Due to the nature of historic records, unfamiliar, outdated, incorrect, and/or offensive terms appear throughout the St. Roch Research Collection. Sometimes, St. Roch crew attempted to document words in the Inuit languages phonetically. This list is an attempt to interpret these transcriptions and provide further context.


The term “Eskimo” in Canada is considered offensive and is no longer used. Instead, the term “Inuit” came into common use in 1977 after the first Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Barrow, Alaska. At this conference the Inuit Circumpolar Council was created. In 1980, the Council created a charter that defined Inuit as, “indigenous members of the Inuit homeland recognized by Inuit as being members of their people and shall include the Inupiat, Yupik (Alaska), Inuit, Inuvialuit (Canada), Kalaallit (Greenland) and Yupik (Russia).”1



The languages spoken by the Inuit people include:

  • Inupiaq: spoken by the northern Alaskan Inuit or Innupiat
  • Kalaallisut: spoken by the Greenland Inuit or Katladlit
  • Inuktitun: spoken by the Innuvialuit in the Northwest Territories
  • Inuktitut: spoken in the western Arctic including Nunavut, Nunavik and Labrador2

qamutik (“kha-moo-teek” / ᖃᒧᑏᒃ / plural “qamutiit”) is a sled designed to travel on snow and ice, built using traditional Inuit design techniques.3

Ujjuk (“oo-jook” / ᐅᔾᔪᒃ / plural “ujjuit”) is a bearded seal.4

An igloo/iglu (ᐃᒡᓗ / plural “igluit”) was a winter dwelling utilized by Inuit across the Arctic. Some Inuit spent most of the winter in semisubterranean houses made of driftwood and whalebone and only used the igloo when travelling. Others relied on igloos for housing through the entire winter.5

  1. Parrott, Z.. R. The Canadian Encyclopedia. (2008). Eskimo. Retrieved July 13, 2018 From https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/eskimo/.
  2. Fabbi, N. (2003, March). Inuktitut – the Inuit Language. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://www.k12studycanada.org/files/Inuktitut.pdf
  3. Travel Nunavit. (n.d.). Dogsledding ᕿᒧᔅᓯᕐᓂᖅ. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://www.nunavuttourism.com/things-to-see-do/dogsledding/
  4. Pirurvik Centre. (n.d.). Alphabetical List of Vocabulary. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://www.tusaalanga.ca/glossary/inuktitut
  5. Gadacz, R.R. The Canadian Encyclopedia. (2006). Igloo.
    Retrieved July 13, 2018 From https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/igloo/