|Atkak's family is originally from the Ennadai Lake area located several hundred miles west of Arviat. While camping during the winter at Hickes Lake, Charlie was born on February 7, 1951. When Charlie was six and his family were camping at Henik Lake, authorities of the Canadian Government relocated the family by plane to Arviat. After one year his family moved to Rankin Inlet, then to Whale Cove for five years. In 1965 they moved back to Arviat where they have lived ever since.
Charlie worked for the Housing Association for 16 years. On the weekends and whenever he had leave from work he would be out on the land at either of his two cabins.
When I first met Charlie in 2005 he had just returned from the land on his ATV. Hunting that spring had been difficult because although there were plenty of caribou, much water on the land had made transportation difficult. Charlie informed me other problems can also arise. In 2004 a huge barren ground grizzly, looking for food, came within twenty feet of Charlie while he and his family were at their cabin. They managed to chase the bear away on their ATVs. “I grew up on the land just like my ancestors. I enjoy it a great deal. It relieves stress and helps your mind relax.”