Arnakallak, Titus

Translator and interpreter born at the beginning of the 1960s (Nunavut).

Titus Arnakallak was probably born in the early 1960s. His family originated from Pond Inlet (today’s Mittimatalik), a hamlet located on Baffin Island, in today’s Nunavut. The High Arctic relocation affected Titus Arnakallak’s family, as they were one of many Inuit families in the 1950s who were forced to move north. In 1953, Arnakallak, Titus Arnakallak’s father, his mother Qaumayuq, his siblings Rhoda, Maikpainnuk, Damaris, Morgan, Timonie, Phoebe et Jonathan, as well as his grandparents were all relocated in Craig Harbour, a settlement located on Ellesmere Island, approximately fifty kilometers from Grise Fiord, in today’s Nunavut. In 1957, the Arnakallak family was permitted to return to Pond Inlet. Unfortunately, Titus Arnakallak’s grandmother died from tuberculosis in exile, in a sanatorium in Hamilton, Ontario, in the same year. Titus Arnakallak and his younger brother Juunia were born after the family’s High Arctic relocation ended.

Titus Arnakallak pursued his career as a translator and interpreter, running his own business  Arnakallak Translating, based in Pond Inlet. He translated many official documents and reports, for both federal and Nunavut governments; his areas of expertise were ecology, trapping and hunting management and the stewardship of Baffin Island National Parks. As an interpreter, he publicized his homeland’s issues. For example, he worked as an interpreter in Barry Greenwald’s film Between Two Worlds (1990), a documentary about Joseph Idlout, an Inuk from Pond Inlet who became famous for accompanying and guiding families with the difficulties they encountered during the High Arctic relocation in Resolute Bay (Nunavut). Titus Arnakallak also assisted Catherine-Alexandra Gagnon as an interpreter for her master’s thesis in management of wildlife and its habitats: “Complémentarité entre savoir écologique inuit et connaissances scientifiques : le cas de l’écologie du renard arctique, du renard roux et de la grande oie des neiges dans la région de Mittimatalik, Nunavut, Canada” (Université du Québec à Rimouski, 2007).  Titus Arnakallak expressed his linguistic opinions in an open letter published in the newspaper Nunatsiaq News. “Many questions about language standardization” (2012) opposes the principle of standardisation of Inuktitut across Nunatsiaq (Inuktitut for Northwest Territories), Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut.

The defence of his community’s culture, language and political interests are a central priority for Titus Arnakallak. The trauma of the High Arctic relocation led him to speak publicly as a descendant of the exiles. In 2010, he answered questions from The Globe and Mail newspaper (Toronto, Ontario) raising the issue of ever-decreasing federal financial compensation for relocated survivors. Titus Arnakallak equally revealed how he felt like an imposter with regards to this trauma, considering how he had not experienced it first-hand. On social networks, Titus Arnakallak regularly expresses his sympathy for Zebedee Nungak’s work, more specifically the documentary Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny (2006).

Titus Arnakallak lives in Pond Inlet (Nunavut). A father of four, he is also actively involved in his community’s governance. In October 2019, he was elected to the Pond Inlet Municipal Council.

This biography is based on the available written material during a collective research carried out during 2018-2021. It is possible that mistakes and facts need to be corrected. If you notice an error, or if you wish to correct something in an author's biography, please write to us at and we will be happy to do so. This is how we will be able to have more precise presentations, and to better promote Inuit culture.

(c) International Laboratory for Research on Images of the North, Winter and the Arctic, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2018-2021, Daniel Chartier and al.