The Enchanted Owl Spreads Its Wings  

Written by Dave Baxter

Posted January 14, 2020

It has been fifty years since an iconic work of Inuit art was selected to celebrate the centennial of Canada’s Northwest Territories.

In 1970, Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak saw her piece The Enchanted Owl reproduced by Canada Post on a six-cent stamp commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the Northwest Territories.The release marked the first time a female Inuit artist’s work had been displayed on a Canadian stamp. 

Ashevak, who was born in an igloo on the southern coast of Baffin Island in 1927, is considered one of Canada’s most influential artists and a pioneer in modern Inuit art. The Enchanted Owl, a colour stonecut on laid paper, is one of her most recognized and celebrated works of art. 

Ashevak became the first Inuit artist inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001. She died at the age of eighty-five in her home in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. 

This article originally appeared in the February-March 2020 issue of Canada’s History.

Skip social share links

Related to First Nations, Inuit & Metis