About The Inuvialuit
Inuvialuit means Real People in their language, Inuvialuktun. The Inuvialuit have lived in the western Canadian Arctic since long before living memory. Today, there are about 5,000 Inuvialuit, many of whom live in the six communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region: Aklavik, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk and Ulukhaktok.
A Brief History
Inuvialuit have a rich history preserved in stories that were traditionally passed on by word of mouth, and for this reason are called oral histories. Many Inuvialuit oral histories tell about life in the era they call ingilraan - ‘a time long ago’ - when people lived on the land relying on skills and knowledge passed through the generations for survival. Inuvialuit today are also writing books, filming documentaries and preparing websites to communicate their traditions and history.
In bygone years Inuvialuit traveled widely, moving from location to location following an annual cycle of harvesting animals and some plants. They built and used several different types of dwellings depending on the season and where they were traveling. Today, Inuvialuit live in modern houses in towns but visit their camps on the land, where they continue to practice these same activities.
Virtual Tour of an Igluruaq
View a virtual world reconstruction of an Inuvialuit sod house. The reconstruction is based on the remains of a sod house at the Kuukpak archaeological site, which was excavated in the 1980s by the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.