Igluryuaq - Sources of Information

Point Atkinson

Engraving of a sod house at Atkinson Island, 1826 after a drawing by Lieutenant Kendall (John Franklin, 1828).

Historical Accounts


Engraving of the floor plan and cross section of a sod house at Atkinson Island, 1826 after a drawing by John Richardson (John Franklin, 1828).

In the years 1825 - 1827 the British Royal Navy officer Captain John Franklin led an expedition down the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea. From there, Franklin explored the coast to the west and a separate party under the command of Lieutenant Richardson explored eastward along the coast. At a location he named Atkinson Island Richardson saw 17 sod houses, as well as a festival house - kadjigi. Since it was summer, the sod houses were unoccupied while the people were hunting or fishing at another location .

Read Lieutenant Richardson’s description of a sod houses and kadjigi at Atkinson Island.

Petitot - Sod House Interior

Engraving titled 'Interior of Noulloumallok’s igloo’) after a sketch by Émile Petitot in 'Les Grandes Esquimaux'.

Read Petitot’s description of Noulloumallok-Innonarana’s sod house.

Whittaker illustration

Details of a sod house visited by C.E. Whittaker, probably at Kitigaaryuk near the mouth of the Mackenzie River, in 1896. (Whittaker, 1937: Fig. 7).

Reverend Charles E. Whittaker was an Anglican missionary who worked amongst the Inuvialiut between the years 1896 - 1906. His 1937 book, "Arctic Eskimo: A Record of Fifty Years' Experience Among the Eskimo", contains information about a sod house he visited in 1896.

Read Whittaker’s description of a sod house.

Stefansson illustration

Floor plan of a sod house at Shingle Point, Yukon coast, circa 1910 (Stefansson, 1914).

Read Stefansson’s description of Roxy’s napaqtaq.

Franklin, John

1828 Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the years 1825, 1826 an 1827. London: John Murray and Sons (Reprinted 1969 by Greenwood Press, New York and 1970 by Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton).

John Franklin was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer who led three expeditions to the Arctic regions of North America. During his second expedition, in the years 1825 – 1826, he and members of his Expedition documented some of the earliest European encounters with Inuvialuit.

Petitot, Émile
Émile-Fortuné Petitot

1887 Les Grandes Esquimaux. E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie. (Translated and reprinted in 1981 as Among the Chiglit Eskimos. Translation of "Les Grandes Esquimaux", by E. Otto Höhn. Boreal Institute for Northern Studies, Occasional Paper No. 10, 1981.)

Émile-Fortuné Petitot (December 3, 1838-May 13, 1916), was an Oblate missionary who travelled extensively in the Canadian Northwest, and who wrote many articles and books about the aboriginal inhabitants of that region. Les Grandes Esquimaux, translated into English as Among the Chiglit Eskimos, describes his encounters with Inuvialuit in the Anderson River and Mackenzie River areas in the 1860s.

Whittaker, Charles E.

1937 Arctic Eskimo: A Record of Fifty Years' Experience Among the Eskimo. London: Seely, Service and Co. (Reprint edition in 1976 by AMS Press, Inc., New York)

Reverend Charles E. was an Anglican minister who served as a missionary to the Inuvialiut from 1896-1917. During this time he lived at Kitigaaryuk, Herschel Island and Shingle Point.  Whittaker authored the book “Arctic Eskimo” in 1937 about his time spent in the Canadian Arctic.

Stefansson, Vilhjalmur
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur

1914 The Stefánsson-Anderson Arctic Expedition of the American Museum: Preliminary Ethnological Report. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, 14(1).

Viljhalmur Stefansson was a Canadian anthropologist who participated in several scientific expeditions in the Arctic. From 1908-12 Stefansson and Randolph M. Anderson, a zoologist, co-led an expedition to the western Canadian Arctic,. Stefansson's report on the expedition contains the first detailed anthropological observations of the Inuvialuit.