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Warfare was not uncommon among those Inuit groups with sufficient population density. Inuit such as the Nunatamiut Uummarmiut , who inhabited the Mackenzie River delta area, often engaged in warfare. The more sparsely settled Inuit in the Central Arctic, however, did so less often. Their first European contact was with the Vikings who settled in Greenland and explored the eastern Canadian coast. After about , the climate grew colder during the period known as the Little Ice Age.
During this period, Alaskan natives were able to continue their whaling activities. But, in the high Arctic, the Inuit were forced to abandon their hunting and whaling sites as bowhead whales disappeared from Canada and Greenland. These were areas which Native Americans had not occupied or where they were weak enough for the Inuit to live near them. Researchers have difficulty defining when Inuit stopped this territorial expansion.
There is evidence that they were still moving into new territory in southern Labrador when they first began to interact with European colonists in the 17th century. The lives of Paleo-Eskimos of the far north were largely unaffected by the arrival of visiting Norsemen except for mutual trade. By the midth century, Basque whalers and fishermen were already working the Labrador coast and had established whaling stations on land, such as the one that has been excavated at Red Bay , Labrador.
Martin Frobisher 's search for the Northwest Passage was the first well-documented contact between Europeans and Inuit. Frobisher's expedition landed in Frobisher Bay , Baffin Island, not far from the settlement now called the City of Iqaluit. Frobisher encountered Inuit on Resolution Island where five sailors left the ship, under orders from Frobisher. They became part of Inuit mythology. The homesick sailors, tired of their adventure, attempted to leave in a small vessel and vanished.
Frobisher brought an unwilling Inuk to England , possibly the first Inuk ever to visit Europe. The semi-nomadic eco-centred Inuit were fishers and hunters harvesting lakes, seas, ice platforms and tundra. While there are some allegations that Inuit were hostile to early French and English explorers, fishers and whalers, more recent research suggests that the early relations with whaling stations along the Labrador coast and later James Bay were based on a mutual interest in trade.
The Moravian missionaries could easily provide the Inuit with the iron and basic materials they had been stealing from whaling outposts, materials whose real cost to Europeans was almost nothing, but whose value to the Inuit was enormous.
From then on, contacts between the national groups in Labrador were far more peaceful. The exchanges that accompanied the arrival and colonization by the Europeans greatly damaged the Inuit way of life. Mass death was caused by the new infectious diseases carried by whalers and explorers, to which the indigenous peoples had no acquired immunity. The high mortality rate contributed to the enormous social disruptions caused by the distorting effect of Europeans' material wealth and introduction of different materials.
Nonetheless, Inuit society in the higher latitudes largely remained in isolation during the 19th century. The Hudson's Bay Company opened trading posts such as Great Whale River , today the site of the twin villages of Whapmagoostui and Kuujjuarapik , where whale products of the commercial whale hunt were processed and furs traded.
It provided the first informed, sympathetic and well-documented account of the economic, social and religious life of the Inuit. Parry stayed in what is now Igloolik over the second winter. Parry's writings, with pen and ink illustrations of Inuit everyday life, and those of George Francis Lyon were widely read after they were both published in During the early 20th century a few traders and missionaries circulated among the more accessible bands.
Unlike most Aboriginal peoples in Canada, however, the Inuit did not occupy lands that were coveted by European settlers. Used to more temperate climates and conditions, most Europeans considered the homeland of the Inuit to be a hostile hinterland. Southerners enjoyed lucrative careers as bureaucrats and service providers to the peoples of the North, but very few ever chose to visit there.
Once its more hospitable lands were largely settled, the government of Canada and entrepreneurs began to take a greater interest in its more peripheral territories, especially the fur and mineral-rich hinterlands. By the late s, there were no longer any Inuit who had not been contacted by traders, missionaries or government agents.
In , the Supreme Court of Canada found, in a decision known as Re Eskimos , that the Inuit should be considered Indians and were thus under the jurisdiction of the federal government. People such as Kikkik often did not understand the rules of the alien society with which they had to interact.
In addition, the generally Protestant missionaries of the British preached a moral code very different from the one the Inuit had as part of their tradition. Many of the Inuit were systematically converted to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries, through rituals such as the Siqqitiq.
Thanks to the development of modern long-distance aircraft, these areas became accessible year-round. The construction of air bases and the Distant Early Warning Line in the s and s brought more intensive contacts with European society, particularly in the form of public education for children.
The traditionalists complained that Canadian education promoted foreign values that were disdainful of the traditional structure and culture of Inuit society. In the s the Government of Canada undertook what was called the High Arctic relocation for several reasons. These were to include protecting Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic , alleviating hunger as the area currently occupied had been over-hunted , and attempting to solve the "Eskimo problem", by seeking assimilation of the people and the end of their traditional Inuit culture.
One of the more notable relocations was undertaken in , when 17 families were moved from Port Harrison now Inukjuak, Quebec to Resolute and Grise Fiord. They were dropped off in early September when winter had already arrived. The land they were sent to was very different from that in the Inukjuak area; it was barren, with only a couple of months when the temperature rose above freezing, and several months of polar night.
The families were told by the RCMP they would be able to return to their home territory within two years if conditions were not right. However, two years later more Inuit families were relocated to the High Arctic. Thirty years passed before they were able to visit Inukjuak.
By , Canada's prime minister Louis St. Laurent publicly admitted, "Apparently we have administered the vast territories of the north in an almost continuing absence of mind.
Regular visits from doctors, and access to modern medical care raised the birth rate and decreased the death rate , causing a marked natural increase in the population that made it more difficult for them to survive by traditional means.
In the s, the Canadian government began to actively settle Inuit into permanent villages and cities, occasionally against their will such as in Nuntak and Hebron. In the Canadian government acknowledged the abuses inherent in these forced resettlements.
The nomadic migrations that were the central feature of Arctic life had become a much smaller part of life in the North. The Inuit, a once self-sufficient people in an extremely harsh environment were, in the span of perhaps two generations, transformed into a small, impoverished minority, lacking skills or resources to sell to the larger economy, but increasingly dependent on it for survival.
Although anthropologists like Diamond Jenness were quick to predict that Inuit culture was facing extinction, Inuit political activism was already emerging. In the s, the Canadian government funded the establishment of secular , government-operated high schools in the Northwest Territories including what is now Nunavut and Inuit areas in Quebec and Labrador along with the residential school system.
The Inuit population was not large enough to support a full high school in every community, so this meant only a few schools were built, and students from across the territories were boarded there. These schools, in Aklavik , Iqaluit, Yellowknife , Inuvik and Kuujjuaq , brought together young Inuit from across the Arctic in one place for the first time, and exposed them to the rhetoric of civil and human rights that prevailed in Canada in the s.
This was a real wake-up call for the Inuit, and it stimulated the emergence of a new generation of young Inuit activists in the late s who came forward and pushed for respect for the Inuit and their territories. The Inuit began to emerge as a political force in the late s and early s, shortly after the first graduates returned home. They formed new politically active associations in the early s, starting with the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada Inuit Brotherhood and today known as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami , an outgrowth of the Indian and Eskimo Association of the '60s, in , and more region specific organizations shortly afterwards, including the Committee for the Original People's Entitlement representing the Inuvialuit ,  the Northern Quebec Inuit Association Makivik Corporation and the Labrador Inuit Association LIA representing Northern Labrador Inuit.
Since the mids the Southern Labrador Inuit of NunatuKavut began organizing politically after being geographically cut out of the LIA, however, for political expediency the organization was erroneously called the Labrador Métis Nation. These various activist movements began to change the direction of Inuit society in with the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
This comprehensive land claims settlement for Quebec Inuit, along with a large cash settlement and substantial administrative autonomy in the new region of Nunavik, set the precedent for the settlements to follow. The northern Labrador Inuit submitted their land claim in , although they had to wait until to have a signed land settlement establishing Nunatsiavut.
Southern Labrador Inuit of NunatuKavut are currently in the process of establishing landclaims and title rights that would allow them to negotiate with the Newfoundland Government.
On October 30, , Leona Aglukkaq was appointed as Minister of Health , "[becoming] the first Inuk to hold a senior cabinet position, although she is not the first Inuk to be in cabinet altogether.
In the United States, the term "Eskimo" is still commonly used, because it includes Inuit, Iñupiat, and Yupik peoples whilst distinguishing them from American Indians. The Yupik do not speak an Inuit language nor consider themselves to be Inuit. In Canada and Greenland, "Inuit" is preferred. Inuit speak Inuinnaqtun , Inuktitut , Inuvialuktun , and Greenlandic languages , which belong to the Inuit-Inupiaq branch of the Eskimo—Aleut language family.
Inuktitut is spoken in Canada and along with Inuinnaqtun is one of the official languages of Nunavut; they are known collectively as the Inuit Language. Inuit in Alaska and Northern Canada also typically speak English.
Canadian Inuit may also speak Québécois French. Finally, Deaf Inuit speak Inuit Sign Language , which is a language isolate and almost extinct as only around 50 people still speak it. The Inuit have traditionally been fishers and hunters. They still hunt whales esp. Grasses , tubers , roots , stems , berries , and seaweed kuanniq or edible seaweed were collected and preserved depending on the season and the location.
In the s anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived with and studied a group of Inuit. Stefansson also observed that the Inuit were able to get the necessary vitamins they needed from their traditional winter diet, which did not contain any plant matter. In particular, he found that adequate vitamin C could be obtained from items in their traditional diet of raw meat such as ringed seal liver and whale skin muktuk.
While there was considerable skepticism when he reported these findings, they have been borne out in recent studies and analyses. The natives hunted sea animals from single-passenger, covered seal-skin boats called qajaq Inuktitut syllabics: Because of this property, the design was copied by Europeans and Americans who still produce them under the Inuit name kayak. Inuit also made umiaq "woman's boat" , larger open boats made of wood frames covered with animal skins, for transporting people, goods, and dogs.
In the winter, Inuit would also hunt sea mammals by patiently watching an aglu breathing hole in the ice and waiting for the air-breathing seals to use them. This technique is also used by the polar bear, who hunts by seeking holes in the ice and waiting nearby.
In winter, both on land and on sea ice, the Inuit used dog sleds qamutik for transportation. The husky dog breed comes from Inuit breeding of dogs and wolves for transportation.
The Inuit used stars to navigate at sea and landmarks to navigate on land; they possessed a comprehensive native system of toponymy. Where natural landmarks were insufficient, the Inuit would erect an inukshuk. Dogs played an integral role in the annual routine of the Inuit.
Yearlong they assisted with hunting by sniffing out seals' holes and pestering polar bears. They also protected the Inuit villages by barking at bears and strangers. The Inuit generally favored, and tried to breed, the most striking and handsome of dogs, especially ones with bright eyes and a healthy coat.
The Inuit would perform rituals over the newborn pup to give it favorable qualities; the legs were pulled to make them grow strong and the nose was poked with a pin to enhance the sense of smell.
Inuit industry relied almost exclusively on animal hides, driftwood , and bones, although some tools were also made out of worked stones, particularly the readily worked soapstone.
Walrus ivory was a particularly essential material, used to make knives. Art played a big part in Inuit society and continues to do so today. Small sculptures of animals and human figures, usually depicting everyday activities such as hunting and whaling, were carved from ivory and bone. In modern times prints and figurative works carved in relatively soft stone such as soapstone , serpentinite , or argillite have also become popular.
Inuit made clothes and footwear from animal skins, sewn together using needles made from animal bones and threads made from other animal products, such as sinew.
The anorak parka is made in a similar fashion by Arctic peoples from Europe through Asia and the Americas, including the Inuit. The hood of an amauti , women's parka, plural amautiit was traditionally made extra large with a separate compartment below the hood to allow the mother to carry a baby against her back and protect it from the harsh wind. Styles vary from region to region, from the shape of the hood to the length of the tails. Boots mukluk or kamik  , could be made of caribou or seal skin, and designed for men and women.
During the winter, certain Inuit lived in a temporary shelter made from snow called an igloo , and during the few months of the year when temperatures were above freezing, they lived in tents, known as tupiq ,  made of animal skins supported by a frame of bones or wood. The division of labor in traditional Inuit society had a strong gender component, but it was not absolute. The men were traditionally hunters and fishermen and the women took care of the children, cleaned the home, sewed, processed food, and cooked.
However, there are numerous examples of women who hunted, out of necessity or as a personal choice. At the same time men, who could be away from camp for several days at a time, would be expected to know how to sew and cook. The marital customs among the Inuit were not strictly monogamous: Open marriages , polygamy , divorce , and remarriage were known.
Among some Inuit groups, if there were children, divorce required the approval of the community and particularly the agreement of the elders.
Marriages were often arranged , sometimes in infancy , and occasionally forced on the couple by the community. Marriage was common for women at puberty and for men when they became productive hunters.
Family structure was flexible: Every household had its head, an elder or a particularly respected man. There was also a larger notion of community as, generally, several families shared a place where they wintered. Goods were shared within a household, and also, to a significant extent, within a whole community. The Inuit were hunter—gatherers ,  and have been referred to as nomadic.
Loud singing and drumming were also customary after a birth. Virtually all Inuit cultures have oral traditions of raids by other indigenous peoples, including fellow Inuit, and of taking vengeance on them in return, such as the Bloody Falls massacre. He won a total of five Stanley Cups and was a seven time All-Star. Fuhr was born to one black parent and one white parent, but was adopted by parents Betty Wheeler and Robert Fuhr and raised in Spruce Grove , Alberta.
After two stellar seasons in Victoria , which included the league championship and a trip to the Memorial Cup in , Fuhr was drafted eighth overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL Entry Draft , on June 10, Fuhr played ten seasons for the Oilers, where he teamed up first with Andy Moog , then Bill Ranford to form one of the most formidable goaltending tandems in history, winning the Stanley Cup four times in five seasons through ' Moog was given the starting job in the playoffs, and helped lead the Oilers to their first Stanley Cup Finals, though they were swept by the New York Islanders, who captured their fourth straight Stanley Cup.
The next year general manager and head coach Glen Sather chose to go with Fuhr in the playoffs, though Fuhr was injured in the third game of the Stanley Cup Finals in a rematch against the Islanders when he collided with Pat LaFontaine , so Moog stepped in and led the Oilers to a series win. Thereafter, Fuhr remained the number one goaltender.
Fuhr was also involved with the infamous goal where Steve Smith scored on his own net to cost the Oilers the '86 playoffs against the Calgary Flames. Fuhr was the team's starting goaltender on the first four teams, but was injured and did not play in the playoffs , when the Oilers won for the fifth time.
In , Fuhr backstopped Canada to a victory at the Canada Cup , playing in all nine games, then played in 75 regular season and 19 playoff games. Grant's playoff success fed into his reputation as the supreme "money" goalie or "clutch" goaltender of his era, the person you would want in net with the season on the line, and there was a period of time from through at least where Grant was often called "the best goaltender in the World".
He battled shoulder injuries and substance abuse problems at the tail end of his career with Edmonton, and was suspended by the NHL for 59 games of the —91 season. He admitted that he used "a substance"—he did not say cocaine—for some seven years, or most of the period that the Oilers rested at the top of the NHL.
Details of Fuhr's drug use were supplied by the player's ex-wife, Corrine, who told the press in Edmonton that she often found cocaine hidden in his clothing and that she fielded numerous threatening telephone calls from drug dealers who had not been paid. These embarrassing details no doubt contributed to the one-year suspension handed down in September by NHL president John Ziegler , who called Fuhr's conduct "dishonorable and against the welfare of the league.
After a season and a half in Toronto, he was again traded, this time to the Buffalo Sabres , on February 2, At the time, rumours floated that the denial was based on race, as several of Fuhr's white teammates had been granted membership. Various acts of vandalism at the club occurred after news of Fuhr's rejection surfaced, including an incident where vandals burned a swastika onto one of the greens.
Fuhr rejected the membership and joined nearby Lancaster Country Club. The club also temporarily suspended its membership committee and had an anti-bias policy written into its by-laws.
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