Celina was born on January 1, 1928 at Siatuuq which lies north of Baker Lake. Her father, Akturungniq, drowned in a boating accident when she was a child. She remembers the difficult times she and her mother, Qaqsaupiaguk, experienced. "Soon after my father died, that fall, my mother had to build an igloo. She did not know how and was standing out in the snow crying as she tried to build the igloo. It was cold and winter was coming. She managed to cut the snow blocks for the sides but didn't know how to build the dome. That part she covered with an old tent. She and I lived in that igloo all winter. "

The husband is the main provider for the family through hunting, fishing and trading. Not having her father to perform these tasks made life extremely difficult for Celina and her mother. "My mom mostly fished to feed us. She was now the sole provider. Sometimes the Roman Catholic Church would give food to help us. That is how we survived."

Celina cooks caribou every spring and summer in a 45 gallon drum in her yard. She continues to sew although her eyesight is beginning to fail. Celina is a hard working, gentle, person who taught her children patience and to be concerned with the welfare of others. Although the Utanaaq family no longer live together on the land, they do enjoy occasional afternoons in spring and summer, in their tent, living as they did many years ago.

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Celina Utanaaq
Inuit, Baker Lake

Image size: 10 x 12 inches
Edition size: 575