Charlie Sivuarapik


Charlie Sivuarapik was a renowned carver from Puvirnituq, Nunavik, QC, who worked primarily in stone. Sivuarapik lived in Puvirnituq since the early 1950s, when it is theorized that he was first encouraged to carve by James Houston during the latter’s 1948 visit to Puvirnituq [1]. For Sivuarapik, who suffered from tuberculosis, carving provided a significant means of income for him and his family [2]. Sivuarapik was a pioneer of a generation of Inuit carvers. His sons, Thomassie, Simiuni and Akinsie Sivuarapik were also highly successful practising artists.

During the span of his career Sivuarapik’s sculptures grew in size, expanded in subject matter, and advanced in technical skill. He is most known for his carvings of wildlife, hunting scenes, and tableaus from traditional stories and mythology, rendered in active compositions and imbued with dynamic movement. Unlike his peers—who carved in an expressive style characterized by idealized forms and emphatic distortions—Sivuarapik was revered for his realism or sulijuk, meaning spirit of truth and completeness[3]. Samisa Ivilla, a fellow carver, applauded Sivuarapik’s work as “a complete transfer from mind to stone,”[4].

Sivuarapik and his contemporaries portrayed human figures with great attention to clothing, using soap or other materials rubbed into incisions in the stone to highlight details [5]. Sivuarapik extended this examination of the human form further into carving nude figures, reportedly using his own body to do so [6]. His carvings of mythological scenes, previously passed on through oral storytelling, perpetuated the transfer of traditional culture that will live on for generations to come [7].

During the last two decades of his life, Sivuarapik gained recognition as one of the most accomplished carvers to come out of Puvirnituq and is considered “the most significant influence in the development of Pov naturalism,” [8]. His role as a founding member of the Carvers Association of Povungnituk and President of the Povungnituk Co-operative Society [9] set him apart as a community leader and as a great influence upon the local crafts industry. His induction into the Sculptors Society of Canada, the first Inuk to receive the honor, confirmed his unique skill and artistic prowess. Sivuarapik’s work has been exhibited in institutions like the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Glenbow Museum, among others. His legacy as a talented artist and community leader outlives him, with his work in permanent collections across the


Artist Work

About Charlie Sivuarapik



Artistic Community:

Puvirnituq, QC

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.


Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.