Agnes was born in the Gjoa Haven region in 1931. Later she married Simon Teenar in Garry Lake. They had 11 children and adopted one more. The Teenar family experienced real hardship in the 1950’s in Garry Lake. In 1959 when the situation became critical Simon made a long trek to the air strip in Baker Lake to inform the authorities of their plight. They returned by plane with Simon resulting in the family being evacuated to Baker Lake. The vivid memories of these desperate times are such that Agnes rarely speaks of them.

The sister of Anthony Manernaluk, Agnes grew up with John Adjuk and knew Samson Quinangnaq, all of Garry Lake. I had the pleasure of meeting and drawing these three respected individuals.

The following year the Teenars relocated to Rankin Inlet, then in 1961 moved permanently to Whale Cove. Whale Cove was just beginning as a community in the early ‘60’s. People were camped there but there were no houses. Agnes was a good hunter and taught her daughter, Simona, sewing and hunting skills. Said Simona, “My mother was a good, patient, teacher. Because of what she experienced many years ago she wants all her children to know how to survive on the land. She has taught other important things too. Like about relationships and how to raise children. When I listen, I learn much from the elders. My mother has much to teach.”

Agnes is a very relaxed, content woman who has a strong sense of right and wrong. She knows what is important in the world and what is not. I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with Agnes and her two children, Charlie and Simona.


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Agnes Kakasak Teenar
Inuit, Whale Cove
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 575