|Gideon was born in June, 1926, in the lower Garry Lake area of Nunavut. At this time his family was living in a caribou tent. Even their bedding was made from the hide of the caribou, the animal most important to the survival of the inland Inuit. Gideon’s mother, Naomi Kud’jaaq, was a fascinating lady. As a young girl she was tattooed which was customary for her generation. She was proud to display the tattoos on her hands, legs, face and body.
Gideon was baptized in the wilderness at age 24 by an Anglican minister. Ministers often traveled by dog team to camps to perform various religious functions.
In 1957 Gideon married Hannah Kigusiuq who also grew up in the Back River country. In 1958, shortly after their marriage, the Garry Lake region suffered a famine which claimed more than a dozen lives. At the time Gideon was being treated for tuberculosis at Clear Water Lake, Manitoba. His treatment lasted for two years and he knew nothing about the famine until he returned home, only to find that Hannah had been relocated to Baker Lake.
Hannah was unable to bear children herself but she and Gideon adopted two boys and three girls. During the spring and summer months, while the children were out of school, the family enjoyed their cabin on the Prince River, about 25 miles from Baker Lake. It was a happy time with Hannah sewing mitts, kamiks and parkas. In 1995 Hannah passed away; the cabin burned to the ground several years later. Now when Gideon wants solitude outside the community he takes along a tent and sets it up on the land. Gideon Kuuk passed away early in 2009.