|James was born on June 26, 1936, approximately 60 miles west of Pond Inlet. As a boy Jimmy would often accompany his father on long hunting trips, learning skills that had been passed down to his father. His family lived in tents during the summer and igloos during the winter. It was a nomadic lifestyle that Inuit followed for hundreds of years.
Soon Jimmy became a superb hunter, trapper and dog musher, activities he maintained his entire life. He married Elisapee in 1956 and began to raise a family. They moved continuously in their search for seal, fish and narwhale. During the long, cold winter Jimmy carved by the light of a kudluk (lamp).
In 1965 Jimmy moved into Pond Inlet to help the local Minister. In 1972 the Muckpahs moved from Pond Inlet to Arviat where Jimmy became a Deacon. A year later he was ordained as Minister and served for 29 years, retiring in 2002.
Jimmy continued his activities on the land. After retirement he began trapping farther away. Jimmy harvested more than 400 foxes per year for 4 years in a row. James Muckpah, a very respected elder of his community, passed away November 12, 2009.