Ikpakohainok, Stephen Angulalik in front of post sign.
Territories Archives/N- 1986-002: 0154)
post, located on Flagstaff Island originally consisted of a dwelling
house and a trading store. One of the first things he did as a
newly established fur trader was to get his own boat. In 1929,
Angulalik sailed to Herschel Island with Hugh Clarke on Canalaska’s
supply ship Nigalik to receive his own schooner the Tudlik.
purchased the Tudlik from Canalaska with C.T. Pedersen
arranging for the marine insurance for the boat. The Tudlik was
later refitted by Canalaska with a new 35 hp diesel engine in
1935 at a cost of $3000. Dudley Copeland states that Angulalik
went to Herschel Island each summer with the Tudlik,
but Canalaska documents refer to the delivery of trade goods via
other ships such as the Fox and the Morris.
It may be that Angulalik sometimes went to Herschel Island himself,
but picked up his outfit at Cambridge Bay on other occasions.
business was so successful that the HBC set up a competing post
at Perry River in 1937. However in 1936 the Canalaska Trading company
had been sold to the HBC, and by 1938 Canalaska operations had ceased.
Part of the arrangement between Canalaska’s owner C.T. Pedersen
and the HBC was that the HBC would continue to supply Angulalik
with trade goods. These terms were agreed to by the HBC, but Dudley
Copeland remembered that Angulalik’s initial order was seen
as very unusual to HBC accountants:
Tudlik up on beach from stern.
Working on bottom.
Territories Archives/N-1986-002: 0102)
Angulalik had been accepted as a customer – asking for
around twenty thousand dollars debt – the Fur Trade Commissioner
had me consult the credit manager...The credit manager threw
up his hands; it was plain foolishness to risk that much money
on a man’s character and reputation.
Angulalik now an HBC customer, he was no longer in direct competition
with Angulalik, and the HBC post was at Perry River was closed
in 1941. The dwelling house from the HBC post was sold to Angulalik
was during this period of change in Angulalik’s operation
that he lost his first two wives. Koloahok died in 1938 and Kuptana
in 1939. According to RCMP Seargent Henry Larsen Angulalik’s
wives both died during a measles epidemic. Angulalik did not qualify
for baptism while he had two wives, but after the death of Koloahok
he was baptised Stephen in 1938. Some time after the death of
his wife Kuptana in 1939, Angulalik was united with his third
wife Ervana. They were married in a church in 1941.
was an Inuk operating a trading post for Inuit. With an insiders
perspective on what goods would be useful to Inuit, he sometimes
had what HBC staff would find “odd things”.
were odd things in his store, such as parasols and umbrellas
for which the Eskimos had an intriguing new use. When covered
with white cotton, they made conveniently packaged shields;
behind them a hunter could creep up on a sleeping seal on the
spring ice (Copland 1985: 227).
Angulalik could not speak or write English it is hard to imagine
how he accomplished ordering the things he wanted. However, Angulalik
had a typewriter and he would type the words of the packages of
items he wanted replenished. Sometimes he may not have chosen
the proper name of the product, but with the understanding of
the HBC staff at Cambridge Bay he did manage to receive what he
had a good understanding with HBC manager Scotty Gall, who was
manager at Cambridge Bay from 1939 to 1948 with the exception
of the winter of 1943/44.
Angulalik’s engineer aboard the Tudlik was Morris
Pokiak who was a half-black and half-Inuit man from the Herschel
Island area. Another westerner Norman Evalik joined the Angulalik
operation around 1943, by hiring out his schooner the Sea
Evalik family: Norman, Lena, -, -, David and Charlie in front.
Territories Archives/N-1986-002: 0216)
annual trips to Cambridge with Tudlik , Angulalik would
communicate to Scotty Gall through letters sent by regular dog
Gall was very impressed with Angulalik’s abilities as a
trader. He would not only bring in many foxes through trade, but
he provisioned his post with meat that he hunted himself.
addition to hunting, Angulalik left the post to trap and this
added to his income. His third wife Ervana remembered this lifestyle
in the early 1940s:
had used this area to trap foxes. I have gone trapping with
Angulalik when we were just married. A long time ago on this
river, [Perry River] we would set traps all along the shores
of this river. Along the shores of the coast here too. When
he ran the post, he enjoyed travelling and setting traps, I
would go with him when we were just married... When we were
just married at the time we would travel up river [Perry River]
not very far and set up traps with help from young men. He would
always have someone helping him all the time. We would set traps
along the coast by Sherman Inlet (Mabel Ervana Angulalik, Kuukyuak
Angulalik’s wife Ervana skins fox.
Territories Archives/N-1986-002: 0260
fact, Angulalik had a unique lifestyle relative to other fur traders.
He did not spend the entire season at the post waiting for Inuit
to come to him. Instead he and his family engaged in seasonal
hunting and fishing activities with other Ahiarmiut.
leader, Angulalik would host Christmas celebrations annually for
the Ahiarmiut. His wife Ervana remembered those celebrations:
season right until New Year's Eve, they would have games if
no one was traveling in or out of the island. That was how they
celebrated festive seasons long ago. They would enjoy themselves.
Right now Christmas is not celebrated any more, like it used
to be. They would invite everyone to feast at their iglus, it
would go for days. I have often wondered if we should have passed
this on to our family, our grandchildren, our children to let
them see how we had celebrated Christmas long ago. (Mabel Ervana
Angulalik, Kuukyuak 5).
Christmas dog race at Perry River.
Territories Archives/N-1986-002: 0146)
Although it was not his responsibility as a trader, Angulalik
kept records of the people who would come in to trade with him.
The christmas gathering gave him the opportunity to take a census
of the male heads of households. He also kept records of deaths
and births which he passed on to the RCMP.
operated the Perry River post as an independent trader until the
events of New Years Eve 1956 resulted in his being brought
up on murder charges. In 1957 Angulalik chose to sell his operations
to the HBC. After Angulalik was acquitted of the charge, he returned
to Perry River and worked alongside the post manager Red Pedersen.
Angulalik considered Pedersen as a member of his family and acted
as a mentor to the young trader. Pedersen remains a close friend
to the Angualik family to this day.
remained employed at the Perry River post until it closed in