The Eskimo-Aleut Family
All languages spoken by "Eskimo" (Inuit and Yuut) people, as well as the language of the Aleuts (the natives of the Aleutian Islands, in southwestern Alaska), belong to the same family: the Eskimo-Aleut (or Eskaleut) family. This family comprises a total of seven languages, divided into two branches: Aleut & Eskimo.
The ESKIMO-ALEUT FAMILY
A tree has branches so does a language tree. The Eskimo-Aleut family tree has two branches: Aleut and Eskimo.
These two main branches have more branches called sub-branches. The Aleut branch has one sub-branch also called Aleut. The Eskimo branch has two sub-branches called Inuit and Yupik.
These sub-branches are broken into more sub-sub-branches called languages. The Aleut sub-branch has a language called Aleut.
The two sub-branches of the Eskimo line are Inuit and Yupik, as mentioned earlier. So the two sub-branches of the Eskimo branch has six languages: Inuit, Central Alaskan Yupik, Alutiiq, Central Siberian Yupik, Naukanski, and Sirenikski.
Table of the two main branches of the Eskimo-Aleut Family: Aleut & Eskimo
Aleut is a sub-branch of Aleut
Aleut is the language of the Aleut sub-branch
SUB-BRANCH OF ESKIMO
Inuit & Yupik
2) Central Alaskan Yup'ik
4) Central Siberian Yupik
So these six languages of the Eskimo branch and with the addition of the one language of the Aleut branch make up the seven languages under the Eskimo-Aleut Family that is talked about by Louis-Jacques Dorais.
1.1 Geographical Distribution
"The Eskimo-Aleut family extends from the Bering Sea area, in the west, to the shores of the Strait of Denmark (between Greenland and Iceland), in the east (cf. Map 1). It covers four countries: the USSR (Siberian Chukotka; Commander Islands), the USA (coastal Alaska), Canada (Inuvik, Northwest Territories), and the Kitikmeot, Keewatin, and Baffin regions of Nunavut); Arctic Quebec; northern Labrador); and Greenland (which forms an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark)... (Page 5 Chapter 1. Inuit Uqausiqatigiit INUIT LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS, Louis-Jacques Dorais, Arctic College - Nunatta Campus, Iqaluit, 1990).
There are many dialects of the Eskimo-Aleut in Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland (Dorais).
For this limited exhibit we specify only in the Keewatin (& some Kitikmeot) areas due only to limited nature of our brief study of Inuit songs, legends, and stories. Some of the Inuit dialectal groups cames from the Kitikmeot area and there is quite a long history of people traveling back and forth between the Keewatin and Kitikmeot regions.
Inuit use to hunt in all areas of Arctic and were only limited if they had to walk. They did walk a great deal but they also used dog-sleds in the winter and qayait (kayak) in the summer. In talking with the elders we discovered that in the winter coastal Inuit use to walk inland to the lakes to catch fish and also be in the line of caribou migration. The ice freezes and the polar bears move further away from shore to hunt in open water off the ice. In Spring, when the warm weather melts the ice the polar bear then comes back near the shore. When spring came the Inuit would also travel with all their gear to the coastline. It was only when the Qablunaat (caucasians) came with their food and goods that the Inuit started to settle into communities to work for the Hudson's Bay Company and other Qablunaat establishments like the R.C.M.P., whalers, Christian missions, and government people.
The Inuktitut naming is usually descriptive so it is not surprising that they name people, other people including themselves, according to some descriptions about them. Inuit name other Inuit according to which area they came from or their place of origin.
In the Inuit world the strongest wind or the most place where the wind comes from the Northwest is called U-an-naq. The North Star (Upluriagjuaq) is in the north and the Sun travels along the south, rising from the east and sets in the west. The people of Keewatin and Gjoa Haven people regularly travelled between their regions. On the way to Gjoa Haven there is a lake called Garry Lake in English and it is called Hanningajuq in Inuktitut. It flows west to east. Han-ni-nga-juq means sideways or crooked. (By the way, the Christian cross is also called han-ni-nga-juq) The people who use to live in the Garry Lake area were called Han-ni-nga-ju-lin-miut meaning the people of the Han-ni-nga-juq area. Hanningajurmiut are also called Ualininmiut (people from area of which the sun follows east to west) by people north of them, the Utkusiksalinmiut.
Utkusiksalinmiut or Ukkuhikhalinmiut came from the area originally occupied by those whose homeland was in the Chantrey Inlet area along the Back River between east of Garry Lake. Their pots were made out of soapstone from their area. Utkusik is a pot so in essence "the people who have cooking pots".
I-lui-lin-mi-ut are people from Adeleide Peninsula. Iluilliq is missing a piece like if you take a piece of pie from a pie then there is a gulf or a hole. At Adeleide Peninsula there is like a part of the land is missing. So people from that area are called I-luil-lir-miut.
People that made their home at Qairniq were named Qairnirmiut "dwellers of the flat bedrock" at Corbett Inlet, between Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove, Nunavut.
Hauniqtuurmiut originally made their home at Hauniqtuuq which was south of Whale Cove, between Sandy Point and Arviat. Hauniqtuuq means "where there are lots of bones (whale bones)"
Akilinirmiut were people of the Beverly Lake and Aberdeen Lake. "A-ki" means "the other side". While standing on land the hills on the other side of the river can be seen between Beverly Lake and Aberdeen Lake, Nunavut.
Harvaqtuurmiut were people who lived around the Kazan River. Harvaqtuuq means it has strong rapids.
The Paalirmiut lived in the area around the Paadliq area just north of the present community of Arviat. Paadliq means there where willows abound. They could easily have been called Uqpigmiut but the Inuit chose Paatlirmiut. Uqpik is willow.
Inuit Heritage Centre 2005
The Eskimo-Aleut World map
Siberia to Greenland Arctic
Dialectal groupings map displayed on the wall of Inuit Heritage Centre
Keewatin & Kitikmeot, Nunavut, Canada
Sung by Martha Taliruq, Winnie Owingayak, and Jean Simailak
(1 minute of singing starts here)
a-i-ja Tu-ki-ti-u-jal-la-ra-ma ma-tu-mu-nga
a-i-ja I adjust myself to aim straight to the mark with this thing
this fancy hammer (of rifle)
I will probably just cause wind (if I miss it) to go by the one
This one carrying the big antlers
Aija I did just blow wind to go by the one
this one carrying the big antlers
ul-la-ju-al-laq-tu-nga kig-gu-a-qu-ti-gun I chased it through the rocky boulder areas through the rocky boulder areas
Ma-u-na-lii aija jaja?.
Just now through here aija jaja?.
Aija ul-la-ju-al-lar-ra-ma kig-gu-a-qu-ti-gu(n) Aija I chased it through the rocky boulders
(1 minute of singing ends here)
16. ti-gum-miq-tu-ju-hu-nga-ri-ga nag-ju-lig-ju-ar-li man-na ki-ngul-li-a-lu-a-gul-liii ai-ja-ja-ja-ja-ja-ja-ji