The Inuvialuit (in Inuvialuktun: the real people) are Inuit people who live in the western Canadian Arctic region. They are descendants of the Thule people, other descendants who inhabit Russia. Their homeland - the Inuvialuit Settlement Region - covers the Arctic Ocean coastline area from the Alaskan border east to Amundsen Gulf and includes the western Canadian Arctic Islands. The land, which largely belongs to the Canadian Northwest Territories, was demarked in 1984 by the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.


Inuvialuit Communities
Community Place name in English 2006 Population Inuvaluit First Nations Métis Other Aboriginal non-Aboriginal
Aklavik barren-ground grizzly place 594 375 140 35 25 50
Inuvik place of man 3,484 1,050 440 140 60 1,165
Paulatuk place of coal 294 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Sachs Harbour traditionally called Ikahuak meaning "where you go across to" 122 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Tuktoyaktuk resembling a caribou 870 840 20 0 10 55
Ulukhaktok a large bluff where we used to collect raw material to make ulus, formerly Holman 398 375 0 0 0 20

The area of the land is . Some of these communities are shared with the Gwich’in people.


Before the 20th century. the Inuvialuit Settlement Region was primarily inhabited by Siglit Inuit, but in the second half of the 19th century, their numbers were dramatically reduced by the introduction of new diseases. Nunatamiut, Alaskan Inuit, moved into traditionally Siglit areas in the 1910s and 20s, enticed in part by renewed demand for furs from the Hudson's Bay Company. The Nunatamiut who settled in the Siglit area became known as Uummarmiut. Originally, there was an intense dislike between the Siglit and the Uummarmiut, but these differences faded over the years, and the two aboriginal peoples intermarried. With improved healthcare and Nunatamiut intermarriage, the Inuvialuit now number approximately 3,000.

The Inuit of Ulukhaktok are neither Siglit nor Uummarmiut but are Copper Inuit and refer to themselves as Ulukhaktokmuit after Ulukhaktok, the native name for what used to be called Holman.


The Inuvialuit have traditionally hunted caribou from the Cape Bathurst and Bluenose herds, and have also shared the Porcupine herd with the Gwich’in. There has been some tension between the Inuvialuit and the Gwich’in over caribou hunting. The proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline would pass through both Inuvialuit and Gwich'in territory.


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