Leo was born in 1947 somewhere between the inland community of Baker Lake and Chesterfield Inlet on the coast of Hudson Bay. All Leo’s siblings attended residential school in Chesterfield Inlet except Leo who remained on the land with his family.

The family eventually moved to Chesterfield Inlet. At age 13, Leo attended school in Rankin Inlet for 2 years. In 1967 Leo married Leonie in Chesterfield Inlet and they began to raise what would become a large family of 13 children, including some whom were adopted. Leo was employed by the hamlet for over 20 years until retirement in 2003 for medical reasons.

Leo Mimialik, who took a different name from his father, Jacob Krakow, commented, ‘I was trained well by my father to hunt during all seasons. I have never had any problems on the land.’ Years ago Leo had two dog teams, one for hunting, the other for racing.

Leo has witnessed great changes in the lives of Inuit. ‘Now our lives are different. Before, we had to learn to survive. I went out hunting at the age of 6 or 7 with my father and never left his side. Today kids stay in town, go to school then try to get jobs.’

Back to Portrait Gallery

Leo Mimialik
Inuit, Chesterfield Inlet
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 375