Legendary Inuk singer-songwriter Charlie Panigoniak is dead. Panigoniak’s music spanned the cultural gap between Inuit legends and modern Christmas carols.72-year-old Panigoniak died this morning at his home in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The guitarist and songwriter had been performing in his people’s language since the early 1970s. His songs were sometimes religious and sometimes rooted in traditional stories.
Panigoniak had been in poor health battling Parkinson’s disease for many years, and had been living in Rankin Inlet with his wife. He was known throughout the North, over the years playing concerts in Yellowknife and in the N.W.T.’s Beaufort Delta region. Panigoniak was named to the Order of Nunavut in 2012, the distinguished award honours people who have made an outstanding contribution to the cultural, social or economic well-being of the territory.