Kanajuk, Michel

Storyteller born in Harvaqtuurmiut territory (Nunavut) in the second half of the 19th century.

Michel Kanajuk, also known as Michel Kanajuq, is a member of the Harvaqturmiut, a community which was part of what the anthropologists called « Caribou Inuit » in the first half of 20th century, and which is located in the Kivalliq region, in actual Nunavut. Originally from Qamanittuaq (former Baker Lake), he was born sometime during the beginning of the 20th century. When this ancient Inuit community was visited by the anthropologist, Eugene Y. Arima, Michel Kanajuk told the story of the murder of Saqpi, which occurred sometime during the 1890s and he was recorded during this interaction in March 1969. The story was transcribed and published in Inuktitut and English in the Inuktitut Magazine in 1977. Saqpi was the husband of Kibgaarjuk, an Inuit woman encountered by the Greenlander Knud Rasmussen in 1922, during the Fifth Thule Expedition.

This is the only written known trace of Michel Kanajuk’s existence and storytelling’s work.

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 imaginairedunord@uqam.ca 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.