Samaiyu was born in Iqualuit. She moved to Cape Dorset as a child, where she has lived ever since. Her parents,Lau Akesuk and Olayuk Akesuka were one of the first Members of the Legislative Assembly in Nunavut.
Samaiyu was inspired by the work of Ningeokuluk Teevee while they took a class together, and turned that into her own unique style.
In her works, Samaiyu often draws bears,birds and other wildlife rendered with strong colors and patterns. Through simple stylised forms, Samaiyu's work exudes energy and whimsy, and takes a bold approach to contemporary Inuit imagery.