Inuit

There are four Inuit regions in Canada, collectively known as Inuit Nunangat. The term “Inuit Nunangat” is a Canadian Inuit term that includes land, water, and ice. Inuit consider the land, water, and ice, of our homeland to be integral to culture and way of life.

ITK-Map-20190118-digital-rgb.pdf

"Inuit Nunangat is the Inuit homeland in Canada, encompassing the land claims regions of Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. It is inclusive of land, water and ice, and describes an area encompassing 35 percent of Canada’s landmass and 50 percent of its coastline. " Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (https://www.itk.ca/inuit-nunangat-map/)

Inuit: Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

English

French

Original_place_names_Inuit_place_names_LR.pdf

Learn about Inuit Culture at the Virtual Museum

Learn about post-contact history of the Inuit

Learn about the Thule, pre-contact ancestors of the Inuit

Books

Inuksuk: Sharing Experiences of Nunavut: An Interactive EBook

This interactive eBook provides readers the opportunity to explore aspects of Inuit culture including geography, culture, history, government, and activism. It is based on several learning excursions made by students and staff of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School board, located in Southern Ontario, as they met with Inuit teachers, guides and elders to gain first-hand experience of life in Nunavut. Interactive elements include video clips, panoramic and 3D images, sound bites of the Inuktitut language and syllabic script, and quizzes to engage student inquiry. The respectful dialogue and partnership between northern and southern communities documented here signals an act of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners. It is a powerful tool for raising awareness about Inuit culture and Canada's most northerly communities to spark the interest and respect of all readers, from K-12 students to their teachers.

Inuksuk - Ptarmigan

A clip about the official bird of Nunavut, Ptarmigan, from the interactive e-book "Inuksuk: Sharing Experiences of Nunavut"

Inuksuk - Ulu

A clip about the traditional multi-purpose tool, the Ulu, from the interactive e-book "Inuksuk: Sharing Experiences of Nunavut"

Kahoot! Check your knowledge about the Inuit

Storytelling

The Walrus and the Caribou: Inuit Traditional Creation Story


"When the earth was new, words had the power to breathe life into the world. But when creating animals from breath, sometimes one does not get everything right on the first try!

Based on a traditional Inuit story passed forward orally for generations in the South Baffin region of Nunavut, this book shares with young readers the origin of the caribou and the walrus — and tells of how very different these animals looked when they were first conceived. (From Inhabit Media)" (CBC Books)

The Owl and the Lemming

Watch a puppet theatre of the traditional Inuit tale of “the Owl and the Lemming”.

Reflection Questions:

  • What lessons does the lemming learn?

The oral history of Inuit is filled with many folktales. In this traditional story, a young owl catches a lemming to eat. Inuit stories are often instructive and, with this tale, children quickly learn the value of being clever and humble, and why pride and arrogance are to be avoided.

Can you think of any other morality tales you may know? Consider stories such as Aesop’s Fables, the Monkey King, the Gingerbread Man, Anansi the Spider, the Three Billy Goats Gruff or the Three Little Pigs.

  • How is The Owl and the Lemming similar to the story you know? How is it different?

  • Discuss the ways the lemming tried to outwit the owl.

  • Read another story and compare/contrast.

The Owl and the Raven



A traditional Inuit story explaining how the snowy owl and the raven are the colours they are today.

Reflection Questions:

  • What are the important qualities of a friend? What makes you a good friend?

  • How did Raven’s feathers turn jet-black? What did Owl have to do with it? How do you react when you get frustrated or when a friend is not listening to you?

  • Both Raven and Owl are changed for life. How do you deal with changes in your life?



Learn about Eva’s journey as you listen to the story, “The Very Last First Time”.


Reflection Questions:

  • How do Eva and her family depend on the environment?

  • Think about a way you or someone in your family uses the environment. How does this help improve your or your family member’s life?

Qalupalik

Kamik an Inuit Puppy Story

Texts in Schools

Books Currently in Schools

Meet Author Michael Kusugak

Michael Kusugak grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut). During his childhood, his family travelled by dog sled, living a traditional Inuit lifestyle. He is the author of twelve children's books, including: The Littlest Sled Dog, The Curse of the Shaman, T is for Territories, Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails, winner of the Ruth Schwartz Award; Hide and Seek; My Arctic 1, 2, 3; and Baseball Bats for Christmas; and was co-writer of A Promise Is a Promise (with Robert Munsch). Michael Kusugak lives in Sooke BC, and spends most summers in his cabin in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Michael is listed on the National Speakers Bureau. Click here read his full bio and learn more about Michael…

Videos

Keeping the Inuit Way of Life: National Geographic Short Film




In this short film, we learn about the Inuit way of life, as Derrick Pottle talks about his knowledge as an Inuit hunter, carver and guide. He shares his perspective on keeping tradition alive in a changing world.


Reflection Questions:

  • What is important to you?

  • Why is the Land important to you and your family?

  • Why do you think that the Land is so important to Inuit teachings and way of life?

  • What evidence of community can you find in the video?

  • Why is climate change a problem in the North? How does climate change affect the Inuit way of life?

  • How does climate impact humans and animals in the region you live in?

  • What is a teaching you received from your family or cultural heritage that is about the land or connecting people in a community?

  • Why is it important to pass on teachings and traditional knowledge to the next generation of Inuit? What are the consequences of not passing on this knowledge?

Reflection Questions:

  • What ways does your family capture and save memories? (photos, videos, journals, website, social media)

  • How is culture celebrated in your family? How is culture passed on from one generation to the next? (food, recipes, stories, family heirlooms, traditions)

  • What evidence of Inuit culture are evident in this video? Consider art, community, food, hunting/harvesting and technology. (animals, housing structures, qajak, clothing, throat singing, using different parts of the animal, art style)

  • In the video we see images from 1920 to present. In the video, what evidence of change can you identify?

  • What do you think are the main driving forces of change in Inuit communities? What impact has change had on Inuit communities? How do you think Inuit feel about these changes?

  • What is Asinnajaq’s message in her video? Explain your answer and provide support from the video.

  • How is climate change impacting local Indigenous communities? Is it the same or different from Inuit communities?

Into the Arctic Film

Into the Arctic Film Trilogy

Teacher's Guide

On August 23, 2010, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper declared that the protection of Canada's sovereignty over its northern regions was its number one and "non-negotiable priority" in Arctic policy. "Arctic sovereignty" which strikes a chord that resonates powerfully today is not a new issue. In 1953 the Canadian Government fearing a USA occupation of the Canadian Artic relocated seven Inuit families from Northern Quebec to the High Artic to stake out its territory. The families were dumped on barren land in the middle of winter with only tents, oil lamps and wooden crates to keep warm. Thirty years later, the federal government finally provided assistance to the exiles,enabling them to return to their ancestral home in Northern Quebec.

Music

Throat Singing

A video featuring two Inuit youth throat singing “The Love Song.”

Inuit Drumming and Dancing



"Kayley Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik are Inuit style throat singers performing ancient traditional songs and eerie new compositions."

Language

Inuktut is the Inuit language as it is spoken in Nunavut. The Government of Nunavut slected the term Inuktut to represent all of the Inuit dialects spoken in Nunavut, including Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun. In this way Inuktut is recognized as a single language.

Is there a Canadian culture? Is there an Inuit culture? An Inuktitut word for "way of life" is inuusiq. Based on the word for person, inuk, it means something like "the way of being a person."

Art

McMichael_AnimalsAtHome_StepByStep.pdf
Discover Inuit Art - Information Sheet - Kids Stop 1.pdf

Critical Thinking

The Secret Life of the North Podcast

Nunavut has the largest landmass out of all the provinces and territories in Canada - and yet, it is an area that many of us know the least about. In this episode, we look at the forced relocation of the Inuit, the Eskimo Identification System, and the dog slaughter perpetuated by the Canadian government.

This podcast series examines Canadian history that we never learned in school, and things we may need to unlearn. In this episode, Secret Life of the North, the hosts discuss the history and stories of the North, such as the forced relocation of the Inuit, the Eskimo Identification System, and the impacts of colonization.