It was in an igloo near Gjoa Haven that Nina Amarunuar and Pierre Kimaliarjuk greeted the first day of the year, 1928, with the birth of their son. Anthony was the youngest of five children. "I hunted with my father and older brothers. By age sixteen, my father was too old, so I hunted alone. For two years I had very little to eat. My older brother and I hunted together for a time and did the best we could."
A mine opened up in Rankin Inlet thrusting the community into a period of prosperity. In 1952, miners came to work in the North Rankin Nickel Mine. Anthony and three others built small houses for the miners. Following the mine’s closure in 1962, Anthony, along with other Inuit, headed south for employment underground in the Lynn Lake gold mine. The work was dirty and dangerous but Anthony stuck is out for seven years before returning to Rankin Inlet.
Unlike many Inuit hunters who got rid of their dogs after acquiring a snow mobile, Anthony kept his team. His huskies were always well trained. After Anthony lost his huskies in 1987 he began using a mixed breed of dog. Pure bread huskies were rare in the Arctic by this time because many southern dogs had been introduced.
Anthony reminisced about his long life. “My fondest memory is caribou hunting during the years when there were plenty, then caching as much meat as possible. My saddest memory is from 1946 when I lost my oldest brother in a plane crash. I mourned him for one year.” The land sustains men like Anthony Amarok through those difficult times. Its rugged beauty, seemingly endless expanse and uncompromising character is never far from his heart.