The Garry Lake region of the barrenlands lies approximately 200km northwest of Baker Lake. Elizabeth was born in this uncompromising northern wilderness in 1938. Her parents died when she was just a child and so her upbringing became the responsibility of her maternal grandmother, Martha.

In the 1950’s the caribou didn’t come to the river crossings where they had done so in the past. The Inuit suffered, particularly so those near Garry Lake. By now Elizabeth was living at a camp with five others including her husband, Joseph, and their son. Her strongest memories, however, are of when they were with Joseph’s family and the hardships they experienced.

In 1954 Elizabeth and her family moved to Baker Lake. Elizabeth, now 16, saw a kabloona (white person) for the first time. Also, Elizabeth now married Joseph; the couple raised 10 children. Joseph taught Elizabeth how to hunt and trap so she could contribute to feeding their family. Joseph passed away at an early age so these skills became a real necessity.

Elizabeth loves to fish but does go on the land to simply enjoy the solitude and tranquility. This talkative, little woman with a large smile confronts the trials and tribulations of life with laughter and is always a pleasure to meet.

Back to Portrait Gallery

Elizabeth Paungrat
Inuit, Baker Lake
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 375