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Myrna Pokiak, is an Inuvialuk from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, born in the Spring of 1979 to James and Maureen Pokiak. Myrna and her husband Eddie Paul, have 3 daughters, Mya, Launa, and Kara. Much of what inspires her as an artist is the experiential and cultural teachings in which she was immersed at a young age as she traveled on the land and sea with her family. Knowledge, skills and traditions were passed down to her as it was generations before.
Throughout Myrna’s career, as an artist and business owner, she has worked with a variety of organizations from Museums, Universities, Land Claim Organizations, and Private Industry. She has had the honour to curate and provide photographs and videos for the most recent exhibit on the Inuvialuit Beluga Whale Harvest for the National Canadian Museum of Nature (2019).
The gifts she was given through stories and experiences are what drives Myrna’s artistic path and brings to life the symbolisms that have sustained Northern people from well before confederation to today. Myrna’s daughters come from a long line of families in the North: Inuvialuit on Myrna’s side, Dene and Metis on their father’s side.
Myrna has a wide variety of accomplishments, from writing, design, and photography. Her most widely used and recognized artform is through beadwork, fur, and hide. Her patience, dedication and vision guides her artistic path, allowing her to express her culture through art.
It is history, northern cultures, the environment and resources, and most importantly, her girls that inspire Myrna Pokiak as an artist.