Saputik museum

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The Saputik Museum in Puvirnituq was created in 1978 by Taamusi Qumaq Novalinga, and was the first museum in the history of Nunavik. When Taamusi died in 1993, the building and the collections were abandoned due to a lack of financial resources. At that point, Avataq organized the salvage of the museum’s significant collection of ethnographic and archaeological objects, but the museum building itself was beyond repair, and was dismantled in June 1994.
Since 1996, Avataq has been filling a mandate from the Corporation of the northern village of Puvirnituq by carrying out a number of studies and consultations that are intended to lead to the construction of a new museum and cultural centre. An expansive plan has now been developed, and financing is currently being sought. In 2001, Avataq hired an Inuit from the community of Puvirnituq and provided him with individualized training in conservation. He is currently overseeing a museum space in temporary quarters.

Sculpture and print-making workshop

On behalf of the Municipal Corporation of Puvirnituq, and in association with the Saputik museum project, Avataq has conceived and established a sculpture and print-making workshop. Heritage Canada and Makivik Corporation provided funding for this initiative. The workshop has two workspaces, one of them dedicated to the practice of stone carving, and the other reserving for printing techniques. Local artists benefit from a vast array of professional materials as well as security equipment; the space is also a popular meeting place for young Inuit interested in pursuing the arts. With the creation of these professional-grade workspaces, the population of Puvirnituq has equipped itself with public infrastructure dedicated to artistic expression and the transmission of the artistic techniques and know-how that made the community famous. The sculpture and print-making workshop opened officially in September of 2005.


In 1982, the former Caisse populaire building in Povungnituk became the Saputik Museum, an effort spearheaded by Taamusi Qumaq.


Laurent Gagnon and Peter Boy Ittukalak discussing new equipment for the creation of the museum’s sculpture studio.


Nellie Nungak cuts a strip of seal leather as part of the official ceremony launching the new Puvirntuq sculpture and print studio