Inuit Culture and History

Inuit are the indigenous group of people living in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions of the globe. The word Inuit means "people", and a single person is known as an Inuk. 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.

Traditionally, Inuit were semi-nomadic people who would move accross the land and ice following the changes of seasons and abundance. Often habituated in small groups or individual families, knowledge of the land, water, ice and environment known as "sila" are key to survival. Hunting and gathering knowledge is passed down between generations, and areas of the land, water, and ice are known by name. These names are sometimes still used or being brought back into usage today; for example, the capital of Nunavut is now called Iqaluit or "the place of many fish" instead of being called "Frobisher Bay" after the Europeen explorer Frobisher who is credited as having 'discovered' the area.

Family and sharing are still as important today as ever. Inuit have large social networks, and contact with friends and family happens every day. Sharing of traditional foods is still an important way many Inuit access food, especially amongst non-hunting families and individuals.