Sarah Samisack
Inukjuak, Nunavik
“Mothers use the amauti for our babies. It allows skin-to-skin contact with our child with our bodies touching each other – our very first contact…. I cannot really describe it. It’s very Inuit”

About Sarah’s Design

I wanted to be part of this project because it is important for me to remember the women and girls that have been missing or murdered because they are somebody’s mother, auntie, sister and friend. As women, we have to take care of one another, and I feel like I am doing that by being part of this project.

I’ve made a simple traditional red Nunavik Inukjuak style amauti. The akulik design was made by very innovative Inuit women by looking at caribou’s mouth top part, the akuk, and designed to look like the akuk.

About Sarah

My name is Sarah Samisack, and I am from Inukjuak Nunavik. I am 29 years old with four beautiful girls. I have been sewing for about 15 years. I learned how to sew from my grandmother, who I call mom as she adopted me when I was born. I have three sisters and one brother. I started sewing when I was in Grade 4 in school, but I got really serious about sewing in my early teenage years. I wanted to be a seamstress by watching my grandmother/mother. Inuit traditional clothes are so beautiful, it makes me want to make more of them. I love the fall season because it’s the time of the year you start seeing beautiful new traditional clothes that grandmothers, mothers, sisters and girls made and also new fashions.

Growing up, I was also very interested in cleaning traditional skins, which I learned from my grandmother, my mom’s mother: Anna Samisack. She taught me how to sew, as well as other people in my community like friends and aunties, basically the whole community. A long time ago everybody would teach each other how to sew. Today not so many people are keen to teach others how to sew. I am thankful in my early years that the whole community would share their knowledge with me.

When I first started sewing, a lot of people would share their patterns, but today not too many people want to share their patterns. Therefore, I started making my own patterns and figuring out the best way to make it look good. Today, I can pretty much make my own patterns for anything I want to make. I make a lot of parkas, amautiit, snow pants, hunting gear, sealskin kamituinaat, polar bear pants, mittens and mosquito jackets. I was also one of the seamstresses in Canada Goose Project Atigi 2.0.

I really enjoy sewing especially when I’m making something for my children. I always try to teach my children that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. For about 10 years, I have been working in our local daycare and at the school teaching grades one and two Inuktitut classes.

Just recently in October 2021, I started my own business called Sarah Samisack Designs. I started my own business to show my girls that it is possible to do what you love and to teach them how to sew. My oldest daughter is already learning from me. I took a course that was offered by Kativik Ilisarnilirinik called “Starting Your Business.” I learned a lot of good things from this course, but I would like to further my education, and my next step is to take a three-year fashion design program. However, it is not offered in my community. That is why I still haven’t done it. I am not ready to leave my community.