The Inuit (/ˈɪnjuɪt/; Inuktitut: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, ᐃᓄᒃ, dual: Inuuk, ᐃᓅᒃ)[7][8][9] are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska (United States). The Inuit languages are part of the Eskimo–Aleut languages also known as Inuit-Yupik-Unangan and also as Eskaleut.[10] Inuit Sign Language is a critically endangered language isolate used in Nunavut.[11]

Igloolik Inuit women and child in traditional parkas.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Canada65,025 (2016)[1]
Greenland50,787 (2017)[2]
Denmark16,470 (2018)[3]
United States
Alaska (primarily)
16,581 (2010)[4]
Inuit languages, Inuit Sign Language, Danish, English (Aboriginal), French and various others
Christianity, Inuit religion
Related ethnic groups
Aleut, Yupik, Chukchi[5][6]

Inuit live throughout most of Northern Canada in the territory of Nunavut, Nunavik in the northern third of Quebec, Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut in Labrador and in various parts of the Northwest Territories, particularly around the Arctic Ocean, in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.[note 1] With the exception of NunatuKavut these areas are known, primarily by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, as Inuit Nunangat.[1][12] In Canada, sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 classify Inuit as a distinctive group of Aboriginal Canadians who are not included under either the First Nations or the Métis.[13][14]

The Greenlandic Inuit are descendants of Thule migrations from Canada by 1100 AD.[15] Although Greenland withdrew from the European Communities in 1985, the Inuit of Greenland are Danish citizens and, as such, remain citizens of the European Union.[16][17][18]

In the United States, the Alaskan Iñupiat are traditionally located in the Northwest Arctic Borough, on the Alaska North Slope, and on Little Diomede Island.

Many individuals who would have historically been referred to as "Eskimo" find that term offensive, and/or forced upon them in a colonial way; "Inuit" is now a common autonym for a large sub-group of these people.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25] The word "Inuit" (varying forms Inupiak, Inuvialiut, Inughuit, etc.), however, is an ancient self-referential to a group of peoples which includes at most the Iñupiat of northern Alaska, the four broad groups of Inuit in Canada, and the Greenlandic Inuit, and this usage has long been employed to the exclusion of other, closely related groups (e.g. Yupik, Aleut).[5][26][27] Thereby, the Aleut (Unangan) and Yupik peoples (Alutiiq/Sugpiaq, "Central" Yup'ik, Siberian Yupik), who live in Alaska and Siberia, are not Inuit, and do not generally identify as such.[5][28][29]

The Chukchi are, according to genomic research, the closest living relatives of the Siberian Yupik and other indigenous peoples of the Americas.[6]