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Inuit in Canada

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
44,000 Inuinnaqtun Christianity 55.00 % 1.50 % No No   

Inuit in Canada

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Introduction / History
The Inuit are an indigenous people who inhabit the icy northern regions of Canada. Scientists believed that their ancestors arrived at their present location by migration across the Bering Strait about 5,000 years ago (Pattara 2018). They have seen a lot of changes to their way of life, as early as the 11th century with Norse influence. From there, explorers, whalers, traders, missionaries, and scientists have changed the Inuit culture in many ways, from modern Inuit eating a more Western diet, to more individual conversions to Christianity. However, the Inuit still manage to keep their traditional cultural identity. Historically, they have also been called Eskimos.

Where are they located?
They are located in the northern regions of Canada (Freeman 2010). In 2011, almost 73% lived in a region of the Arctic called the Inuit Nunangat. Out of this percentage, half lived in Nunvaut, followed by Quebec, Labrador, and the Northwest Territories/Yukon.

What are their lives like?
Their language Inuktitut has five main dialects: Inuvialuktun, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuktitut, and Nunatsiavumiuttut. Their adobe is in igloos in winter and tents in summer. Transportation is accomplished through dog sledge; Inuit ancestors were the first to introduce the widespread use of dog sledding in the Americas (Ameen et al. 2019). The Inuit live as hunters and gatherers. They have large regional groupings that separate into winter camps, or bands, of around 100 and summer groups of fewer than a dozen. They hunt for walrus, moose, reindeer, beluga whale, polar bear, ptarmigans, and winter cod (Gadsby and Steele 2004). They eat the fish cooked, dried, smoked, or frozen. Summer pickings include blackberries and salmonberries. Some traditional Inuit dishes include muktuk and an ice cream called akutaq. They have a remarkable ability to refrain from showing anger (Doucleff and Greenhalgh 2019). Also, the elders do not yell or shout at their children. Such behavior is considered inappropriate in their culture. Instead, to discipline the kids they tell stories to keep them well behaved. For example, instead of telling a child to not go near the water, they will tell a story about monsters who will drag them down under the ocean.

What are their beliefs?
A majority of the Inuit today are Christian, but they still have their traditional spirituality within the culture. In traditional spirituality, fear, rather than faith, drives their religious beliefs. They believe that no one rules the cosmos and their mythology is based on animism and shamanism. The animism aspect comes from their belief that all things have a spirit, that they call “anirniq.” Once the spirit of a living being is liberated upon death, it can take revenge as much as it wants (Andrews 2017). The other part, shamanism, is still alive today. Some shamanists do their seances in greater secrecy than in the past due to outside culture influence and their own conversion to Christianity. Others feel like it should be preserved, saying that shamanism is part of a culture that includes respect for animals and sharing harvested food (bdbonta 2017). The Inuit also have a strong spiritual behavior with their food, giving thanks to the animal who gave up their life for their sustenance.

Prayer Points
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* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.


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Country: Canada
Continent: North America
Region: America, North and Caribbean
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Northwest Territories: Beaufort sea, Mackensie river mouth east into Nunavut; Victoria Island area, Kugluktuk, Umingmatok, Bathurst Inlet, and Iquluktuuttraq communities, east to King William Island, and Boothian and Melville peninsula settlements; Hudson Bay northwest coast.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Inuit
People Name General: Inuit
ROP3 Code: 107472
Joshua Project People ID: 20653
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 44,000
Population all Countries: 44,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
People Name General: Inuit
Ethnic Code: MIR38a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Inuinnaqtun (44,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ikt    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity55.00 %(Evangelical: 1.50 %)
Ethnic Religions25.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious20.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a larger relative representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1920-1979
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Inuit in Canada

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    North American Indigenous     America, North and Caribbean    
      Inuit Canada    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Inuit in Canada          
      Religion Language  
      Christianity     Inuinnaqtun  
    All Religions                              

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