ETNA AND IKEY BOLT
KITIKMEOT FUR TRADER
Dora Kelly, Etna and Ikey Bolt. Small boy on right – Donald Ayalik. (Northwest Territories Archives/N- 1986-002:0136)
Ikey Bolt and his wife Etna Klengenberg and their daughter Kinnawear (Library and Archives Canada / PA 172874)
Klengenberg’s family all became involved in the fur trade in the Kitikmeot as independent traders, and as employees of fur trade companies. His daughter Etna married an Alaskan Inupiaq from Point Hope named Ikey Bolt or Angutisiak. Ikey's parents were Ahivgak and Wegruk, and he was related to Klengenberg’s wife Kenmek. He came into the region after he met Diamond Jenness and was a hired hand with the Canadian Arctic Expedition. Etna and Ikey Bolt eventually took over Klengenberg’s store at Rymer Point in 1920 and operated it until 1932. Klengenberg’s wife Kenmek lived there for many years with Etna and Ikey Bolt after Klengenberg’s retirement to Vancouver.
Etna’s skill as a seamstress strongly influenced clothing designs in the Coronation Gulf region. She also worked against the practice of infanticide among the Copper Eskimos, even traveling to Ottawa to discuss this issue with government officials.
In the mid-1930s Ikey and Etna moved to a location near Minto Inlet. By the late 1940s they moved to Coppermine where Ikey became caretaker and interpreter for the first government school established there. In 1953 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal in recognition of his services. He died at Coppermine in 1981 and in 1987 his wife followed him in death. Both are buried at the Anglican cemetary at the mouth of the Coppermine River.