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Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum: Encouraging Community Engagement with Inuit Culture and Art

Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum: Encouraging Community Engagement with Inuit Culture and Art

By Rose Lamberti

The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum has showcased collected art pieces and local artists in Nunavut since 1969. With an expanding art scene, supporting local artists is a priority for the museum.

The manager and curator of Nunatta Sunakkutaangit, Jessica Kotierk, explained that the museum’s purpose is to encourage community engagement with history, culture, and art.

“Where I think we are in our mission, is especially with [the Covid-19 pandemic], it’s at an expansion. Being open, and hopefully having more community members come in for all sorts of different subjects,” Kotierk said when discussing the importance of community engagement with the local art scene.

The museum has a permanent art installation of pieces collected since its founding in 1969. The permanent collection consists of carvings and prints collected throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

With the permanent collection, the museum also offers different ways for local artists to be showcased in temporary exhibition installments or through the museum’s gift shop. Local artists with 10 to 15 pieces can contact the museum for individual exhibitions of their work in the gallery’s space.

“One of the things we do is work with artists. We do that through a gift shop. We buy directly from artists. The other way we work with artists is by focusing on them to include them in museum exhibits.” Kotierk says.

Nunatta Sunakkutaangit engages the community in Inuit culture and serves as a way for the community to continue to support artists in Nunavut. By buying directly through the museum’s gift shop or visiting different exhibitions on display with family and friends, free of charge.

“I believe that that engagement of actually coming in to visit what’s on display in the building, see us where we are here, that’s the first level of support I feel. If someone comes to the museum and looks around, that’s exactly what I wanted you to do. That’s what we’re here for,” Kotierk said, discussing how the community can continue to support local art and the museum.

The museum has a no-bartering policy to ensure that the artists get the value they have set for their pieces. The museum has a wide selection of art available in the gift shop.

To check visiting hours or inquire about available resources for artists, visit the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum’s website at

The museum is hosting the Ottawa Art Gallery’s travelling exhibition, Dark Ice, until September 2023.

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