International Inuit Day

November 7 is International Inuit Day. Also known as International Circumpolar Inuit Day, it is a holiday created to celebrate Inuit and amplify their voices.

Blue Inuit drum outside on grass and fallen leaves

Students, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the richness and resilience of diverse Inuit cultures. It is important to acknowledge the resilience of Inuit and how strength and adaptability has been a part of Inuit ways of knowing, being and doing. Celebration activities included lighting the Kullik, throat singing, teachings, sharing food, and a short film viewing and discussion.


Inuit are a group of culturally similar Indigenous Peoples that live in the circumpolar Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and Russia. The word Inuit means " the people", and a single person is known as an Inuk. There are aproximately 160 000 Inuit worldwide, with 65 000 living in Canada. Inuit Nunangat is the Inuit homeland in Canada, encompassing the land claims regions of Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. It is inclusive of land, water and ice, and describes an area encompassing 35 percent of Canada’s landmass and 50 percent of its coastline.

Map of Inuit Nunangat

(Map from: https://www.itk.ca/inuit-nunangat-map/)


Celebrate Inuit culture, art, politics, and leadership by checking out these amazing contemporary voices!

  • Mary May Simon, born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec), is the Governor General of Canada. She was sworn in on July 26, 2021, as Canada’s first Indigenous governor general. Ms. Simon gained national and international recognition for her work on Arctic and Indigenous issues and for her efforts in advocating for Inuit rights, youth, education and culture.

  • Donna May Kimmaliardjuk is the first Inuk heart surgeon in Canada, and practices at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador. She was raised in Ottawa, Ontario, with ties to Chesterfield Bay, Nunavut.
  • Jordin Tootoo is the first Inuk hockey player to enter the NHL. He is from Churchill, Manitoba, and in 2011 he established the Team Tootoo Fund which supports a wide range of charitable causes including  suicide awareness and prevention, and supporting youth at risk.

  • Tanya Tagaq is an experimental throat singer, activist, and writer from Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay, Nunavut). She has released four albums, one EP, and published a book.

  • Shina Novalinga is a throat singer, model, and social media influencer based in Montreal, Quebec. She proudly shares Inuit culture on TikTok and Instagram, where her handle is @shinanova.

  • Riit is a musician from Panniqtuq, Nunavut. She creates electropop music that incorporates throat singing and Inuktitut lyrics.

  • The Jerry Cans hail from Iaqluit and describe themselves as "a band from and for the north... committed to making music that honours and dialogues with their home communities."

  • Elisapie is a singer-songwriter, broadcaster, documentary filmmaker, and activist from Salluit, Nunavik, Quebec. She sings in English, French, and Inuktitut, and directed and wrote the 2003 documentary If the Weather Permits.

  • Susan Aglukark is a singer and songwriter from Arviat, Nunavut. She was awarded the Governor Generals Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in 2016.

  • Becky Han is a singer and songwriter from Arctic Bay, Nunavut. She composes original acoustic music in Inuktitut.

  • Kelly Fraser was a pop singer and songwriter born in Igloolik and raised in Sanikuluaq, Nunavut. She released two albums, and was known for her Inuktitut covers of hit pop songs.

  • Alethe Arnaquq-Baril is an Inuk filmmaker from Iqaluit, Nunavut. She is known for her work on Inuit life and culture. She is the owner of Unikkaat Studios, a production company in Iqaluit, which produces Inuktitut-language films.