Born and raised in Montreal, Marie-Helene Cousineau grew up in a large family of a popular neighbourhood. Reading is essential and she spend most of her time at the local library. She gets a BA in art history and an MA in art history from the Université du Québec à Montréal. In the eighties she is very involved in video and film access centres in Montreal, and in community radios. In 1990 she moves to Igloolik, Nunavut, where she was integral to the development of women’s video. In 1991, she founded the Tarriaksuk Video Centre with Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, and with Mary Kunuk and Madeline Ivalu, she established Arnait Video Productions, with whom she continues to produce and direct video works. She served as consultant in the development of the Nunavut Film Commission and from 2002 to 2004, she was vice-president of Ajjitt, the Nunavut Filmmakers Association. The North is a passion.
For a few years she travelled between Nunavut and Iowa where she received an MFA in communication studies and production from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She has taught at Collège Jean de Brébeuf and Concordia University in Montreal. She now lives in Montreal with her family.