Soapstone was also a valuable material which was traded amongst Inuit groups. The Kitikmeot and Netsilingmiut specialized in making soapstone containers and pots, which they traded to other Inuit in return for furs, sinew, and sometimes copper or iron.
Contact with European Settlers Some Inuit began traveling south each summer to trade with the Europeans, where they acquired metal tools, wooden boats, and other forms of technology for the first time. As contact between the two cultures became more common, frictions emerged which often ended in violence.
Their culture and economy is based on wildlife harvesting; their environment is more than just a source of food and income. The traditional economy of many Inuit groups of the Arctic was based on the hunting of sea mammals, including whales, seals, and walruses.
Summary and Definition: The Inuit tribe were a hardy people who were nomadic fishermen and hunters. The Inuit tribe lived on the western and northern coasts along the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean. They survived the harsh climate in igloos made of snow bricks or in tepee-shaped tents.
Inuit have lived and thrived in the Arctic for thousands of years. Traditionally they lived off the resources of the land, hunting whales, seals, caribou, fish, and birds, and many Inuit continue to harvest these resources today.
The Indigenous peoples became dependent on the trading posts for firearms and ammunition and for European food. Because they were devoting most of their time hunting for the fur trade, they didn’t have time to hunt for their own food as they had in the past.
Archeological evidence indicates that the Inuit traded with the Norse because of the many Norse artifacts found at Inuit sites; however, the Norse did not seem to show as much interest in the Inuit because no evidence of Inuit artifacts were found in any of the two Norse settlements.
The economy of the region is based largely on natural resources, from oil and gas to fish, caribou, and whales. Tourism is also a growing source of income and the public sector, including the military, employs a wide part of the population in the area.
The benefits of a traditional economy include less environmental destruction and a general understanding of the way in which resources will be distributed. Traditional economies are susceptible to weather changes and the availability of food animals.
A traditional economy usually centers on survival. Families and small communities often make their own food, clothing, housing and household goods. An example of a traditional economy is the Inuit people in the United States’ Alaska, Canada, and the Denmark territory of Greenland.
Interesting Facts about the Inuit
Temperatures outside can sometimes reach up to minus 45 degrees (chilly!), however, inside an igloo, the temperature can be anywhere between minus 7 and 16 degrees because of your body heat. It’s not going to be warm enough for a t-shirt, however, it’s much warmer than being outside the igloo.
Therefore, to this day, the Inuit place high value on inclusiveness, resourcefulness, collaboration, and “ decision making through discussion and consensus.” While individuals are expected to be self-reliant and fulfill their role in society, each member is also expected to support and help the others.
Iuit people use fish, sea mammals, birds and eggs as their means of survival. They believe in respecting the land and ocean that gives them these resources. Therefore they use all parts of the animals to eat, make tools, parkas, blankets, and boats.
Along with other neighboring equestrian tribes, the Lakota people relied on the buffalo as their primary resource for meat, housing, tools, and clothing. The bison offered themselves to the people.
These tools were often crafted from bone or walrus ivory, as well as drift wood and stone when they were available. Spears and harpoons were most often used by the Inuit in the hunt- ing of sea mammals such as seals and whales.