the holidays.
If you are shopping for a lover of Inuit art, you can checkout the prints, drawing and sculptures available through Dorset Fine Arts. The website includes images of the annual Kinngait print collection as well as information on participating galleries across Canada where you can buy the prints. Dorset Fine Arts was established to develop and serve the market for Inuit fine art produced by the artist members of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative.