About Inuit

The 2009 "North Poll" commissioned by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami showed that the majority of Canadians know very little about Inuit.

Inuit in Canada

Inuit are one of three recognized Aboriginal groups in Canada under the Canadian Constitution Act. Inuit are a distinctive Arctic Indigenous Peoples with a unique and dynamic culture and history. The word Inuit means "people", and a single person is known as an Inuk. Inuit pay all taxes, including income taxes and sales taxes. Inuit do not live on reserves; they live in communities and municipalities. Inuit are not First Nations, nor are they Innu.

There are approximately 59,440 Inuit in Canada as of the 2011 National Household Survey (Statistics Canada, 2012). The majority of Inuit in Canada live in the four Inuit regions, collectively known as Inuit Nunangat, while there are also growing Inuit populations in southern urban centres such as Ottawa, Montreal and Edmonton. From East to West the four Inuit regions are Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador), Nunavik (Northern Quebec), Nunavut, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories).

"According to the 2011 [National Household Survey], almost three-quarters (73.1%) of Inuit in Canada, or 43,460 people, lived in Inuit Nunangat" (Statistics Canada, 2012).There are 52 Inuit communities across the four Inuit regions of the Arctic. Another 1 out of 4 Inuit live in large southern urban centres (Statistics Canada, 2012).

There are no ‘treaties’ signed with Inuit. Each of the four Inuit regions have a settled comprehensive land claims in Canada: the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (2005), the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (1975), the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (1993), and the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (1984).

Inuit Nunangat

Nunatsiavut: The area of Northern Labrador, the most southernly and easternly Inuit region.

Nunavik: The area of Northern Quebec and the East Coast of Hudson's Bay.

Nunavut: Formerly part of the Northwest Territories, the Central and High Arctic territory of Nunavut.

Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR): The northern part of Northwest Territiories, the Western and High Arctic.

Here is a map of the Inuit communities in the Inuit homelands in Canada, known as Inuit Nunangat.

View Inuit Communities and Their Populations in a larger map


Inuit Government

Canadian Inuit are represented by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (which translates to 'Inuit are united in Canada') at the national level. Each Inuit region in Canada has organizations responsible for their land claim(s) implementation. This includes the Nunatsiavut Government (Nunatsiavut, Northern Labrador), Makivik Corporation (Nunavik, Northern Quebec), Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (Nunavut), and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NWT).

Inuit Culture and History

Inuit are the indigenous group of people living in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions of the globe. Although dialects and certain traditions may vary amongst the different Inuit groups, there is much more held in common amongst Inuit. The importance of respect and understanding of the environment, and the holistic view of the connections between all living and non-living things has always been in contrast to conventional western thinking.

Modern Inuit: Contact with Europeans, and Canadian Government

Inuit have a long history of contact with Europeans and other visitors. This includes early European explorers, whalers and traders, also missionaries, and later Canadian Government personnel including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.