Pitaloosie was born in 1942 on the southwest coast of Baffin Island near what is now the community of Cape Dorset. She spent her childhood years in various hospitals in Quebec and Ontario for treatment of turberculosis. She learned english at this time and recalls the difficulty she experienced in relearning her native language upon her return to Baffin Island in 1957. She is now one of the few of her generation that speak both English and Inuktitut fluently. She began drawing in the 1960's and quickly established herself as a versatile graphic artist. Her work has been featured in many exhibitions, with Canada post issuing a stamp depicting her art in 1977.