Staff and Faculty show off their sewing skills after a Kamik making course!

Nunavut Arctic College offered a course in Kamik Making as Professional Development for Faculty and Staff for 6 weeks during the months of March, and April. All participants demonstrated their traditional Inuit sewing skills taught by Mary Panipak, assisted by Mary Akulukjuk.

A month prior to the starting date of the course, both Marys searched for the seal skin materials and purchased fourteen natural seal skins, two iqaqtiks, two naluaqs and fourteen atungaksaks.  The course took place every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

At the beginning of the course, Mary Panipak explained to the participants that everyone is different when it comes to sewing talent, and that she has taught students who have never sewn before. She encouraged everyone to do well, and she asked them not to be offended if she asked anyone to take out sewing stitches and start them over. She explained the importance of the traditional Inuit sewing stitches and how they need to be professionally done in order for the finished products to be perfect.

The participants had the ability to choose between three different styles of kamiks; miqqulinnguaks, iqaqtiks, naluaqs.

  • Miqqulinnguaks are originated from actual Miqquliks which are from caribou legs.  The style of the miqqulinnguaks are the same style from miqquliks, the difference is the type of skins they’re made from.  Miqqulinnguaks are from seal skin and the miqquliit are made from caribou legs’s fur.

  • Iqaqtiks are made from skinned seal skin that has been naturally dried outdoors.

  • Naluaqs are also skinned but naturally dried in the winter and which turns white from weather change.

Everyone was provided the necessary tools including sealskin, knife, 5 and 7 glover needles, size 7 sharp needles and white wax thread and thimbles.

The participants designed their own Kamiks and showed off their products at a small College gathering on Friday, May  10th, 2019 at the new campus building extension. The NAC community celebrated together Inuit art and culture, while sharing country foods and enjoying a fashion show of the participants wearing their recently made products.

Congratulations to all participants:

  • Andrew Card

  • Elaine Akulukjuk

  • Amanda Holland

  • Tai-Lucy Pitsiulak

  • Ooraima Holland

  • Jovelyn Acbayan

  • Maxine Carroll

  • Maaki Kakkee

  • SueAnne Gibbons

  • Leetia Qiutsuk

  • Goota Jaw

Thank you to everyone who made this course and event possible.

Mariana Barney