Tamara Sarah Tikisa Takpannie is an artist and advocate originally from Iqaluit, NU, who specializes in beadwork, textiles and kattajaq (throat singing). An urban Inuk based in the Ottawa-Gatineau region in Ontario, Takpannie’s bold and feminine artwork reflects her desire to represent the strength and resilience of Inuit women and uphold cultural traditions.
She first began sewing in 2011 while she was pregnant with her firstborn son, creating pualuks (mittens) out of sealskin and leather before moving onto other accessories like hair clips, earrings and keychains using various furs and skins. “Because I was self-taught, I’m almost certain that it was through my namesake Tikisa, my grandmother, that I was able to channel art,” remarks Takpannie, who named her business “Tikisaujunga” which translates to “I am Tikisa.”  Takpannie continued to hone her skills in the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program, which is also where she first learned how to perform kattajaq. In 2016, Takpannie started throat singing with Janice Oolayou in a duo called “Arnakuluit: Beautiful Women” who have since performed in various venues across the province.
Beadwork is the latest skill Takpannie has added to her repertoire, creating fringe earrings and collar necklaces that combine vivid colours and metallics with bright neutral tones. Her aim is to create jewellery that “makes somebody who wears it feel good about themselves.”
Her most recent collection of earrings included white and gold geometric shapes that fade into bright blues, greens and purple, finished with extra long gold bugle beads. Takpannie explains her artistic practice as part of a healing process: “[When I first started] I needed to create to survive. And now I create to relieve stress and ground myself.”