|Kanayok was born in northern Quebec in 1926. Years later she would receive her Christian name of Cecile. She was soon adopted into a large family in which all her siblings had been adopted from various other families. Time was spent playing with her siblings and learning skills a woman would need later to aid in her survival on the land. It was a land, resource rich but inhospitable in the extreme so knowing how to sew Inuit clothing and properly prepare meat for present and future use was a must.
Later her family moved by boat to the western shore of Hudson Bay. They settled by Meliadine River near Rankin Inlet in what is now the territory of Nunavut. In her 20's (late per Inuit custom) Cecile and Paul Kablalik wed in a pre-arranged marriage. They had three children. Suffering from polio and tuberculosis Cecile's life was not an easy one. She left her family for seven years while seeking treatment in a sanitarium. Following 1960 when she returned, the mitts Cecile sewed with much skill, called, "pualik", became very popular in her community.
Over the years many people close to Cecile have passed away including her husband in 1969. Although that infectious smile greeted my camera in 2002, it is that determined will to live which is so memorable about Cecile Kablalik.