Returning to my series of posts on the Arctic and jumping up to the 20th century, I want to give you at least some impression of the Arctic today in the following five posts. It's very much a unique place, and a world worth knowing more about. In particular I'm impressed with how it's an Inuit society. The land claims of these indigenous people were built into the negotiations establishing Nunavut, carved off the Northwest Territories in 1999 as Canada's third northern territory. As the Inuit themselves are 85% of the population, through their elected assembly they control most of the Arctic territory. There are no 'reserves' as elsewhere in Canada.
The Inuit are unique among indigenous people in North America in that they continued their traditional way of life, living on the land (and sea) well into the 20th century, many right into the 1950s. They followed a seasonal round of activities, living in villages of 'iglus' on the sea ice in the winter while hunting seals (below), and moving to favoured hunting and fishing spots during the rest of the year.