In the 1920s when Inuit could make a good living because of the high price paid for fur, many families bought large wooden boats that we still refer to as "Peterheads" or "Whale Boats." They were about 35 feet long and had a sail. Elders talk about going "all over the place" in these boats, and indeed they would often use them to travel many miles offshore. In the 1950s, Inuit began to add small engines to the Peterheads which made them more versatile for use at least as long as we could get fuel.

By the late 1960s many of our large wooden boats were getting too old to be used safely. As a result it was not possible for us to reach some of our important hunting territory or to travel for visiting.

Now this situation is changing quickly and Inuit are replacing old wooden Peterheads with a new generation of steel or aluminum hull boats, often well equipped with modern navigational technology. As these boats become available, long distance travel off shore is again becoming an important part of Inuit life.
Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

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