NOVEMBER 7, 2010


Born December 9, 1934, by Chantrey Inlet, near Canada’s northern coast, Simon grew up learning the lifestyle and beliefs of his people, the Utkusiksalingmiut Inuit, who lived inland along the Back River.  He also spent time on King William Island at Gjoa Haven exposed to the coastal Netsilik culture.  In the 1950’s, during a severe shortage of caribou, the family moved by dog team to Baker Lake.  Authorities wanted Tookoome to attend school but he refused saying he didn’t want to lose his language.  In 1970, Simon took up drawing & stone carving and became one of Baker Lake’s most prominent artists.  A founding member of the Sanavik Co-op that supported local arts & crafts, he also co-authored 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.  In 2008, Tookoome was given the Nunavut Commission Award of $5000 for his contribution to the arts.  Simon passed away November, 7, 2010 at Baker Lake.

Source:  “Simon Tookoome,” Portraits of the North.  Retrieved 7/18/2019,
Photo:  Padraic Ryan, 11/11/2007.  Aboriginal War Veterans Monument, Ottawa, Canada.  Permissive Use.

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