1886 - 1966
Kiakshuk (Keeakshook) was born in 1886 on the south coast of Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island), Nunavut. He would move with his family to the Andrew Gordon Bay area east of Cape Dorset (Baffin Island) in the early 1900s. His name has become synonymus with the early prints from Cape Dorset.
Already an elder by the time the co-op was estabished, Kiakshuk took to prinkmaking easily "digging ino the copper plates as if they were snow blocks." He would become an important participant in the development of Cape Dorset graphic arts creating 52 prints from 1960 until 1966.
In addition to his artwork Kiakshuk was admired for his story telling skills and as a singer of traditional songs. He appeared in a 1958 National Film Board film called The Living Stone. Kiakshuk's own stories and experiences of the past about hunting, animals, family and camp life, shamans and spirit creatures, and oral history were the subject of his drawings and sculptures.
Pitseolak Ashoona geatly admired Kiakshuk who, "did real Eskimo drawings." In her autobiography she noted, "He did it because he gew up that way, and I really like the way he put the old Eskimo life on paper. I used to see Kiakshuk putting the shamans and spirits into his work on paper."
When he died Kiakshuk left behind a legacy of artwork, stories and songs that give Inuit and non-Inuit alike a direct connection with Inuit history and tradition. His son Lukta Qiatsuq is a graphic artist and a well-regarded sculptor who would often interpret his father's drawings into stonecuts and stencil form. His daughters, Paunichea and Ishuhungitok Pootoogook, were also known for their graphic artwork.