Kenneth Ingniqjuk Piugattuk Mackay is an Inuk wood and metal worker who grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. At the core of Kenneth’s work is his desire to resourcefully find ways to live out traditional teachings in a modern world through the creation of eco-friendly art and tools that align with the values of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit. He made his first ulu out of necessity for his wife, Inuksuk, after her family had sent a box of country food South and she had no ulu to cut the maktaaq with. When friends of theirs saw what he had made, they began requesting he make uluit for them as well. Shortly after that Urban Inuk was born and Kenneth continued to salvage throw-away materials to turn into beautiful new things. To his surprise, Inuit and non-Inuit alike enjoyed using the ergonomic ulu to cut a wide range of foods including pizza, lasagna, herbs, pies and brownies. Growing up, Kenneth’s mother, Domina Uvilluk, often reminded him of the Inuit cultural values of being resourceful and never wasteful. Kenneth's grandparents passed away in Iglulik when he was a young boy, so when he began to craft his first uluit from old saw blades his mother remarked that his grandmother used to make uluit in just the same way. He believes it was through her that he became inspired to create uluit. Kenneth’s father-in-law, Joe Karetak, from Arviat, Nunavut, has kindly dedicated time towards mentoring him. Kenneth is happy to be providing for his family with the traditional knowledge passed down by his mother, the mentorship from his father-in-law and the values of perseverance and hard work passed onto him by his father, Angus. The ulu is an ancient Inuit design that assisted countless generations of women like his grandmother in caring for their families. For this, and for Inuit ingenuity in all its forms, Kenneth is continually grateful.
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