A word from Jake Ootes

In the late 1960s and early 1970s I travelled throughout the Arctic with Northwest Territories Commissioner Stuart Hodgson during his annual tours of the communities. I took many photographs of people, at work, at play, at their activities – Inuit Heritage Photos.

Last summer I showed some of those photos to Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson who encouraged me to post as many as possible on social media. The advent of the internet makes this possible.

I reached out to Betty Brewster of Iqaluit to help with this project. Brewster is the Order of Nunavut recipient, respected elder and expert interpreter who travelled Nunavut throughout her lifetime interpreting and translating. We have received the support of the Heritage Program of the Department of Culture and Heritage, Government of Nunavut, to defray some of the cost of digitizing, posting on social media, and related expenses.

To add to this collection and to further preserve Inuit heritage we are seeking names, birth date/location, death date/location, communities where they are from.   As I was sifting through my trove of hundreds and hundreds of negatives and slides I realized I  had collected photos of a considerable number of unidentified individuals. As we receive feedback we will add relevant information to an index page. An online response form is available (or go to “Image Gallery” in the header). The photos are numbered for easy reference. Upon completion of our project we will provide a report to the Nunavut Department of Culture and Heritage.

We are hoping there will be a high degree of interest to see family and community members—children, youngsters, elders, community leaders. You may recognize someone, or the community. If so please respond by completing the response form. The “Image Gallery” has 14 sub-galleries for a total of 327 photos.

I had been a newspaper reporter/photographer in my first career so I enjoyed taking Inuit Heritage photographs during my travels. Over the past year I have sifted trough a trove of hundreds and hundreds of black and white negatives, colour negatives and slides, and spent considerable time digitizing these. This has brought back pleasurable memories of my days meeting so many special and interesting people. And so, I take great pleasure in sharing these photos on social media.

Jake Ootes
February 10, 2022  

Inuit Heritage Photos


Photographer digitizes hundreds of never-seen images of Inuit communities | CBC News