Stephen Angulalik was a remarkable Inuk. His skills and knowledge as a hunter and leader were legendary among his people, the Ahiarmiut. Angulalik was the owner of a successful fur trade post at Perry River (Kuukyuak), and his influence and reputation were known far and wide. Images and stories of Angulalik were published in magazines and periodicals around the world.
Angulalik’s success as a fur trader came in part, by being in the right place at the right time. Prior to the beginning of sustained contact with whites, the Inuit of the Kitikmeot region had already been part of Inuit trade networks stretching west to Alaska, south to Churchill, east to Hudson’s Bay and perhaps beyond. In the early 20th century, as commercial whaling was becoming uneconomical in the western Arctic, former whalers took an avid interest in the fur trade. It was the efforts of their trading that resulted in the first sustained contact between Kitikmeot Inuit and the outside world. The large fur trade companies, the Canalaska Trading Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company, were close on the heels of early fur trade pioneer Christian Klengenberg.
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KITIKMEOT FUR TRADER
Stephen Angulalik and Family 1950 (S.J. Bailey/Library and Archives Canada / PA 175729)