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Taalrumiq | Christina King

Uvanga atira Taalrumiq. Inuvialuuyunga.  My name is Taalrumiq, my English name is Christina Gruben King. I am Inuvialuk.  Born to an Inuvialuk mother and Gwich’in father at a segregated Indian hospital, I grew up on the shores of the arctic ocean in the small Inuit hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Northwest Territories with my Inuvialuit family and community. I was named at birth by local Elders in my community in the customary Inuvialuit way after my maternal Great Grandmother Taalrumiq, who was named after her grandmother. To have an ancestral name is a wonderful gift and I use my traditional name Taalrumiq, in my work.

 

Sewing and creating since I was a young girl, I went on to study fashion design, art, science and secondary education at the University of Alberta, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology and Bachelor of Education degrees.  I also hold a red seal Journeyman certificate in Hairstyling. Always drawn to creative outlets, today I am a Fashion Designer, Artist, Cultural Educator, Content Creator and Speaker. I currently reside in Northern BC on unceded Tsimshian traditional territory with my husband, our 5 children and our Bernedoodle Munaqsi.

 

I come from a long matrilineal line of expert Inuit seamstresses, as well my Gwich’in Jijuu was known for her sewing and beadwork.  Using the same talent and skill as my mom, grandmothers and ancestors in addition to a contemporary western education, my passion, creative vision and dedication to excellence allow a unique opportunity for me to create, teach and share Inuvialuit culture with the world as a form of storytelling and cultural preservation. At the same time reclaiming loss of culture, pride in Inuit identity, and healing of intergenerational trauma.

 

Love and respect for my culture, people and inherent connection to my ancestral homeland of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region inspires and informs my art, design and way of being in the world. Our innate connection to nature is evident in my work. Working with traditional Inuvialuit design elements using traditional organic materials like sealskin, fur, hides, feathers and antler in combination with post fur trade era materials such as sequins, glitter and metallic leather, I create Inuvialuit garments and accessories true to my contemporary vision in my signature bold style.  

 

My work has appeared in national gallery exhibits and runways across Canada, and in private and corporate collections. I am honoured to have been named one of Canada's top 10 Inuit Sealskin Designers to watch in 2021 by the Inuit Art Quarterly and selected for the inaugural Indigenous Haute Couture residency program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2022.  In 2021 I completed professional digital content training with the National Screen Institute of Canada through the inaugural Tiktok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators program. This has led to various professional opportunities including public speaking engagements, presentations, workshop facilitation and creating digital content for Corus Entertainment (Slice.ca, Food Network, History).  I am grateful for the professional opportunities through my work and holding space as an Inuvialuk.

 

In Inuvialuit culture, to sew for someone is to love them. I create each piece with the utmost care, quality and attention to detail as if I was sewing for my own family. I love the materials and process and each piece has a story to tell. See my work and digital content on all social media channels @taalrumiq.

Quyanainni (thank you)!