Leonard was born on the land northeast of Chesterfield Inlet in January, 1934, to Leonie Igluligajuk and Victor Sammurtok. The family was always traveling in order to hunt. Staying in camps for periods, the men would set out for fox or caribou, then after the cold, winter months would trek to the coast to harvest seals.

Victor taught his sons well how to survive on the land. Between 10 to 16 years of age, Leonard was always out with either his father or older brothers. Leonard has fond memories of building igloos and hunting, skills that would be needed as an adult.

In 1949 Leonard moved to Chesterfield and soon began working for the St. Theresa Hospital. He performed small chores and began to learn carpentry. Using a Peterhead boat he fished and hunted seals and walrus to feed those staying in the Hospital.

Two years later Leonard married Leonie. The Putuliks had 13 children and adopted Casimir Kriterdluk. After 20 years Leonard took over maintenance of the Hospital and still provided food through hunting and fishing. He took pride in his position because the Hospital in Chesterfield Inlet was the only such facility in the entire region. In 2002 when he retired, Leonard received a Recognition Award for 50 years of Service.


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Leonard Putulik
Inuit, Chesterfield Inlet
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 375