Mariano Aupilardjuk

Mariano Aupilardjuk


Mariano Aupilardjuk was an accomplished artist and highly respected Elder from the community of Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU. In a career spanning several decades, Aupilardjuk was known for his drawings, was a carver, a drummer, a storyteller, and he even dabbled in acting, playing an Inuk Elder in the 2003 film The Snow Walker [1]. He is also the father of Pierre Aupilardjuk, a well-known ceramicist. 

Aupilardjuk’s commitment to sharing Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit – traditional knowledge – was rooted in his desire to link the past, the present and the future of Inuit in Nunavut. Like many Inuit, Aupilardjuk was not just an artist, but a key member of his community who advised many people, from local residents to politicians, on understanding and using traditional ways and how they could be applied in modern society [2]. In addition to his knowledge sharing with Inuit politicians, the artist also contributed to the creation of the official territorial mace which is on display at the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut in Iqaluit [3].

He was awarded the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2001 by Indspire in the category of Culture, Heritage, and Spirituality [2] as well as the Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award in 2006 [4]. He also recieved an honorary degree in education from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2009 [5] and Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 [6]. Following his death in 2012, a commemorative mural featuring his likeness titled Aupilardjuk: rest in paradise was installed in his honour [7]. 

Artist Work

About Mariano Aupilardjuk


Graphic Arts, Performing Arts, Sculpture

Artistic Community:

Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU

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.