Silas was born in April, 1933, in the northeast part of the Back River region. Silas’ father died at an early age and Silas was worried how he and his siblings would survive. Fortunately his older brother was a good hunter but a few years later he also passed away. Now, however, Silas had acquired enough skills to ensure his survival.

In 1953 Silas married Mariam Nanooklok in an arranged marriage by the Anglican Church. Three years later the family was living in the Back River area. The hunting was very poor during this period so they decided to walk to Baker Lake. Silas was so weak he was helped much of the way by Alvin Kanak.

The Qiyuk family eventually had 9 children. Silas spent most of his life hunting and fishing. He does little of that now because of a physical disability. His father, Napimmak, taught Silas how to survive on the land and Silas taught his sons.

One son, Paul, who was 8 when he got his first caribou said, “Dad taught me names of places on the land. Now, especially during winter when snow covers everything, making it hard recognize, I can still find my way home. He taught me how to properly cache caribou meat and how to skin animals. I pass all what I learned to my sons.”

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Silas Qiyuk
Inuit, Baker Lake
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 575