Reneltta Arluk

Reneltta Arluk
Courtesy the Artist


Reneltta Arluk is of Inuvialuit, Dene and Cree descent and originates from the Northwest Territories. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, these teachings provided Arluk with the tools to become the actor, playwright, poet, director and producer she is now.

From Marie Clement’s Copper Thunderbird at the National Arts Centre, touring with Human Cargo’s Night, the World Premier of Chantel Bilodeau’s Sila (Underground Theatre; Cambridge, MA), and Hardline Productions’ RedPatch (Vancouver, BC), Arluk has performed in and initiated the creation of Indigenous theatre nationally and internationally for over a decade. She is committed to the development of Indigenous language inspired stories. Arluk has worked in depth with Indigenous and minority youth on both sides of the border, which began in the North through her theatre advocacy work as a producer and facilitator.

Under her company, Akpik Theatre, Arluk wrote, produced and performed her first play, TUMIT. Akpik Theatre has translated and produced TUMIT in French. Productions under Akpik Theatre include a radio adaptation of Richard Van Camp’s short story, I Count Myself Among Them and the performance art piece Anticipation. Arluk’s book of poetry, Thoughts and Other Human Tendencies, published by Bookland Press has been translated into Cree and French.

In cooperation with Theatre Prospero and with encouragement from the Stratford Festival’s Playwright Retreat and support from Canada Council for the Arts, Akpik Theatre will premiere a production of Arluk's Pawâkan Macbeth in Edmonton. Pawâkan Macbeth is a Plains Cree adaptation of Macbeth inspired from working with youth at the Chief Napaeweaw Comprehensive School in Frog Lake, AB.

Arluk’s focus on decolonization pushes boundaries using art as a tool for reconciliation. Her work provokes new interactions across all lines while remaining true to her Indigenous roots. She is the first Indigenous woman to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting degree from the University of Alberta and is an alumnus of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She has been nominated for both a META (Montreal English Theatre Award) for Pig Girl and a Jessie (Vancouver Theatre Award) for RedPatch as an actress. Arluk is also the first Indigenous person to direct at the Stratford Festival with the World Premier of The Breathing Hole by Governor General Award winning playwright, Colleen Murphy.



2017: Appointed as Director of Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

2008: Founded Akpik Theatre.

2007: Won a silver Interpretation Canada Award.

Artist Work

About Reneltta Arluk


Performing Arts

Artistic Community:

Yellowknife, NT

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.


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September 12, 2017 Created by: Reneltta Arluk Updated by: Inuit Art Foundation