Inuit elder, author and seamstress born in Tasiujaq (Nunavik) in 1932.
Dorothy Mesher was born in Tasiujaq, a small village on the Ungava coast in northeastern Nunavik in 1932. Her biological mother was Mice Berthe, a very religious Inuk woman from Tasiujaq who only spoke Inuktitut and her biological father was a Norwegian named Arthur Karlsen. She was raised by the Edmunds, Bill and Susan, who lived in Kuujjuaq and her adoptive father, like his biological father, worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company. She moved to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador as a young adult, where she lived for 29 years, raising 14 children. In the 1980s when she returned to Kuujjuaq, she noticed many changes in the Inuit lifestyle and found that some cultural traits were still the same even in the new ways. These observations and childhood memories form her autobiography Kuujjuaq : Memories and Musings, written with the assistance of Ray Woollam and published by Unica in 1995. She hopes that these memories of her childhood will help explain to young Inuit the rapid change their parents and grandparents have lived through. In 2018, Dorothy Mesher directed a short documentary, A Way of Life, sharing her memories of ten pictures of Kuujjuaq in the 1930s and 1940s. This film was produced by Wapikoni Studios. The Dorothy Mesher Collection has been donated to the Avataq Cultural Institute.
Dorothy Mesher is an Inuit elder living in Kuujjuaq who is proud to sew traditional clothing for her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One of her grandchildren is journalist and photographer, Bob Mesher.