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Thule peoples first arrived in what is now Nunavut about 1,000 years ago.
Traditionally, the Inuit relied on trapping, hunting, and fishing for clothing and food; they lived in igloos, semisubterranean houses, or animal-skin tents.
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Nunavut, vast territory of northern Canada that stretches across most of the Canadian Arctic.
Early contacts with explorers and whaling crews introduced new diseases and reduced the population during the 19th century.
The fur trade was not well established in the Arctic until early in the 20th century, but the Inuit adapted quickly to it, and they, like the Dene, came to depend on outside sources for most of the necessities of life.
Construction activity during World War II and in the postwar years further affected their way of life.
The Inuit adapted readily to the opportunities for casual employment, and many were quick to abandon their seminomadic trapping and hunting existence for life in the settlements.
In addition, several islands are divided between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories (notably Victoria and Melville islands), and Nunavut’s territory extends to numerous islands in Hudson Bay, such as the Belcher Islands. The Arctic Archipelago consists of lowlands in the south that rise to the Innuitian Mountains in the north and along the eastern side of Baffin Island.The plant life supports small mammals, caribou, and musk oxen.Land predators include red and Arctic foxes, wolves, and grizzly bears.Inuktitut, consisting of several dialect groups, is spoken widely.It has two writing systems: roman letters and a syllabic system developed in the 19th century by European missionaries.