The star of books and films, Joseph Idlout was the most famous Inuk of his time. As the leader of the Inuit hunters pictured for many years on the back of the Canadian two-dollar bill, Idlout's fortunes were crystallized in that idealized image. Idlout was a successful provider and leader during a time when the Inuit still lived on the land. Proud of his origins and fiercely independent, he became an invaluable guide and resource in the Canadian Arctic for the benefit of the government, Hudson's Bay Company, church, military, and the media. As told through eyewitness testimony from Inuit elders and archival footage, the story of Idlout's life embodies the tragedies and contradictions of Canada's intervention in the Arctic, and the radical changes it brought to Inuit society in only twenty years.
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