Leetia Ineak

Leetia Ineak has earned an international reputation as a writer, director, and producer of children’s television by combining puppetry and television with Inuit culture. Born in Iqaluit in the territory of Nunavut, Ms. Ineak developed an early interest in puppets and learned to make her own. This interest grew as she became an adult, and she learned more sophisticated puppet-making techniques from the puppet-makers on Sesame Street and Mr. Dress Up and from Noreen Young of Under the Umbrella Tree. She started developing characters and then began writing stories. Ms. Ineak has worked for the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation since 1986, contributing to and creating children’s television shows promoting Inuit language and culture. Her most well-known project is Takuginai, for which she is producer, writer, and puppeteer. Now part of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network line-up, twenty-six episodes of this popular children’s program are aired each year. Her other programs include an episode of Big Treasure Chest, a series featuring children’s messages for children of the future, which has aired in Germany, and her series, Open A Door, featuring an Inuk child’s view of the outside world, which has been sold to the British Broadcasting Corporation. The popularity of these programs, in particular Takuginai, has led to the publication of several books featuring her puppet characters. In 1996, Takuginai received the Special Recognition Award, a national award from the Alliance for Children and Television.