|Barnabus was born in 1929 by Princess Mary Lake just west of the Kazan River. The caribou and fish were abundant at this time and Barnabus remembered his father, Havaaq, would regularly use his kakivak, made of wood and muskox horn, to spear trout in the lake.
The family regularly moved during spring and summer as they followed the caribou herd. When Havaaq went out to hunt, Barnabus would often follow. They tried to camp near large lakes so the option of fishing was always available if the caribou proved scarce. Meat was cached whenever possible. Even with these precautions, Barnabus remembers many times when he and his family were hungry.
Barnabus would often journey to Baker Lake to trade for supplies then travel back to his camp. In 1959 he and his family relocated to Baker Lake (Qamanittuaq) permanently. It was there Barnabus began to create. Although he has produced sculpture, prints and drawings, he is known around the world primarily as a stone carver. His work has been a huge influence on the style of the region.