Martha was born in April, 1944, in the Padlei region of Nunavut to Simon Katsuak and Monica Kopanuak. When she was a young girl her family moved to Arviat. She lived there for six years before attending the Sir Joseph Bernier residential school in Chesterfield Inlet in 1958.

In 1961 Martha married Peter Komak. They spent much time on the land before and after their children were born. Peter passed away in 1984.

Several years later Martha married Tony Otuk. Martha had a total of ten children all of whom live in Arviat. Martha worked at the local sewing center in the late 1970’s for several years. Her second husband passed away in 2004.

She still sews and knits, goes on the land and greatly enjoys time with her children and grandchildren. Her daughter, Elizabeth, said to me, “Our mother taught us many things like how to sew, how to raise a child and how to treat other people. She is a very strong woman who lost two husbands. My mother is a survivor.” That, perhaps, says it all.


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Martha Otuk
Inuit, Arviat
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 575