Matilda was the first born to Bertha Sinisiak and Honore’ Ajjark in December, 1943. She would eventually have 16 siblings and, in addition, her parents would adopt 5 children.

Matilda’s parents taught her how to be self-sufficient. Matilda remembers fondly this time, “I went out hunting many times with my father till I was 17 years of age. I followed him every time he went out. Dad eventually said, ‘You will have to stay home sometimes with your mother.’ I shot many seals with a rifle.”

The family would arrive in town at Christmas time. Matilda remembered her mother preparing for the occasion by sewing caribou hide clothing for the children so they would look their best. Her most enjoyable memories involved fishing during the springtime with her brothers and friends.

Matilda met a fellow in Rankin Inlet; they married and moved to Vancouver Island. During the eight years they lived together, the couple adopted a girl, named Mary Anne. Matilda and her daughter came west and ended up in Rankin Inlet for a few years before finally returning to her birthplace of Chesterfield Inlet in 1987. Matilda has many siblings living in her community.

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Matilda Omattok
Inuit, Chesterfield Inlet
Image size: 11 x 14 inches
Edition size: 375