“My grandparents used to collect qiviut off the land and stuff it inside our mitts and boots to keep us warm. We are carrying on a tradition passed on through generations.” —Tanis 'Akutuq' Simpson (Inuvialuk)
Qiviut Inc., a 100% Inuvialuit-owned small business in Nisku, Alberta, Canada, is run by Tanis Simpson, originally from Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories. Tanis and her brother, Bradley Carpenter, had grown up with qiviut fibre as a part of everyday life: their parents and grandparents used to put it in the children's mitts and boots to keep them warm.
When Brad was a young man working with the muskox hunt on Banks Island, he noticed the hides being set aside for export. When he asked what they would be used for, he learned that muskoxen qiviut was considered a valuable luxury in the fibre and textile worlds--and that business owners from outside of the Arctic were purchasing it to process and re-sell. Brad asked himself, "Why aren't we doing this?" At the time, there were no Inuit-owned qiviut companies in operation.
In 2019, Brad noticed that a set of vintage fibre mill machines was up for sale in Alaska. He and Tanis then founded Qiviut Inc. and began operations in Alberta, where they now live. With Tanis at the helm, Qiviut Inc. was soon joined by mill manager Robby Inuktalik, an experienced artist and fibre worker from Ulukhaktok, NWT. Today, Qiviut Inc. continues to be a family-operated business that has the distinction of being 100% Inuit-owned.
The small but skilled team at Qiviut Inc. manufactures high-quality qiviut yarns, knitwear, and hand warmers–and also runs Arctic Indulgence, a boutique featuring Indigenous-made jewelry and other artwork. You can find us at our storefront/mill in Nisku, Alberta (30 minutes south of Edmonton, or a 9-minute drive from the Edmonton airport) or at one of our upcoming markets.
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