It was only after 1950 that the Inuit began to have frequent contact with non-Inuit people, much later than the Micmacs would have. Their geographic isolation and the harsh environmental conditions of the northern regions in which they live also delayed the sedentarization process and the changes in their culture.
The customs of the Inuit are very much alive in their community. The Inuit people still know how to fabricate parkas that are well-suited for the Arctic. They also continue to make traditional objects like avataq. They remain skilled sculptors and made sculptures made of stone or whale bones. Since 1980, the Avataq Cultural Institute has been responsible for preserving and promoting culture, language and traditions in Nunavik.
The Inuit people enjoy coming together for a meal or for entertainment. They practice traditional drum dancing. They also practice traditional throat singing (called katajjak). Throat singing requires impressive physical endurance as women try to imitate the sounds of the wind or flowing river.
Although the Inuit maintain many of their traditional beliefs, they have been significantly influenced by Christian religions.
Based on texts from the Récit de l’univers social. Adapted with additions by LEARN.
To view examples of contemporary Inuit Art, visit the WAG – Qaumajuq museum site.