Sivuarapik, Charlie

Sculptor, illustrator and storyteller born in Nunavik in 1911 – died in Puvirnituq (Nunavik) in 1968.

Charlie Sivuarapik, also known (among other names) as Saali E9-1460 Arngaituk, was born in 1911 in Nunavik. He is the father of Thomassiapik and Akinsie Sivuarapik, and the brother of Mina Matt. Making home in Puvirnituq in the 1950s, he lived there until his death from tuberculosis on September 26th, 1968.

Charlie Sivuarapik was a sculptor and storyteller. In ill health, he turned to ivory and soap stone carving rather than hunting in the 1950s. He was a founding member of the Association of sculptors of Puvirnituq and President of the cooperative of Puvirnituq, between 1958 and 1967. He received international recognition for his exhibitions beginning in 1963 and his works are part of the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. He is the first and only Inuit artist to be a named a member of the Sculptors society of Canada and has collaborated with Peter Murdoch et Father André Steinman. His compositions are very imposing and form the subject of several of his published stories in Inuktitut Magazine, in the book Inuit Stories/Légendes inuit (1988) by authors Zebedee Nungak and Eugene Yuji Arima. His series of sculptures called The Legend of the Giant and the Fog (1960s) illustrates his tale The Giant and the Man (1998).

His work has contributed to making the Inuit culture of Nunavik known world-wide.

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.