Canadian (born in Germany), 1911–2005
Two Girls Asleep Under Their Caribou Skins During the Famine at Padlei, NWT, 1950
silver gelatin print on paper
40.6 x 50.8 cm Image: 47.6 x 33 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor, funds administered through The Winnipeg Foundation
In 1947 a trip to the Arctic stirred Richard Harrington’s desire to see more of the Canadian North. He made five additional trips over the next decade, travelling by dogsled, all the while documenting the Inuit’s vanishing way of life. His most notable trip was in 1950 when he travelled to Arviat on the west coast of Hudson Bay and then headed inland to visit the remote camps of the Padlei Inuit. He discovered that the people were starving because of a change in caribou migration routes. When he returned to Churchill, he helped raise awareness of the problem. This work is from this excursion. It pictures sisters Agartook, 18, and Keenalik, 9, whose family was subsisting on only a quarter of their regular diet.