Bill Hillman's 
EduTech Research Project
John Tyman's
INUIT ~ People of the Arctic
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Part 1: Landforms and Climate
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1. Shores of Tom Bay in the spring.
In contrast to the Antarctic, which is a continent, 
the Arctic is an ocean ringed by land 
-- by the continents of Europe, Asia and North America.


2. Shore of Spence Bay in late spring. 
Beneath the ice and snow which blankets Antarctica
there is a vast expanse of frozen rock and little else:
but beneath the pack ice of the Arctic is a wealth of food, 
so that whereas the Antarctic is the only continent without a population, 
the shores of the Arctic Ocean 
have been occupied by hunters for thousands of years.

3. Lake in interior of Boothia Peninsula. 
Though there are moutains in Eastern Canada, facing Greenland,
most Arctic landmasses are low-lying.
4. Interior of Boothia Peninsula.
However, they are rarely flat..

5. Melting ice north of Taloyoak.
During a succession of Ice Ages great ice sheets pushed outwards 
to envelope much of North America.
6. Glaciated ridge near the town.
In many places the rocks beneath were scraped bare of soil..

7. Gravels  in lake bed to the north.
Elsewhere the land was plastered with clay or sand,
plus gravel and boulders spread beneath the ice sheet 
and/or left behind when it melted.
8. Coastal inlet north of Spence Bay.
The rise in sea level following the melting of the last ice sheet 
drowned many of the valleys carved long ago by streams and glaciers, 
so that the coastline is very irregular and 
there are many narrow valleys inland from the coast..

9. Early summer blizzrd at Taloyoak.
The Arctic is the worst human environment on the Earth. 
(The Antarctic is slightly more extreme but no one lives there.)



10. Huskies on the ice outside of town in winter.
It is bitterly cold in winter, with temperatures so low
they are beyond the imagination of most people
living in temperate and tropical lands.
Temperatures of -60 degrees Celsius are not uncommon then
(which is three times as cold as your freezer) 
and when there's a strong wind the chilling effect of air movement 
can lower this figure dramatically, so that it feels  more like -100 degrees!

11. Hunter on an afternoon in winter. 
Winter is not only cold but also dark.
Due to the inclination of the earth's axis, 
which is then tilted away from the sun in the northern hemisphere,
the sun never gets above the horizon for weeks on end. 
The length of this "winter's night" ranges from 24 hours 
at the Arctic Circle to 6 months at the Pole. 
At Spence Bay (now known as Taloyoak)
the sun remains below the horizon for two months.
12. Searching for breathing holes at noon.
In the middle of the day conditions
resemble those experienced at lower latitudes
just after the sun has set. 
It is no longer directly visible, 
but its light is reflected by dust and water particles
to give a red sky and an hour or two of subdued light 
commonly referred to as dusk or twilight.

13. Fishing camp alongside lake in early summer.
During summer temperatures are much higher, 
but they are still low by the standards 
of subtropical Australia where I live. 
For example, their highs on summer afternoons 
are similar to our lows at night in winter!
14. A morning in summer, after snow during the night.
And summer is also short. 
Winter is the dominant season: 
and it can snow even in summer..


15. Sea coast at midnight in June. 
The one consolation, of course, is that the sun never sets then, 
it shines for 24 hours each day.
Because of the latitude it never gets very high in the sky, 
but at least it shines.
Its angle at mid-day resembles that of the sun 
at about 4.00 pm in the subtropics; 
and at midnight it's like the sun there shortly before sunset
-- not very warm, but bright nevertheless.
16. Stalking seal close to midnight.
Because there is no day here in winter
and no night in summer 
(the sun rising and setting daily only in the spring and the fall) 
Arctic peoples have a very different approach to time 
compared with that of people living in lower latitudes. 
The Inuit go by how they feel -- by their own body clock,
instead of being ruled by mechanical time pieces..

Dr. John Tyman
I. Environment:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
II. Food Sources: 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
III: Clothing/Shelter:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
IV. Family: 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
V. Community:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Text, photos and recordings by John Tyman
Intended for Educational Use Only.
Copyright Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University, 2010.
Contact Dr. John Tyman for more information regarding licensing.

Photo processing, Web page layout, and formatting by
William Hillman | www.hillmanweb.com
Assistant Professor ~ Faculty of Education ~ Brandon University ~ Brandon, Manitoba ~ Canada