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The Shaman's Apprentice

by Zacharias Kunuk & Megan Kyak-Monteith

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list price: $16.95
also available: Paperback
published: 2021
publisher: Inhabit Media

Inspired by award-winning Inuk director Zacharias Kunuk’s short film of the same name, The Shaman’s Apprentice tells the story of a young shaman in training who must face her first test—a trip to the underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, who holds the answers to why a community member has become ill.

Facing dark spirits and physical challenges, the young shaman must learn to stifle her fear and listen to what Kannaaluk has to tell her.

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Editorial Reviews

"The Shaman’s Apprentice is a lovely and engaging book, one which provides a window into traditional Inuit practice and relationships, situating the importance and centrality of the elder female in a position of knowledge and authority within the community. Despite both the dramatic and magical or supernatural elements of the story, it’s a surprisingly quiet and calm tale, complemented by the visual style of the artist. The use of many Inuit words adds to the richness of the atmosphere of the book."—CM Magazine

"The folkloric and magical elements of the story will intrigue...Kyak-Monteith's detailed illustrations help to bring the Nunavut setting to life. Her arresting artwork draws readers into the story with detailed landscapes, dwellings, and furnishings; supernatural elements; and authentic belongings. A thought-provoking tale with an appended glossary."—Booklist

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About the Authors

Zacharias Kunuk

Born in 1957 in a sod house on Baffin Island, Zacharias Kunuk was a carver in 1981 when he sold three sculptures in Montreal to buy a home video camera and 27" TV to bring back to Igloolik, a settlement of 500 Inuit who had voted twice to refuse access to outside television. After working six years for the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation as producer and station manager, Kunuk co-founded Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc. in 1990 with Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik, and Norman Cohn, and Kunuk Cohn Productions Inc. in 2004 with Norman Cohn. In 2001, Kunuk’s first feature, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was shown around the world. Kunuk has directed more than 30 films and videos that have screened in film festivals and theatres, museums and art galleries, and on TV. He has honorary doctorates from Trent University and Wilfrid Laurier University and the winner of the Cannes Camera d’Or, three Genie Awards (including Best Director and Best Picture), a National Arts Award, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and the 2017 Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association. Zacharias Kunuk was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002.
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Megan Kyak-Monteith

Megan Kyak-Monteith is an Inuk illustrator and painter born in Pond Inlet, Nunavut in 1997. She currently is living in Halifax, Nova Scotia and studying interdisciplinary arts at NSCAD University with a focus on painting. When she is not illustrating, she can be found watching movies or working in her studio on large scale oil paintings.
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