Anthony was born in 1936 at Perry River. The Inuit from this part of the Arctic were called Netsilingmiut, the People of the Seal. Anthony along with his parents and siblings lived by Simpson River during the summer and fall then moved inland to the Garry Lake/Back River area in winter to hunt land animals and trap fox.

In 1950 Anthony’s parents died from sickness. Later adopted by Father Buliard who had established a Roman Catholic mission at Garry Lake, Anthony worked for 6 years as his assistant. For this most remote Canadian Arctic mission Anthony hunted with his dog team while visiting other communities such as Perry River, Goja Haven, Cambridge Bay and Baker Lake.

In 1956, Anthony got very sick and was evacuated to Brandon, Manitoba, for treatment. Anthony was distraught when he heard the news that Father Buliard had gone missing. Father Buliard was never found. This remote mission was closed several years later when a famine at Garry Lake caused over a dozen Inuit to die from starvation.

I met Tony in Rankin Inlet in 2002. He is a solidly built, handsome, fellow who readily answered my questions about his life. Tony was able to find work in communities throughout the north. In the 1970’s he worked drilling underground in the Thompson Nickel mine. Now in semi-retirement Tony uses his skills to make ceremonial drums and traditional knives (ulus).

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Anthony Manernaluk
Inuit, Perry River
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 575