Simon was born in 1934 by Chantrey Inlet located near the coast of Canada’s northern mainland. Simon and his three older siblings were raised by his mother, Keelikwa, and his stepfather.

Simon grew up learning the traditional lifestyle and beliefs of the Utkusiksalingmiut. This group of Inuit lived primarily inland along the Back River. He also spent time on King William Island at Gjoa Haven, where he was exposed to the coastal Netsilik culture.

In the 1950’s when a severe shortage of caribou threatened their survival, the entire family moved by dog team to Baker Lake. Simon greatly enjoyed hunting and trapping in the region. The authorities wanted him to attend school but he refused. He said he didn’t want to lose his language. As a consequence he has no educaion and does not speak English.

Simon had a splendid dog team but when they died under mysterious circumstances in 1976 he never replaced them. In 1970 Simon took up drawing and stone carving on a full time basis. He is now one of Baker Lake’s prominent artists. 2008 he was given the Nunavut Commission Award of $5000 for his contribution to the arts. Simon Tookoome passed away November, 2010 at 76 years of age.


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Simon Tookoome
Inuit, Baker Lake
Image size: 11 x 14 inches
Edition size: 375