World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Simon Tookoome

Article Id: WHEBN0003023322
Reproduction Date:

Title: Simon Tookoome  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of indigenous artists of the Americas, Norma Fleck Award, People from Kivalliq Region, List of people from Nunavut, Inuit art
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Simon Tookoome

Simon Tookoome (December 9, 1934, Chantrey Inlet - November 7, 2010[1] Baker Lake) was an Utkusiksalingmiut Inuk artist.


  • Life 1
  • Work 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


In his youth, Tookoome and other Utkusiksalingmiut lived along the Back River and in Gjoa Haven on King William Island. Here he met and was influenced by the Netsilik Inuit.[2][3]

He moved to Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada in the 1960s when his Inuit band was threatened with starvation. After the arrival of arts advisor's in 1969, Tookoome began to draw and carve stones. He was a founding member of the Sanavik Co-op.[3]

Tookoome died in Baker Lake, Nunavut on 7 November 2010. [4]


He was the author, with Sheldon Oberman, of the children's book Shaman's Nephew: A Life in the Far North, which won the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian children's non-fiction in 2000. This autobiographical book deals with Tookoome's youthful experiences of the traditional Inuit way of life, including experiences with hunting and encountering non-Inuit culture for the first time. He was also included in Irene Avaalaaqiaq Myth and Reality:

In the winter of 1957 to 1958, the caribou took a different route to the calving grounds. We could not find them. All the animals were scarce. We were left waiting and many of the people died of hunger. My family did not suffer as much as others. None of us died. We kept moving and looking. We survived on fish. We had thirty dogs. All but four died but we only had to eat one of them. The rest we left behind. We did not feel it was right to eat them or feed them to the other dogs. My father and his brothers had gone ahead to hunt. We had lost a lot of weight and were very hungry. I left the igloo and I knelt and prayed at a great rock. This was the first time I had ever prayed. Then five healthy caribou appeared on the ice and they did not run away. I thought I would not be able to catch them because there were no shadows. The land was flat without even a rock for cover. However, I was able to kill them with little effort. I was so grateful, that I shook their hooves as a sign of gratitude because they gave themselves up to my hunger. I melted the snow with my mouth and gave them each a drink. I was careful in removing the sinews so as to ease their spirits' pain. This is the traditional way to show thanks. Because of what those caribou did, I always hunted in this way. I respected the animals.
— Nasby, 2002

In addition to being an accomplished artist, Tookoome was renowned as a master whipper.[5]


  1. ^ Nunavut loses master artist
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ Nathan VanderKlippe. "Celebrated Artist also a Crack Whipper."
  • Nasby, Judith, and Irene Avaalaaqiaq Tiktaalaaq. Irene Avaalaaqiaq Myth and Reality. Montreal: MQUP, 2002. ISBN 0-7735-2440-1

External links

  • Tookoome's work at the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.