Tivi Etok (Etook)

About the Artist

Tivi Etok (also known as Tivi Etook or Eetook) is an  InuitInuit means “the people” in Inukititut, the language of the people of northern Canada. Go to http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/info/info114_e.html for further information.  artist from George River, Nunavik (located in Northern Québec). Information on the details of his life are scant as accounts of his life differ.  For example, he was either born in 1928 or 1929 - it just depends on whom you ask.

Dogsled Etok has a significant body of artwork, pieces of which are found in many important Canadian art collections such as Canada's Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. But perhaps more important to Etok as a sign of respect, is the recognition he has as an important  ElderAn Elder, in the First Nations sense, is one who knows the teachings and traditions of his/her culture and who can pass on these teachings and traditions to the next generation. The sense of “elder” has to do with life experience, rather than age, and the acquisition of cultural knowledge through this experience.  in his home community and province.  As an Elder, he is often called upon to share his knowledge of earlier times with Inuit youth in Québec, discussing topics as diverse as global warming, medicinal plants, and traditional Inuit dogsledding.

The history and way of life of his people are important to Etok, both in his role as an Elder and in his artistic practice. In works such as The Shaman Protected the Village from 1975 (see this work), we see that he has combined  imageryAn image is a picture, idea, or impression of a person, thing, or idea; or a mental picture of a person, thing, or idea. The word imagery refers to a group or body of related images. (Artlex.com)  with text; both describe a potential threat to an Inuit community that is repelled through ancient customs. Much of Etok’s work depicts traditional  InuitInuit means “the people” in Inukititut, the language of the people of northern Canada. Go to http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/info/info114_e.html for further information.  narratives and legends or customs.

Etok continues his art making through the traditional discipline of carving and the less traditional (1950s onward) discipline of printmaking.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning