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Nunavik Creations

Manufacturer

2000 - 2017

Nunavik Creations Inc., an Indigenous owned and operated company, designed and manufactured high-quality parkas, fur coats and accessories based on traditional Inuit designs. The company was in business for more than 15 years. At the time of its closing in 2017, Nunavik Creations had employees working in Kuujjuaq and Inukjuak, Nunavik, and in Montreal.

The company was created by the Makivik Corporation, described on its website as an

 “organization mandated to protect the rights, interests and financial compensation provided by the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, the first comprehensive Inuit land claim in Canada.”

In addition to operating businesses, the Makivik Corporation focusses on job creation, social development, improved housing, environmental protection, and the preservation of the Inuit language and culture in Nunavik.

In 2000, the Makivik Corporation hired designer Victoria Okpik to launch a clothing and socio-economic development project, which evolved into Nunavik Creations. Okpik, originally from Quaqtaq, Nunavik, is a graduate of the Fashion Design program at LaSalle College in Montreal. In addition to her formal fashion training, Okpik learned traditional Inuit clothing making techniques from family members in Nunavik. Louise Falardeau, previously known for her design work as Falardo, was Executive Director from 2008 until its closing.

Nunavik Creations produced high-end traditional and contemporary Inuit-made parkas, coats, mittens, hats, and boots for men, women and children, often incorporating fur and sealskin.

According to the company website, “Inuit women from various communities in Nunavik [were] employed as seamstresses, designers…sample makers, pattern makers” and company administrators.

All products were made in sewing centres in Nunavik, by Inuit women in their homes, or in workshops in Montreal.

Nunavik Creations sold garments through a boutique in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, and online via the company website. In 2014, the company provided Team Nunavik with 100 parkas for the Arctic Winter Games in Alaska.

Makivik Corporation continues to operate Nunavik Furs, an initiative started in 2003-2004 that encourages “more small enterprises in tanning and taxidermy.” Nunavik Furs owns a tannery in Kuujjuaq that processes skins from hunters across the region.

Sources

nunavikcreations.projects.accessleader.com External link

Hiram, Léa. “Opening performance of Kautjajuk by the Nunavik Theatre Company.” Avataq, eZ Systems AS, 24 January 2012, http://www.avataq.qc.ca/en/layout/set/print/News/Opening-performance-of-Kautjajuk-by-the-Nunavik-Theatre-Company. 2018. External link

“Nunavik Creations sews made-to-order parkas for 100” CBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, 13 March 2014, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/arcticwintergames/nunavik-creations-sews-made-to-order-parkas-for-100-1.2570989. External link

“Nunavik Furs” Makivik Corporation, Makivik Corporation, http://www.makivik.org/nunavik-furs/. 2018. External link

“Nunavik’s Makivik Corp. drops subsidiary design company” Nunatsiaq News, Nortext Publishing Corporation, 21 June 2017, http://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/65674nunaviks_makivik_corp._drops_subsidiary_company/. 2018. External link

“‘With a heavy heart,’ Nunavik Creations closes its doors after 15 years” CBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, 20 June 2017, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/nunavik-loses-inuit-fashion-institution-1.4169288. External link

Publication date

01/02/2019

Author

Alexis Walker, McCord Museum

© McCord Museum 2019