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The key to a deal

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 21/05) - One of the most visually stunning maps of Rankin Inlet to ever be created is looking for a home.

The jaw-dropping wall hanging was created by Rankin elder Lizzie Ittinuar through a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts' Aboriginal Traditional Art Forms program.

NNSL Photo/graphic

This stunning wall hanging of the municipality of Rankin Inlet took Rankin Inlet elder Lizzie Ittinuar four months to create. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

The grant provided a subsistence allowance so Ittinuar could take the time to produce the work of art.

Under the terms and conditions of the grant, the artist assumes ownership of the piece after its completion.

Aboriginal Traditional Art Forms program grants allow artists to pursue their careers, earn income and produce works that reflect Canadian culture and tradition.

Now that the wall-hanging map is complete, Ittinuar would like to see her work remain in the community.

It took her four months to complete, with the final stitch being sewn in late September.

Ittinuar has appeared before council in hopes the hamlet would purchase her creation, but to date no buyer has been found.

"I really wanted the town of Rankin Inlet to buy it because, after all, it's a map of our municipal community and I put a lot of work into it," said Ittinuar.

"Though I have approached possible buyers in Rankin, I haven't come across anyone who is interested.

"My only option now is to sell it to anyone willing to buy it for a fair price."

The piece is valued at about $10,000 and was quite challenging to make.

The pattern on the material was written with tailor's chalk, so the lines kept disappearing on Ittinuar.

She had to keep looking at another map with the same design to continue on.

The scales of the houses were also very small, making the many numbers on the legend of the map difficult to work with.

"I also had other sewing to do like traditional hunting clothes for my family and a beaded amauti I finished in time for the Nunavut Drum Dance Festival in April.

"At times I thought I might not finish because there was so much work to be done, but my husband kept encouraging me and eventually I did.

"It was hard to keep working on the same project.

"At times I had to do other sewing because I'm the only female at home."

- translation by Theresie Tungilik