What is an inuit?
Inuit (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, singular
Inuk / ᐃᓄᒃ) is a general term for a group of
culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic coasts
of Siberia, Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec,
Labrador and Greenland (see Eskimo). Until fairly recent times,
there has been a remarkable homogeneity in the culture throughout
this area, which traditionally relied on fish, sea mammals, and
land animals for food, heat, light, clothing, tools, and shelter.
Their language is Inuktitut.
The Inuit Circumpolar Conference defines its constituency to
include Canada's Inuit and Inuvialuit, Greenland's Kalaallit
people, Alaska's Inupiaq and Yupik people, and Russia's Yupik.
However, the Yupik are not Inuit in the sense of being descended
from the Thule and prefer to be called Yupik or
Canadian Inuit live primarily in Nunavut (a territory in
Canada), Nunavik (the northern part of Quebec) and in Nunatsiavut
(the Inuit settlement region in Labrador). The Inuvialuit live
primarily in the Mackenzie River delta, on Banks Island and part of
Victoria Island in the Northwest Territories. There have been Inuit
settlements in Yukon, especially at Herschel Island, but there are
none at present. Alaskan Inupiaq live on the North Slope of Alaska,
while the Yupik live in western Alaska and a part of Chukotka
Autonomous Area in Russia.
The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is a national organization in Canada
which represents over 40,000 Canadian Inuit.