Skip to Main Contents

Site Map | Acknowledgements and Credits | Your Feedback | Français | Inuktitut

From left to right we find: a man with a machete cutting blocks of snow stacked in front of the canvas tent of a winter camp, a historical photograph of an Inuit family in front of a summer camp tent, and three Inuit aboard a snowmobile going towards a village in a spring landscape.

The People

From left to right: Cutting and laying a wall of snow blocks before the storm to protect the tent of a winter camp | Inuit Group, Fort Chimo, 1896. Photographer: A.P. Low, Library and Archives Canada C-005591 | Puvirnituq under the first rays of spring

4 000 Years of History

About 15 000 BP (Before Present), the postglacial seas receded. A land bridge emerged between present-day Siberia and Alaska, leading to the Yukon. Today the Bering Strait covers this route, once travelled by great numbers of families from Asia.

Map of North America, illustrating with arrows the different roads that the first settlers have traveled.

Map showing the various routes of North America’s first settlers

From this initial wave of immigration descended the ancestors of the First Nations of America, who explored new territories and lived off a land dominated by tundra. Within just a few centuries, they had reached the Prairies and the American Southwest, travelling east of the Rocky Mountains.

About 10 000 BP, Nunavik's current territory was covered by a thick layer of ice, and it is only around 7 500 BP that climate change allowed the gradual shrinkage of the ice sheet. Around 6 000 BP, the withdrawal of the glacier enabled the emergence of land, allowing the territory’s colonization by flora and fauna that were adapted to an arctic environment. The earliest evidence of human occupation in Nunavik dates back to approximately 4 000 years BP.

→ First period: Pre-Dorsets • 4 000 to 2 500 BP

Back to Top