Avaalaaqiaq Tiktaalaaq was born on the North Shore of Tebesjuak Lake near Baker Lake (NT). She was raised on the land by her grandparents in the traditional Inuit style. She began her art career between 1969-1970 with small soapstone carvings, often of animals with human heads. In 1999, the University of Guelph awarded her an honorary doctorate of laws in recognition of her contribution to the development of Inuit art and her leadership role in the Nunavut community of Baker Lake. Her works are part of the collections at the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre and the College of William and Mary (Virginia, USA).