Inuit history and culture: an introductory reading list

As part of #IndigenousReads, learn more about Inuit in Canada through this introductory reading list.

Inuit, the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic, have a rich history and culture that have helped to define Canada. Visit our Inuit webpage to learn more.

If these books are not available at your local library, they can be borrowed from the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) library through an interlibrary loan.

On this page

About Inuit

Alunik, Ishmael. Across Time and Tundra: the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. Vancouver, BC: Raincoast Books, 2003. ix, 230 pages.

Brody, Hugh. The other side of Eden: hunters, farmers and the shaping of the world. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2000. 174 pages.

Crnkovich, Mary, ed. Gossip: a Spoken History of Women in the North. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, 1989. 289 pages.

Dorais, Louis-Jacques. From Magic Words to Word Processing: A History of the Inuit Language. Iqaluit, NWT: Arctic College, Nunatta Campus, 1993. 137 pages.

Harvey, Sylvain, ed. Native peoples of Québec. Michel Noël, Redaction. Québec, QC: Éditions Sylvain Harvey, 2003. 58 pages.

Inuit of Canada. Ottawa, ON: Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, 2003. 36 pages.

The Inuit Way: a Guide to Inuit Culture. Ottawa, ON: Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006. 44 pages.

MacDonald, John. The Arctic Sky: Inuit Star Lore, Legend, and Astronomy. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum, 1998. 313 pages.

Robinson, Gillian, ed. Isuma Inuit Studies Reader: an Inuit Anthology. Montreal, QC: Isuma Pub., 2004. 240 pages.

Tulurialik, Ruth Annaqtuusi and David F. Pelly. Qikaaluktut: Images of Inuit Life. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press, 1986.


Hessel, Ingo. Inuit Art: an Introduction. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 1998. 198 pages.

Leroux, Odette, Marion E. Jackson, and Minnie Aodla Freeman, eds. Inuit Women Artists: Voices from Cape Dorset. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre; Hull, QC.: Canadian Museum of Civilization ; Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1994. 253 pages.

Autobiographies and biographies

Freeman, Minnie Aodla. Life Among the Qallunaat. Edmonton, AB: Hurtig Publishers, 1978. 217 pages.

Igloliorte, John. An Inuk Boy Becomes a Hunter. Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing, 1994. 103 pages.

Ittinuar, Peter Freuchen, 1950-. Teach an Eskimo How To Read...: Conversations With Peter Freuchen Ittinuar. Edited by Thierry Rodon. Iqaluit, NU: Language and Culture Program, Nunavut Arctic College, 2008. 237 pages.

Lutz, Hartmut, ed., trans. The Diary of Abraham Ulrikab: text and context. Alootook Ipellie, preface and cover art ; Hans-Ludwig Blohm, photos. Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press, 2005. 129 pages.

Mippigaq, Jeannie. Memories from Kuujjuarapik. Inukjuaq, Nunavik, QC: Avataq Cultural Institute, 1990. 41 pages.

Wachowich, Nancy. Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women. Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999. 301 pages.

Weetaluktuk, Jobie. The World of Tivi Etok: The Life and Art of an Inuit Elder. Edited by Jobie Weetaluktuk and Robyn Bryant. Quebec, QC: Éditions MultiMondes, 2008, 207 pages.


Bennett, John and Susan Rowley, eds. Uqalurait: an Oral History of Nunavut. Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2004. 473 pages.

Bonesteel, Sarah. Canada's Relationship With Inuit: A History of Policy and Program Development. Prepared for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada; managed and edited by Erik Anderson ; prepared by Public History Inc. ; principal author: Sarah Bonesteel. Ottawa, ON: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2008. xvi, 240 pages.

Fossett, Renée. In Order to Live Untroubled: Inuit of the Central Arctic, 1550-1940. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press, 2001. 336 pages.

Lynge, Aqqaluk. Inuit: The Story of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. Nuuk, Greenland: Atuakkiorfik, 1993. 123 pages.

Morrison, David and Germain, Georges-Hébert. Inuit: glimpses of an Arctic past. Hull, QC: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1995. 159 pages.

Tester, Frank James and Peter Kulchyski. Tammarniit (Mistakes): Inuit Relocation in the Eastern Arctic, 1939-63. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 1994. 421 pages.


Freeman, Milton M.R., et al. Inuit, Whaling, and Sustainability. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 1998. 208 pages.

Pelly, David F. Sacred Hunt: A Portrait of the Relationship Between Seals and Inuit. Vancouver, BC: Greystone Books, 2001. 127 pages.

Thorpe, Natasha. Thunder on the Tundra: Inuit qaujimajatuqangit of the Bathurst Caribou. Ikaluktuuthak, NU.: Tuktu and Nogak Project, 2001. 208 pages.

Literature and stories

Aupaluktuq, Nancy Pukirnak. The legend of Kiviuq as retold in the drawings of Nancy Pukirnak Aupaluktuq. Preface by Diane Webster. Ottawa, ON: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2006. xiii, 50 pages, chiefly col. ill.

Gedalof, Robin, ed. Paper Stays Put: A Collection of Inuit Writing. Edmonton, AB: Hurtig Publishers, [1980]. 172 pages.

Ipellie, Alootook. Arctic Dreams and Nightmares. Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 1993. xx, 184 pages. E100.F6 I54 1993

Markoosie. Harpoon of the Hunter. Illustrations by Germaine Arnaktauyok. Montreal and London: Queen's University Press, 1970. 81 pages.

Nungak, Zebedee and Eugene Arima, eds. Inuit Stories: Povungnituk / Légendes inuit: Povungnituk. Translated from Inuktitut into French by Bernard Saladin d'Anglure. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1988. 159 pages.

Petrone, Penny, ed.. Northern Voices: Inuit Writing in English. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 1988. 314 pages.


Atanarjuat: the fast runner. Directed by Zacharias Kunik. Igloolik, NU: Igloolik Isuma Productions ; Montreal, QC: NFB [distributor], 2000. 161 min. 1 DVD.

I, Nuligak: an Inuvialuit history of first contact. [videorecording] [S.l.] : Hershel Island Productions, 2005. 1 DVD. 70 min.

If the weather permits. Directed by Elisapie Isaac. Montreal, QC: National Film Board of Canada, 2003. 1 DVD. 28 min.

Ullumi. English version. Montreal, QC: Films de l'Îsle; Arqsaniit Productions, 2007. 1 DVD. 52 min.


Inuit Studies. Québec, QC: Université Laval.

Inuit Art Quarterly. Ottawa, ON: Inuit Art Foundation.

Inuktitut. Ottawa, ON: Inuit Tapiriit Kantami.


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