Sunday, April 13, 2014

Inuit Migration and Diaspora

The Inuit diaspora describes the people of Inuit culture who have left their homeland and settled in other areas of the world for whatever reason, economic, political, or social. The homeland of the Inuit spreads across most of the northern-most regions of North America along the Arctic Ocean (about 4000 miles). There are three main Inuit population areas: the northern coastal regions of Alaska, the northern coastal regions of Canada, and the central and southern coastal regions of Greenland.

There are two main groups of people that descended from the Thule people, the Inuit and the Yupik. The Yupik mainly inhabit Siberia, but some have made their homes in Alaska. The reverse is not the same for the Inuit. They only inhabit the three regions of North America mentioned above: Alaska, Northern Canada, and Greenland. The map to the right shows the breakdown of the Inuit regions and territories.

With the research I did, I couldn't seem to find any indication of a significant population of Inuit living outside of these regions. I did, however, come across a study from 2006 called "Survey of First Nations People Living Off-Reserve, Metis and Inuit" (in Canada) which discusses the movement with the regions of Inuit people and the reasons for such movement. According to this study, there are approximately 976,305 people that claim to be Aboriginal, of which approximately five percent are Inuit. That gives a number of about 48,815 Inuit in Canada. The survey reports that approximately one quarter of the Aboriginal population had moved within the past year, with about half having moved within their current community. Just over one third moved to a different community, and one in ten had moved out of a reserve. The most frequently cited reason was housing issues (e.g. quality of housing), followed by family reasons, and then employment and education opportunities.

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