B. 1970 Cape Dorset, Nunavut Territory, Canada
Toonoo’s parents, Josephee Sharky and Ragee Killiktee, were both carvers, though he credits his grandfather Kuppapik Ragee and his uncle Shorty Killiktee as influences. Toonoo started carving at age ten, began to get serious at thirteen and first exhibited when he was just seventeen. He is regarded as one of the most exciting young carvers to emerge in the Arctic. His themes include dramatic treatments of wildlife, particularly birds, and transformational works that are both powerful and humorous. Recent sculptures feature inlays of different coloured stone and ivory for eyes and other details.
His work is widely shown, and he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 2003. His work is in multiple public and private collections including: The National Indian & Inuit Art Collection, Dept of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Quebec; Musee d’art Inuit Brousseau, Quebec; Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.