Qitsualik-Tinsley, Sean

Author and specialist in world religions, esotericism and mythology born in Southern Ontario in 1969.

Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, also known as Sean Tinsley or Sean A. Tinsley, is of Scottish and Mohawk origin. He was born in 1969, in Southern Ontario, where he grew up learning the art of woodworking and storytelling from his father.

After completing an education in the arts, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley trained as a writer in Toronto (Ontario). Through his literary craft, he became a specialist in world religions, esotericism and mythology, with a focus on Inuit pre-colonial cosmology. In 2005, his short story “Green Angel” was a second-place finalist in Galaxy Press’ science fiction and fantasy story contest, Writers of the Future (WOTF), established by American author L. Ron Hubbard in 1983. All of the winners’ short stories were published in volume 21 of Writers of the Future, Galaxy Press’ periodical.

Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley married Rachel Attituq, a specialist in languages, religions and world cultures and they have co-authored many literary works together. They have published ten successful novels with Inhabit Media, most recently Why the Monster (2017), Lesson for the Wolf (2015), Tuniit: Mysterious Folk of the Arctic (2014) and The Raven and the Loon (2013), which was translated into Inuktitut the same year. Through their works, Sean and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley celebrate the history and uniqueness of Arctic cosmology, cosmogony and shamanism. Many of their published books part of the curriculum in primary and secondary school as well as in universities, across Canada and abroad.

Their novel Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic has received numerous honours for its authors, Sean and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley. First released in English in 2014, it was then translated to Inuktitut the same year and into German in 2019. This novel was a Governor General Awards Finalist in “Youth People’s Literature – English” category in 2014. A year later, in 2015, this novel won first prize in Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature. This resulted in 2,500 copies of Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic being purchased for library collections and Native Friendship Centres across Canada. Keavy Martin mentions and analyses Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic in her book Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature (2012).

Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley currently lives in Nunavut with his wife. The Qitsualik-Tinsley couple have recently published Tanna’s Owl in 2019.

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.