Paniaq, a sibling of Abraham Tagornak, is a descendant of whaler Captain George Cleveland of Hudson Bay who operated in the waters off Repulse Bay at the turn of the 20th century.

Paniaq followed her family as they lived a nomadic existence flowing over the land with the annual cycle of migrating caribou. They moved into Repulse Bay and then back to their camp for many years. In 1957 they began staying permanently in the settlement.

Several years later she married Paul Siusangnark. Paniaq worked for the local hotel for many years before she retired. When I asked her what she enjoys she answered, “preparing caribou and seal skin” with a big grin. Then she added, “I like to sew too. Things like kamiks (boots), mitts and caribou parkas for my children and grandchildren.”

Paniaq is a very shy, friendly lady who is usually found outside her house attending to various chores. On each occasion as I photographed her she would ask with a grin, “What was wrong with the photographs taken last time?” Paniaq was a delight to interview. I found her warm, infectious smile casts a glow on all those around her. With Abraham Tagornak passing away several years ago, Paniaq has become the oldest of the community.

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Paniaq Siusangnark
Inuit, Repulse Bay
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 575