Inuit Tribe

Inuit Whaler

This article contains interesting facts, pictures and information about the life of the Inuit Native American Indian Tribe of the Arctic cultural group.

The Inuit Tribe
Summary and Definition: The Inuit tribe were a hardy people who were nomadic fishermen and hunters. The Inuit tribe lived on the western and northern coasts along the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean. The Inuit survived the harsh climate in Igloos made of snow bricks or in the temporary tepee-shaped tents that were used on hunting trips.

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Facts about the Inuit Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Inuit Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Inuit tribe live, what clothes did they wear and what did they eat? Discover what happened to the Inuit tribe with facts about their history and culture.

Facts about the Inuit Native Indian Tribe: Lifestyle and Culture
The lifestyle of the Inuit tribe was hard, dictated by the cold, harsh climate and the barren, desolate landscape of the Artic tundra which has been aptly described as a 'snow desert'. The name “Inuit” means “the people” in the Inuktitut dialect of their language. At one time they were referred to as "Eskimo". The word "Eskimo" derives from an Algonquian word meaning "Eaters of Raw Flesh". The word Eskimo was used to described the Inuit, Yupik and Inupiat people. The name Eskimo is used less frequently than in the passed in deference to the wishes of the Inuit people. Communities of Inuit people are found across the Arctic and are most closely related to the Aleut people. The chief source of food are whales, sea lions, seals and walruses. Smaller fish, and land animals such as caribou and small birds were also part of their diet. The Inuit lived either in tents made of Caribou hides, or in igloos as seen in the above picture.


Where did the Inuit tribe live?
The Inuit are people of the Arctic Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map in present-day Alaska, Canada and Greenland.  The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Inuit tribe.

  • Land: An inhospitable landscape consisting of a flat, stark, cold and snowy, treeless, tundra region
  • Climate: Extreme, cold arctic climate
  • Animals: The  animals included seal, caribou, sea lions, otter, polar bears, arctic hare, whale, walrus and Artic birds
  • Natural Resources: Fish, limited seasonal berries and plants
  • Transport: Dogsleds (qamutik), snowshoes, and leather-covered, watertight canoes and open fishing boats such as Inuit Kayaks

Map showing Native American Indians Cultural Groups

Map showing location of the
Artic Native American Cultural Group


Dog Sled, Parka and Snow shoes

Tents: The Inuit tents, as seen in the picture, were shaped and erected like a tepee but constructed using tough caribou hides and whalebone.

What did the Inuit tribe live in?
The Inuit tribe tribe were semi-nomadic and needed shelters that were easy to erect and take down and those that were more permanent. The Inuit therefore lived in different types of shelters, depending on the season. The types of shelters were an igloo or a karmak for the winter and tepee, tent-like shelters in the warmer weather.

  • Igloo: The round igloo shelters, snow houses, were made made from blocks of snow and built in various sizes, sometimes housing up to 20 people
  • Karmak: The karmak was an earth-covered pithouse built about 5-6 feet underground and 2-3 feet above, with a frame of wood or whalebone. The entrance to the karmak was an underground passageway.
  • The Inuit ceremonial house was called a 'kashim' and constructed using a post and beam framework and sod covering

What language did the Inuit tribe speak?
The Inuit tribe spoke in Eskimo-Aleut languages and Athabascan.

What forms of transport did the Inuit tribe use?
The Inuit tribe used different forms of transportation that suited their harsh, snow filled environment. The above picture shows a man wearing snowshoes in front of a sled that was pulled by dogs. The Inuit bred strong, working dogs with thick furs, like huskies. The people used sleds and toboggans to transport people and possessions across the snow. A sled has runners and a raised platform whereas a toboggan has no runners and their platforms sit directly on the snow. Rawhide strips, called babiche, were used for binding and support when making toboggans, snowshoes and other objects. A kayak was boat that help one or two people, with an enclosed cockpit. Kayaks were made by stretching hide over a wooden frame. The Inuit also used a large, open, flat-bottomed boat called an umiak that was built by stretching hide (usually walrus hide) over a wooden frame.

Aleut Kayaks

What food did the Inuit eat?
The staple diet of the Inuit were fish products. These were supplemented by the meat obtained from sea animals such as the seal, whale, sea lions and walrus. Caribou was also eaten as were small birds and otters. The people practised breathing-hole (mauliqtoq) seal hunting.

What clothes did the Inuit wear?
The clothes, mitts and boots worn by the Inuit tribe were made from fur and animal skins. To keep warm they tended to wear layers of clothes which were topped by thick, heavy, fur-lined hooded coats called
Parkas. Short-waisted inner parkas were worn with long, narrow back tails, and wrist-length sleeves. The Inuit wore fitted clothing in contrast with the loosely hung garments of other regions. The parkas worn by Inuit women were distinguished by elongated hoods, and exaggerated, pointed shoulders, they were also made large enough so a woman could carry an infant. Snow shoes were an important article of clothing. A soft and supple Inuit boots, called Mukluks, usually made from sealskin, were also worn by the Inuit.

Inuit History Timeline
The following Inuit history timeline details facts, dates and famous landmarks and battles fought by the Inuit Nation. The history timeline explains what happened to the people of their tribe.

Inuit History Timeline

  • 1000 CE: The Inuit are the descendants of the Thule culture,who emerged from western Alaska, after crossing from Siberia, and moved eastward across the Arctic

  • 1530: European whalers and fur traders arrived in the Arctic

  • 1576: Martin Frobisher was the first European explorer to visit the Arctic and make contact with the Inuit people

  • 1610: The explorer Henry Hudson names Hudson’s Bay and Hudson Strait whilst searching for the Northwest Passage

  • 1600's: The Europeans spread diseases to the native people and many die from smallpox and measles

  • 1766: Catherine the Great sent Russian explorers and settlers to Alaska and claimed Alaska as part of Russia

  • 1770s: Moravian missionaries are said to have introduced the art of basketry to the Inuit

  • 1873: The North-West Mounted Police was established

  • 1771: Samuel Hearne of the Hudson's Bay Company reached the Arctic coast at Coppermine to establish trade with the Inuit

  • 1820: The Hudson's Bay Company opened a trading post called Great Whale River on the site of present-today’s Kuujjuarapik. Trade centers on whaling

  • 1845: Sir John Franklin makes his ill-fated expeditions (1845 - 1848) in search of the Northwest passage

  • 1850s: Christian missionaries spread throughout Arctic and make contact with the Inuit

  • 1867: The Alaska Purchase was made by the United States of America from Russia for $7.2 million

  • 1880: The Indian Affairs Department was established

  • 1896: Reverend Edmund Peck introduced syllabics as a written form of Inuktitut

  • 1898: Yukon was created as a separate territory

  • 1898: Gold was discovered by George Carmack (1850-1922) on August 16, 1896 at Rabbit Creek, aka Bonanza Creek, on the Klondike River. The discovery led to the Klondike gold rush

  • 1905: The main source of commerce moves from whaling to fur trading

  • 1911: The first permanent trading post was established in south Baffin was at Lake Harbor

  • 1934: Gold was discovered in Yellowknife

Inuit History Timeline


  • Interesting Facts and information about the way the people lived
  • The clothes worn by men and women
  • Description of the homes and the type of food the Inuit would eat
  • Fast Facts and info about the Inuit
  • Names of famous chiefs and leaders
  • Interesting Homework resource for kids on the history of the Inuit Native American Indians

Pictures and Videos of Native American Indians and their Tribes
The Inuit Tribe was one of the most famous tribes of Native American Indians. Discover the vast selection of pictures on the subject of the tribes of Famous Native Americans such as the Inuit nation. The pictures show the clothing, war paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes, such as the Inuit tribe, that can be used as a really useful educational resource for kids and children of all ages. We hope you enjoy watching the video - just click and play - a great social studies homework resource for kids .


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