An Inuit family in front of a tupiq (a tent made of animal skins and used in the warmer months) at Pond Inlet in 1906.Library and Archives Canada
A mother with her child in the Ungava Peninsula, 1912.Library and Archives Canada
A hunting party catches a beluga whale, which can provide food for a whole community for long stretches of time.Library and Archives Canada
A little girl named Ihumatak plays the drum in a tent. 1949.Library and Archives Canada
An Inuit man plays a traditional drum.
This drum would be banned during the High Arctic relocation program because of its association with traditional Inuit beliefs.Library and Archives Canada
A man builds an igloo. 1924.
These homes gave the Inuit people warmth during the winter. Even when temperatures outside dropped below -40°F, the temperature inside an igloo can still be as warm as 59°F.Library and Archives Canada
A boy puts caribou skin shoes on his dog's feet.Library and Archives Canada
Inuit children on a dog sled near Chesterfield Inlet in the early 1920s.
Sled dogs were key to the traditional Inuit way of life. In the 1950s, the RCMP would slaughter sled dogs en masse, making it impossible for the Inuit people to subsist on hunting. It would be a pivotal moment in forcing the Inuit to switch to a lifestyle of relying on store-bought food and welfare.Library and Archives Canada
A woman holding an ulu while eating food.
The ulu is a multi-purpose knife traditionally used by Inuit women for everything from skinning animals to cutting their children's hair.Library and Archives Canada
Inuit boys wear top hats outside of an Anglican church.
Colonialism certainly had already influenced the Inuit way of life even before the High Arctic relocation program.Library and Archives Canada
A grandmother named Iqqi gives a traditional Inuit kiss to a young girl named Mary Hickes. 1950.Library and Archives Canada
An Inuit man spear fishing.Library and Archives Canada
An unidentified Inuit man ice fishing. 1949.Library and Archives Canada
A man in a kayak at Port Burwell. 1929.
Kayaks were hunting boats, often using a whale bone to make up the frame.Library and Archives Canada
An Inuit hunter with a seal. 1925.
Seal is a staple food for the Inuit, especially during the winter. These animals were also useful in providing materials for clothing as well as oil for lamps.Library and Archives Canada
A man stands by an inuksuk. 1953.
Traditionally, an inuksuk would be put up to help people navigate. They served as landmarks in the often endless ice, rocks and snow of the Arctic tundra.Library and Archives Canada
Women carry bundles of moss on their backs.Library and Archives Canada
A man poses with caribou carcasses after a successful hunt. Coppermine, 1949.Library and Archives Canada
Tents at Pond Inlet.
For the first year after relocation, many families were left in tents without enough supplies to survive. Library and Archives Canada
In Cape Hope, a man sits outside a tent playing a guitar.Library and Archives Canada
These men living in shacks were employed at an American Air Base.
The photographer attached a note to this image, stating that one of the Inuit men was impressed by the cleanliness of his shack, compared to his other experiences.Library and Archives Canada
An Inuit family relocated from Dundas Harbour to Craig Harbour registers their new address with the postmaster.Library and Archives Canada
A man poses with his identification number on a placard. Pond Inlet, 1945.
All Inuit people were required to be registered with and to wear an Eskimo Identification Number (E number). The government used these numbers, rather than names, to identify the Inuit.Library and Archives Canada
A young boy with an E Number around his neck.Library and Archives Canada
People sit next to a freight shipment in front of the Hudson's Bay Company warehouse. Circa 1946-1947.Library and Archives Canada
Children in Frobisher Bay sit among freight boxes full of Western food.Library and Archives Canada
A young girl holds up a bag of sugar. Iqaluit, 1960.Library and Archives Canada
People stand outside a Hudson's Bay Company Trading Post. 1949.Library and Archives Canada
A man purchases food from the Hudson's Bay Trading Post.
One of the goals of the High Arctic relocation program was to get the Inuit people to stop living off the land and, instead, to start working jobs and purchasing food in stores.Library and Archives Canada
A woman and her child in Baker Lake read a poster describing the Family Allowance.
Family Allowances were provided by the Canadian government to help Inuit families feed their children. To receive the allowance, however, families were required to either live on a reservation or a settled community.Library and Archives Canada
A mother with baby formula, received through her Family Allowance. 1959.
Some feel that the Family Allowance mainly served to introduce Western food into the Inuit diet, pushing them away from their traditional hunting lifestyle.Library and Archives Canada
A family eats a meal on Southampton Island. 1948.Library and Archives Canada
An old woman sits on a mattress inside of her tent.Library and Archives Canada
A man and woman smoke in their tent, circa 1920s.Library and Archives Canada
People watch a dance during the Governor General's visit to Frobisher Bay.
These people are watching a square dance. With traditional Inuit drumming banned in many places, Western dances took hold.Library and Archives Canada
A dentist examines a mother. Her baby sits in the hood of her amuti, a traditional Inuit parka with a baby pouch on the back.Library and Archives Canada
Inuit women and children attend mass at a Roman Catholic Mission.Library and Archives Canada
Naya Pelagie becomes the first Inuit nun.Library and Archives Canada
Children in Arviat sit through a school lesson.
Many communities did not have the resources to build their own schools. Instead, children were separated from their parents and sent south to receive education.Library and Archives Canada
A boy in Frobisher Bay writes in his work book.
Children were required to speak English in school, where they were taught European material and values. When they returned home, many felt disconnected from their parents and their culture.Library and Archives Canada
An older Inuit man named Jackie Akpuk studying at school in Manitoba.Library and Archives Canada