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Inuit Use of the Sea Ice

Rick Riewe
Arctic and Alpine Research
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Feb., 1991), pp. 3-10
DOI: 10.2307/1551431
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1551431
Page Count: 8
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Inuit Use of the Sea Ice
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Abstract

For thousands of years the Inuit have depended heavily upon the productivity of the marine environment. Most of the present day Inuit communities are located along the arctic coast-lines and are still reliant upon the marine ecosystems. The current hunting territories of the communities in the Nunavut region of Canada vary in size from 42,600 to 205,000 km2 with an average of 107,337 km2. About one-third of the area of each of these community hunting territories encompasses marine areas. Hunting territories of neighboring communities overlap so that virtually all of the offshore areas within Nunavut are currently utilized by the Inuit. The Inuit have developed an extensive language and technology for life on the sea ice. Their ecological knowledge of this environment is exceedingly rich but has received little attention by southern biologists until recently. Through the land claims process the Inuit in Nunavut are now gaining meaningful management controls over the offshore environment.

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