|Arsene Panniuq was born in July, 1920, on large Southampton Island located at the mouth of the Hudson Bay in what is now Nunavut terrritory. Being very sick at birth his mother and father had him adopted by another family, as per Inuit custom, so that the infant might survive.
Taught by his adopted father, Arsene grew to become an excellent hunter. His early life was a nomadic one as his family lived a hunter/gatherer existence around the coast where food was bountiful. It was a life fraught with dangers but the Inuit never considered it as such. "You just had to be careful and alert at all times. You learned this at a very early age."
Arsene's island is home to one of the largest polar bear denning areas in the world. Over the years, Arsene pursued 'nanuk' many times and acquired a reputation for his expertise in hunting this elusive and dangerous animal.
It was in Rankin Inlet, in 2002, that we first met. Even in his early eighties, it was obvious Arsene was a very energetic individual not accustomed to remaining stationary for any length of time. I photographed him as he stared across the land he dearly loves. It was this fierce determination and spirit that I attempted to capture in my drawing.