Inger Gunhild Maria, called Inghilda Tapio, née Valkeapää, was born in February 1946. Her parents were nomads and their siida Rásat/Márkosat belongs to Sweden's northernmost Sami village Könkämävuoma/Rostu. At the age of seven, she came to the nomadic school and got to stay at a boarding school, Nomadskolehemmet, for the children of mountain sami. "I was literally thrown into a strange world with a different way of life and forced to live among people who spoke a language I did not understand. Everything I knew and everything I had learnt about was taken away from me."
At Umeå University, she studied Swedish, Sami, English, Pedagogics and Children's language development followed by 3 years of Art education at the Folk high school of Sunderby. After studying dramaturgy and film making in Inari in northern Finland she has been writing, drawing, painting and has held classes in creative activities, has had own exhibitions, has been writing screenplays for short film, fiction and theater and made some translations. She has for a long time worked as a teacher and from time to time as an actress in Dálvádis/Sami Theater in Kiruna.
For her first book of poetry Ii fal dan dihte she received The Nordic Sami Council's Literature Prize and in 2013 the Harry Martinson scholarship for her poetry.