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Inuit People

By Mustafa Qasim

The first nations tribes were tribes of people that came from Europe to the Northern parts of Canada, such as Yukon, Northern Quebec, and Northwest Territories. Inuit in the Inuktitut language is 'the people', and an Inuit person is called an Inuk.     


The Inuit environment, in the Northern Provinces of Canada, where the harsh climates and stark landscapes were very influential to the Inuit tradition. Their landforms were mostly small hills and mountains. They lived in a place where most plants didn't grow, so their diet consisted almost entirely of meat, which they fished and hunted, such as whales, seals, fish, walruses, and caribou. They also used huskies for transport across land.  

People And Land

In harsh winter, the Inuit didn't have too many supplies to build their shelter except the packed snow. The Inuit used a special snow knife to cut the snow into blocks, which they then assemble into a dome shape to build their shelter, which was called an igloo. They made their snow knives back then using animal bone, but now they use metal bladed knives. In the summer, however, they stayed in tents made of animal bone, and animal skins, similar to tipis(also known as teepees or tepees). Due to their home's cold climate, most plants couldn't grow, making their diet almost completely meat. In the summer, kids would get a special treat called 'berries and blubber'. To make their clothing, they used animal skin and fur for their traditional clothing, animal skins for boots, and a large, thick coat with a big hood called a parka. They used big sleds made with animal bones and skins pulled by strong dogs with thick furs, like the fur of a husky, and for water travel, they used small kayaks for hunting, and larger boats called 'umiaq' for transporting food, people, and dogs. The graph on the next page will show the work that both men and women did, and which gender did more work.   


The Economic Part Of Inuit Culture

Responsibilities of Inuit men Responsibilities of Inuit women
Hunting Cooking
Fishing Cleaning
Building Sewing
  Looking after children
  Dressing animal skins




Note: These roles aren't set in stone, as the women were sometimes hunting out of choice or necessity


Inuit arts and crafts consisted of drawings, paintings, sculptures, totem poles, and Inukshuks. If you look closely at Inuit drawings and paintings, you will see that each bird and animal has its own special character, which comes from the respect the Inuit have for all birds and animals. The most featured thing in the Inuit art is Shamans, who are supposedly very wise people. The story about the sun and moon gods, Malina and Anningan, is that Malina made Anningan mad, and then Anningan started chasing Malina on an eternal chase, and Anningan forgets to eat, and so he gets thinner and thinner. Sedna's story is that she was a young girl who didn't want to marry anyone, and so her father made her marry a dog, but he felt sorry for her and drowned the dog. then she married a man disguised as a fulmar bird, and when Sedna found out, she left with her father, but then the fulmar created a storm with his wings, and Sedna's father desperately cut off Sedna's fingers when she tried to hold on, and those fingers became other sea animals.             

Social Part Of Their Culture


Before the Canadian legal system, customary Law was non-existent in Inuit society.

Only rudimentary law existed for the Inuit peoples. These laws are as follows:



  1. Maligait refers to what has to be followed
  2. Piqujait refers to what has to be done
  3. Tirigusuusiit refers to what has to be not done





Inuit Government 

As the story goes, Columbus supposedly discovered America first, right?? NOPE!! When Columbus got to America, he found European settlers already there from 500 years ago, but he wanted to claim the land for Spain, so he kicked or tried to kick them off the land, but they wouldn't budge and in any situation, Columbus wasn't the first man in America, the captain, Juan de la Cosa, was actually the first person if we count out the Europeans. 

The Christopher Columbus Misunderstanding


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