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Mathew Flaherty was born in Iqaluit on February 13th, 1998.
In high school, Mathew studied jewelry making. His father bought him the tools to make the jewelry and he got his own studio. Mathew made a lot of jewelry at this time and sold these pieces to galleries. He also made a 16 foot kayak during his high school days. He used plastic from flooring cut into strips for the ribs and hardwood for the frame. He covered the frame with ballistic nylon and coated it with polyurethane. The ballistic nylon prevents the kayak from punctured. At this time, he began hunting with his father and also on his own. He enjoys being out on the land.
When Mathew was 18, he started carving more seriously. He moved to Kinngait (Cape Dorset) when he was 20 where he lived with and apprenticed under his grandfather Etulu Etidloie. Etulu made pencil drawings of foxes and encouraged Mathew to carve foxes. Etulu taught him how to carve geese, loons, fox and wolf carvings.