Ada was born to Ittulukanaaq (mother) and Mangiliknaaq (father) in 1934 on the south side of the Kazan River. Her family, like most Inuit, were nomadic and travelled from one hunting location to another. People and dogs carried the belongings. Dogs might carry on their backs in summer but in the winter they would pull a kamotik (sled) laden with various articles.

In the 1950’s Ada married James Kingilik from the Beverly Lake area, west of Baker Lake. Ada was James’ fifth wife as previous wives had passed away. The couple barely survived the starvation period. With no caribou to be found they lived on fish for four years.

Ada and James had 5 children and adopted 2 more. In the spring of 1968 the family was living in the Aberdeen Lake area when they decided to move to Baker Lake. After arriving at Baker Lake by dog team they lived in a tent for several months as there was not adequate housing.

James passed away in 1975. Ada enjoys being on the land and in particular being at their cabin. Every year when I visited Baker Lake, I would encounter Ada. She had a quiet dignity whether cutting caribou meat outside her home or walking to the store. Never once did she refuse my request to photograph her. Noel, her son, said to me, “Mom taught us to be better people. She is a good mother and very good grandmother.”


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Ada Kingilik
Inuit, Baker Lake
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 575