As Canadian Inuit, we are the most recent generation of this 5,000 year cultural heritage that has sustained itself within a vast Arctic territory stretching from the eastern coast of present day Russia, across Alaska, and Canada to the east coast of Greenland.

We are often called "Eskimos" by non-Inuit. However, this is a term we never used. We call ourselves Inuit which means The People
As Canadian Inuit, we are the most recent generation of this 5,000 year cultural heritage that has sustained itself within a vast Arctic territory stretching from the eastern coast of present day Russia, across Alaska, and Canada to the east coast of Greenland.

We are often called "Eskimos" by non-Inuit. However, this is a term we never used. We call ourselves Inuit which means The People

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Map

Inuit and circumpolar cultures.

Produced by Strata360.

© Strata 360


Our territory stretches about 2,800 kilometers from west to east and has four time zones. South to north, it extends roughly from the tree line north about 3,000 kilometers. These general boundaries enclose approximately 6,000,000 square kilometers of land and offshore territory.
Our territory stretches about 2,800 kilometers from west to east and has four time zones. South to north, it extends roughly from the tree line north about 3,000 kilometers. These general boundaries enclose approximately 6,000,000 square kilometers of land and offshore territory.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Our territory is not only large, it is also very diverse with many different landscapes, seascapes, climatic zones and ecological systems. It is important to understand that when we refer to our territory, we always mean the sea and the sea ice, fresh water lakes and rivers as well as the land itself.

The diversity of our land is reflected in the diversity of the regions and groups that comprise the Inuit of Canada. Yet at the same time, this diversity is woven together with language and many other cultural features that all of our groups and regions hold in common.
Our territory is not only large, it is also very diverse with many different landscapes, seascapes, climatic zones and ecological systems. It is important to understand that when we refer to our territory, we always mean the sea and the sea ice, fresh water lakes and rivers as well as the land itself.

The diversity of our land is reflected in the diversity of the regions and groups that comprise the Inuit of Canada. Yet at the same time, this diversity is woven together with language and many other cultural features that all of our groups and regions hold in common.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

landscape

The vast tundra of the central Arctic.

Photo by W. Kemp
Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

© W. Kemp


landscape

The vast tundra of the central Arctic.

Photo by W. Kemp
Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

© W. Kemp


landscape

Large northward flowing rivers.

Photo by W. Kemp
Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

© W. Kemp


landscape

Large northward flowing rivers.

Photo by W. Kemp
Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

© W. Kemp


As a culture, Inuit are people of the sea and of the land. Today as throughout our history, the strength and vitality of Inuit culture is anchored to our capacity to use the environments and harvest the wildlife resources from the sea, land and fresh water.

Although hunting will continue as an essential part of our culture, the 41,000 Canadian Inuit are determined to play an increasingly active role in today’s world - politically, culturally and economically. These do not represent two separate worlds or choices of lifestyle, but rather a new and dynamic integration between our capacity to maintain tradition by accommodating change.
As a culture, Inuit are people of the sea and of the land. Today as throughout our history, the strength and vitality of Inuit culture is anchored to our capacity to use the environments and harvest the wildlife resources from the sea, land and fresh water.

Although hunting will continue as an essential part of our culture, the 41,000 Canadian Inuit are determined to play an increasingly active role in today’s world - politically, culturally and economically. These do not represent two separate worlds or choices of lifestyle, but rather a new and dynamic integration between our capacity to maintain tradition by accommodating change.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Okalik Eegeesiak and Jean Chretien

Okalik Eegeesiak, President of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Courtesy of Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

© Inuit Tapirisat of Canada


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe who modern day Canadian Inuit are
  • Describe physical characteristics of the Inuit territory
  • Describe how Inuit view their role in today’s world

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